The call for developmental projects, especially infrastructure, has in recent times become the center stage of our public discourse.
Communities in every region, metropolis, municipal, and district assemblies are clamoring for their fair share of these projects being initiated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo led government.
Several of these infrastructure projects are dotted across the country. While some have been completed, others are at various stages of completion.
The majority of those that have been completed have been commissioned and are operational. Still, hundreds although completed, are yet to be commissioned.
Some residents who have waited so long for these completed projects but not commissioned and operational, have vented their spleen on the government, accusing it of neglect.
On Wednesday, June 22, 2022, the Bantama Youth hit the streets of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region to protest against the government for neglecting the region.
A spokesperson for the group, Kwame Awuah Nimfour, interacting with journalists said the Ashanti Region which has supported most politicians in the country to become who they are cannot boast of any infrastructure projects over the years, especially, in the era of President Akufo-Addo.
Five days later, another youth group under the umbrella name Asokore Mampong Youth also in the Ashanti Region, accused the President Akufo-Addo-led government of starving the Ashanti Region of developmental projects.
In the view of the group, all the promises President Akufo-Addo made to the region have become deceptive, wondering when the government will honour its pledge to the people of the Region.
However, it appears these youth groups, perhaps, have little information or no information at all with regards to ongoing infrastructural projects that are underway in the Ashanti Region that when completed, will bring massive transformation in the lives of the people.
On Wednesday, June 29, 2022, a team from the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Secretariat, Office of the President, led by its National Coordinator, Gifty Ohene Konadu, arrived in Kumasi to perform two tasks – to evaluate and validate all government projects and to inspect ongoing infrastructure projects across the region.
The tasks at hand took off simultaneously the following day. Gifty Ohene Konadu and her team of technical experts were divided into two.
While one took care of the evaluation and validation of the projects, the other one on the other hand, took to the field to inspect the infrastructural projects.
This article looks at the numerous infrastructure projects that are currently at various levels of completion in the Ashanti Region.
Kumasi Central Market
The first project site to inspect was the Kumasi Central Market.
The Kumasi Central Market is an open-air market in the city of Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Region. It is a major trading center that attracts up to 80,000 people daily from within Ghana and surrounding countries like Benin, Togo and Burkina Faso.
The project commenced in 2019. The ground-breaking ceremony was presided over by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. This mega project is estimated at US$278million.
It is being constructed by Messrs Contracta Construction Company of the United Kingdom (UK) with the Bank of Germany being the financiers. BHC is fabricating the structural steelwork for the project.
The Kumasi Central Market project is designed to promote economic growth, boost tourism and to encourage socio-economic development by improving connections to the north of Ghana.
The market when completed, will feature 15,000 stalls, a police station, fire station, post office and a hospital.
Gifty Ohene Konadu having been briefed about the 53% percent completion rate of the project proposed to the contractors of the facility to consider factoring into the project construction of a separate space where the market women could go and cook their own food considering the fact that they had to leave their various homes at dawn to the market and close very late.
Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Maternity Block and Children's Block
The next facility to inspect in the Kumasi Metropolis is the construction of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Maternity Block & Children’s Block.
This facility had begun in 1976, as part of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Expansion Project. However, it came to a standstill in 1979. It was reactivated in 1999 but again stalled shortly afterward. In 2004, then President, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, also reactivated the project but was soon abandoned after his departure from office in January 2009.
It was until President Akufo-Addo took office as President of the Republic of Ghana in 2017 that the project was again reactivated. This time around, after thorough assessment of the project, the engineers advised that the 44year-old project be demolished for a new one to be built.
Three years into President Akufo-Addo’s administration exactly on Friday, May 15, 2020, the sod was cut for the commencement of the facility. The project being executed by Contracta is funded by the German Bank, Deutsche Bank at a cost of €155million. It is expected to be completed in 2023.
Once completed, the Maternity and Children’s Block will be a state-of-the-art, modern health edifice, with paediatrics, gynaecology and obstetrics units.
It will serve as a referral centre for twelve (12) of the sixteen (16) regions of Ghana. It will be a seven hundred and fifty (750)-bed building, with outpatient areas for adults and children, and it will have ten (10) operating theatres and diagnostic rooms, fully equipped with X-Ray, ultrasound, and mammography facilities,” he said.
The facility will also house an intensive care unit, a high dependency unit, isolation rooms and student lecture halls, with the capacity to provide catering services for staff, patients and students”.
Afari Military Hospital
The M & E team also inspected the Afari Military Hospital in the Atwima Nwabiagya District of the Ashanti Region to ascertain the level of progress of that facility.
