There has been much debate about the status of infrastructural projects listed out on government tracker website.
This online portal launched by government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) records in detail the names of development and infrastructural projects undertaken during their tenure of office.
Following a presentation at a Townhall meeting on August 18, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s claims of government’s achievements have come under severe scrutiny.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described the NPP’s records as being filled with “ghost projects”.
Investigations by JoyNew’s Upper East regional correspondent, Albert Sore in the Upper East region have revealed one of such projects is the Rock Estates.
On November 29, 2019, President Nana Akufo-Addo in the company of his Vice, Dr Mahamud Bawumia cut the sod for the construction of Rock Estates, a 120-unit housing project designed to serve the needs of the community.
This event coincided with the more publicised Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam project sod-cutting ceremony.
A large portion of land characterised by lush green grass and shea tres, located at Pusu-Namongo in the Talensi district of the Upper East Region was earmarked for this government housing project.
This housing facility was warmly welcomed by citizens of the area, as it is expected to cut down housing costs in the area.
The recently launched Delivery Tracker by Vice President Bawumi lists this housing project as one of the NPP’s achievements and labels it as an “ongoing construction”.
However, a visit to the site revealed that no visible construction had been done on the property, save for the clearing of the land.
A signpost has been positioned along the Bolga-Tamale road, miles away from the intended construction site.
Access to the site, which is approximately 6 acres in size, is via a muddy path paved only recently by a bulldozer.
According to Nelson Tibil, a farmer whose maize farm is alleged to have been cleared as part of the construction process, the site clearance was done on August 20, 2 days after Dr Bawumia’s townhall address.
“Since November when the president came here [to cut sod], it was last Thursday that a driver came here with a machine [the bulldozer] and cleared the land”, Tibil said.
The Affordable housing the government plans to execute on this land, would consist of 4-bedrooms, 3-bedrooms, 2-bedrooms, 2-bedrooms detached and semi-detached apartments.
On the average, the yearly rent rate for a one-room apartment in the Upper East Region is ¢1,200, and double that for a ‘chamber and hall’ apartment.
If subsidized by the government, this housing project will reduce the financial burden imposed on would-be tenants, thus contributing to the socio-economic growth of the community and region as a whole.
As such, expectations from the success of this project is quite high for the residents of the region, and it is hoped that this promise by government will not remain a ‘ghost project’, but will be fulfilled for the benefit of all.