Some monumental projects initiated about 40 years ago to improve local economies and provide social services in the Ashanti Region continue to waste away while local people wallow in poverty.
From the military regime of General Kutu Acheampong to the democratic government of President Kufuor, one project or the other has been abandoned.
Succeeding governments have ignored such state investment and rather gone ahead to start their own initiatives with the same public funds.
In the following report, Luv FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor examines the state of the neglected projects in the face of worsening socio-economic challenges they were meant to address.
A ginger processing factory in the Atwima –Nwabiagya District, the 1000 bed capacity Maternity Block at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and the Affordable Housing Projects are the focus in this piece.
My first stop is at the Maternity block which remains uncompleted more than forty years after construction began during the Acheampong regime.
Before then, I took a trip round the existing labour ward at Ghana’s second largest hospital.
Women in labour sit and wait for their turn on benches at the corridor of the labour ward. Some are delivered of their babies there.
The room, the size of three kitchens combined, has women in labour competing with desks, beds, equipment and swiftly moving health personnel, for space.
The maternity wards are simply congested. Patients sleep on the floor and some mothers share one hospital bed, lying sideways to receive drips and medication.
This is the situation at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Unit.
A visibly worried Prof Archer Turpin is the Head of the Unit.
The ultimate antidote to the congestion and suffering of patients and health personnel, perhaps, is this huge seven-storey edifice started in 1974 by the Acheampong regime.
It has the capacity to accommodate 1000 patients at a time, with provision for surgery, delivery and paediatrics facility.
Its stands adjacent the old maternity ward, tall and imposing , beautifully crafted, literally teasing authorities with its slow pace of work, having received minimal attention from successive governments.
Though civil works on the structure itself are done, about 30 percent of finishing is left to be sorted out by Cymain Ghana, contractors working on the project.
The need for the facility is huge but funds have always come in bits and pieces.
A proposed hospital project at Fomena in the Adansi North District, also started by the Acheampong regime has been in the bush.
Part of it was converted into a nursing training facility during the NPP regime but the bigger portion is going waste. My trip to the facility was abortive because authorities will not allow me access on grounds that the Nursing School Principal was unavailable.
Off, I headed for the Atwima Nwabiagya South District to Gynkobaa, where commercial ginger production has been the main occupation of the people for many years.
I am here at this twin-structure warehouse and ginger processing factory sitting at the edge of the town, meant to provide ready market for farmers.
Late Head of State, Kutu Acheampong, assisted Messrs Sobojie and Addison to start the factory, more importantly, to add value to the commodity and provide jobs for the youth.
Sixty-year old Maame Tumtuo and a colleague known only as Opanin, both ginger farmers benefitted from the investment.
The factory has been dormant since 1974, following the death of the two facilitators.
Now farmers get peanuts for their produce, having to transport them to the marketing centres, in raw state.
Many youth have also joined the band-wagon to the cities in search of opportunities.
Revamping this old factory could re-energize the local economy and stop the rural urban drift here.
The almighty Affordable Housing Project at Asokore Mampong remains very fresh in the minds of many residents.
My last stop was at the affordable housing units at Asokore Mampong. Capable of solving a larger chunk of the region’s accommodation challenge but have been left to rot.
Former Interior Minister Kwesi Ahwoi on a visit to the area promised government’s commitment to complete the project.
A stitch in time save nine.
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