They were met on arrival by the Resident Engineer, Abou Shamaa, who conducted them around the facility.
The Afari Military Hospital is a 500-bed Military Hospital being executed by Euroget De-Invest, an Egyptian Investment company.
It is one of the nine hospitals that was awarded to the Egyptian construction firm in the country. The team was made to understand that all the physical infrastructure, including staff accommodation facilities and medical blocks, have been completed, while installation of equipment was in advance stage.
Mr. Shamaa told the team that the project is nearing full completion, assuring that it will be ready by December 2022.
What Mr. Shamaa was enthused about is the provision of an electricity sub-station to provide a constant power supply to the facility.
Hitherto, the absence of an electricity sub-station was a major hindrance to the progress of work of the facility.
The project when commissioned will become Ghana's second military hospital after the 37 Military Hospital in Accra to complement the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital as the chief referral medical facility in the Ashanti Region and the rest of the middle sector.
The facility boast of 50 medial and non-medical buildings, landscaping and covered walkaway, 500 beds, 15 operating theaters, Endoscopy Operating Rooms, Central Kitchen and Laundry, Mortuary (153 body capacity), 600 cars parking plus 18 bus parking spots, 64 staff housing units, laboratory services and Medical Gas Plant for production of the medical gas.
It also has a Sterilization Department, Training, Library and Conference Rooms, Power station including transformers AVR & Generators, Maintenance Department and Storage Buildings, Sewerage treatment biogas plant, water treatment plant, medical waste treatment department, Hospital Information System (HIS) and Internal & External CCTV system.
The facility also has a six-kilometer internal road network and 40-acre landscaping on the 260,000-metre square project area.
The Afari Military Hospital is one of the projects which was started by the erstwhile President Mahama-led government and being continued by President Akufo-Addo.
Kumasi International Airport
The Kumasi International Airport is about 98 percent complete.
The M & E team also took time to inspect the Kumasi International Airport which is almost complete. The team was overwhelmed with the level of progress of the airport project which commenced in 2018.
It is an initiative of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo with the aim of opening up the Ashanti Region to the rest of the world.
The €124.9million airport expansion project is being executed by Contracta Construction UK Limited. The scope of work includes the extension of the existing runaway pavement from 1,981 meters to 2,320 meters, the construction of a new taxi link and apron, two new apron parking stands and an aeronautical ground lighting system.
So far, the construction of the terminal, installation of escalators, the baggage carousel, check-in points and passenger boarding bridges have been completed.
The total work done in both phases two and three of the project is 98percent. That of the terminal is also 98% complete. A new control tower has been fixed and the facility has a utility block that would house a standby generator, fire tenders and other emergency facilities.
The facility has a building terminal that has the capacity to handle 800,000 to 1,000,000 passengers per annum, and an 11MW substation.
The project is expected to be operational in October 2022, according to Mr. Yaw Appiah Dankwa, Director, Planning and Project, Ghana Airport Company Limited, who conducted the team round the facility.
Sewua Regional Hospital
The next destination for the M & E team was the Sewua Regional Hospital located in the Bosomtwi District in the Ashanti Region.
The Project Officer for Euroget De-Invest, Stephen Owusu Okyere, welcomed and conducted the team around the facility.
Started in May 2015, under the erstwhile President John Mahama administration and later abandoned for over one and half years, it took the intervention of President Akufo-Addo to reactivate it to enhance healthcare delivery for the people of Ashanti Region.
The 250-bed capacity project is also expected to ease the pressure on the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital when completed. It will serve as a referral center as well.
It is part of the nine projects being executed by Euroget De-Invest. The facility according to the Project Officer, is 99% complete and boasts of an Administration Block, medical gas plant, water treatment plant, inpatient ward, mortuary, 20-unit staff accommodation, delivery suites, gynaecology ward, sterilization department, a sewage treatment biogas plant, a power station, a 60kilometer internal road network, 10 theaters, dental, orthopaedic, urology and andrology specialist clinics, and a maintenance department.
It also has a 150-car park, an ambulance station, and a housing unit for lactating mothers.
The facility is sited on a 12,500 square-meter area.
Mr. Okyere told the team that the facility is faced with lack of a permanent electricity and water supply to power the facility. The project is also faced with a bad road network.
However, when the team visited the site, it was observed that a contractor had begun some construction works on the 1.2km access road.
These challenges, according to Mr. Okyere, may delay the testing and commissioning of the equipment and machinery installed at the hospital.
He told the team that Euroget De-Invest has requested for a power substation to power the facility. The facility currently runs on a backup power plants and water treatment system.
The Technical Advisor at the M & E Secretariat, Hon. William Kwasi Sabi, assured the Project Officer that their concerns will be delivered to the authorities that be for immediate redress.
Comprehensive Treatment and Containment Center for Infectious Disease
Located beside the facility is the Comprehensive Treatment and Containment Center for Infectious Disease.
It is one of the emergency response treatment facilities that was directed by President Akufo-Addo to be put up to get the country prepared to cater for any infectious disease that may come up in addition to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Cletus Akansor and Emmanuel Osei Bonsu, all Engineers at the project site who welcomed the team said they are almost done with the civil works of the 48-bed capacity treatment facility. The facility has all the units of a standard hospital.
It also has a Green, Yellow and Red Zones for the treatment of patients who have been screened. The project commenced in August 2020 and was expected to be completed in six months.
However, both Akansor and Osei Bonsu said due to some challenges, especially, refilling of the land, the project delayed for some time.
According to them, the facility is about 98% complete with equipment and or machinery installations also about 70% complete.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Housing Estate
The Osei Tutu II Housing Estate located at Asokore Mampong in the Ashanti Region was the next stop for the M & E team.
Inaugurated by President Akufo-Addo on November 5, 2020, this project is a breathtaking radical housing scheme that boasts of a gated community.
It is made up of 1,027 units (91 blocks), comprising 691 two-bedroom, 336 one-bedroom, and 26 shops set in a well-landscaped environment.
All the blocks have been named using Adinkra symbols to reflect the culture and traditions of the Asante Kingdom.
The Osei Tutu II Housing Estate, which was part of the affordable housing projects was initiated by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and former President, John Agyekum Kufuour, in 2006.
The facility was abandoned for some time but was later handed over by the government through the Ministry of Works and Housing to SSNIT in 2015 for completion.
This did not materialize until President Akufo-Addo also produced by the NPP, took over the reins of the country and completed it in 2020.
The Sales and Marketing Manager of the Osei Tutu II Housing Estate, Gladys Osei Boateng, who welcomed the team to the facilities said SSNIT is keen on widening sales to welcome new prospective buyers at its Asokore Mampong.
Bekwai Municipal Hospital
The M & E team also visited the Bekwai Municipal Hospital which is already in operation. The 120-bed health facility was inaugurated by President Akufo-Addo, in November 2020.
This facility initially commenced in the early 1970s. However, due to lack of funds, progress on the project stalled for decades until 2010 when the Ministry of Health reactivated it.
The project again came to a standstill in 2013 as a result of lack of funds. Structured funding from Ellipse Projects to the tune of €23million, thanks to President Akufo-Addo, ensured the Ministry of Health restarted work on completion of the Bekwai Municipal Hospital.
At the end of 2018, the corresponding contract was signed, paving the way for the rehabilitation of the existing construction, the completion of the works and the supply of medical equipment.
Key facilities of the 120-bed hospital include an Accident and Emergency Unit, mortuary, kitchen, laundry, Central Sterile Services Department, and X-ray and Ultrasound Unit.
Other facilities included staff accommodation, Out-Patient Department; Eye, Dental, Ear, Nose and Throat clinics; a laboratory, four operation theatres, and administrative offices.
The theater facility at the Bekwai Municipal Hospital
The facility also has a guest lodge where relations who need to be close to patients on admission at the facility would lodge while waiting for their relatives to recuperate and discharged.
The 22.3 million euro hospital has been furnished with modern equipment in its various facilities including an Accident and Emergency Unit, mortuary, kitchen, laundry, Central Sterile Services Department, and X-ray and Ultrasound Unit.
Dental facility at the Bekwai Municipal Hospital
Other facilities included staff accommodation, Out-Patient Department; Eye, Dental, Ear, Nose and Throat clinics; a laboratory, four operation theatres, and administrative offices.
At the inauguration, President Akufo-Addo said “the completion of the facility was further evidence of government's commitment to continue with major infrastructural projects that were inherited from the previous government so that expected socio-economic benefit can be enjoyed by all".
Bosomtwi Girls STEM High School
The next destination for the M & E team was the Bosomtwi Girls STEM High School located Deduako Junction in the Bosomtwi District of the Ashanti Region.
It is an all-female school and one of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) schools that are being constructed across the country by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The school has two big building blocks comprising a classroom block, an administration block, a fully furnished state-of-the-art library facility, and all science laboratories for practical purposes.
It also has a 240-capacity dormitory to accommodate the students.
A library facility at the Bosomtwi STEM SHS
The Headmistress of the school, Mrs. Mary Donkor, who conducted the team round the facility, said expansion works are still ongoing and lauded President Akufo-Addo for allocating one for STEMS High School which she described as “first of its kind” in the Bosomtwi District.
Speaking to journalists after conducting the team around the facilities, Mrs. Donkor urged President Akufo-Addo, to remain resolute in the face of opposition and criticisms and continue to pursue what is good for the country.
“Your good handiworks are there for all to see. You will forever be remembered”, she noted.
Asante Akim Central Municipal Hospital
The Asante Akim Central Municipal Hospital is 100 percent complete with all the equipment and machinery to make it operational and fully installed.
The project was executed by Euroget De-Invest, an Egyptian investment company, with special expertise in structuring, specifically, hospitals. It is sited on a 145,000 square-meter plot.
The hospital has facilities such as dental, cardiology, ophthalmology, paediatric, gynaecology, and Orthopaedic clinics. It also has four operating theaters, housing for lactating mothers, three wells serving as backup to the main water supply system that fills a 250-cubic meter tank serving as a reservoir.
In addition to that, the hospital has a complementary 10-unit staff accommodation facility and a 60-km internal road network as well as a 36-capacity mortuary, a park for 150 cars, and an ambulance station.
What is delaying the 60-bed capacity municipal hospital from being handed over and commissioned is the 1.4km untarred access road that links the central business district to the hospital facility.
The road network is currently under construction by Agyakot Company Limited.
Some residents who interacted with the M & E team appealed to President Akufo-Addo to site a market facility near the hospital to save time and cost commuting all the way to the central business district to buy some items.
They also urged President Akufo-Addo to secure funding to complete the 1.4km access road, even if he has to secure funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Kumawu District Hospital
The M & E also inspected the Kumawu District Hospital located in the Sekyere Afram Plains District of the Ashanti Region. Works on the project were progressing steadily.
The facility is one of the hospital projects inherited by President Akufo-Addo from the erstwhile President administration. Site clearance for the project started on October 13, 2014 while the major works commenced in 2015.
It was expected to be completed in 2017. However, after change of government, the project had to be thoroughly assessed and redesigned to address the current needs of the people.
The hospital is designed to be capable of expansion from 120 beds to 200 beds. It is being executed by Messrs NMS Infrastructure and Barclays Bank Plc. It is estimated at US$38.8million.
The facility, when completed, will have two operating theaters, a theater recovery unit, intensive care unit, surgical wards, medical wards for males and females, accident and emergency wards, observation/out-patient wards, maternity, obstetrics/gynaecology wards.
Paediatric ward, dental unit, radiology unit, pharmacy, and laboratory.
It will also have a blood bank, consulting rooms, records office, waste disposal unit, accommodation for core staff, conference and training facilities, kitchen and laundry, hospital stores, mortuary, and maintenance unit/workshop.
The team also visited the Oforikrom District Hospital which is one of the Ghana Priority Health Infrastructure Projects, popularly known as AGENDA 111, being constructed in the Ashanti Region.
The lead contractor for this project is Geofra Construction Works Limited with Crink Ghana Limited and Mazume Solutions Limited supporting in the execution of the project.
Crink Ghana Limited, for instance, is executing the Kitchen, Energy Center, Mortuary and Waste treatment center of the project while that of Mazume Solutions Limited is in charge of executing the generating base yard as well as staff housing units of the project.
All the building infrastructure of the project are at footings level. The project which is 100-bed capacity hospital is sited on 15 acres of land and is expected to be completed by January 2023.
When completed, it will have an Administration block, pharmacy, out-patient department, waiting pavilion, main reception, lab and diagnostic center, public health and physiotherapy block, accident and emergency ward, female and surgical ward, paediatric ward A, surgery block, male and surgical ward, paediatric ward B, and a Maternity Block.
John Obodai Agya and Andy Swanzy Essien, both Site and Civil Engineers with Geofra Construction Limited told the team that their main challenge had to with flooding when it rains since the water table of the land is very high. Another challenge is the lack of permanent electricity and water supply to the site.
The team as part of its five-day working tour to the Ashanti Region also visited Springs & Bolts and Kasapreko Company Limited which were all commissioned under the One-District-One-Factory policy initiative by President Akufo-Addo.
There was also a visit to the 60-bed Ahafo Ano North Municipal Hospital at Tepa in the Ashanti region, initiated by former President, John Agyekum Kufour in 2008 but was abandoned and later revived and commissioned by incumbent President, Nana Akufo-Addo in 2020.
By: Gifty Ohene Konadu, Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E) Secretariat, Office of the President
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