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Broken Navio bridge affecting child malaria immunization – Assemblyman

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It would be recalled that the said bridge caved in on March 24, 2022 as a heavy haulage truck attempted to drive through.

The collapsed bridge has since brought untold hardships on citizens in the area relating to mobility challenges, carting of goods in and out of the area, and also, cutting off other connecting communities as well as public servants and businessmen and women who ply their trade along that route. This same route also connects up with parts of neighbouring Burkina Faso.

When the DCE for the area spoke on the Day Break Upper East Show in September 2022, he mentioned that steel parts for the bridge were being imported from the United Kingdom to fix the bridge. 

“Myself and the hardworking regional minister met the minister for roads and he assured us of working on it. The point is, a team came to check [the broken bridge] and considering the wide nature of it [the river], they tried to see if they can shift and use concrete but the technical people are saying the steel bridge would be the best. In our conversation with the sector minister, [it came to light] that they are importing steel materials from the UK. When it [the steels] come, they would work on it,” the DCE said. 

In February 2023, the Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu expressed worry that the collapsed Navio steel bridge in the Kassena- Nankana West District, if not fixed, could be used as an entry point for Jihadists and some terrorist groups.

The minister was on a visit to the area with the Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Road and Highways to assess the level of damage.

Meanwhile, the Overlord of Buru-Navio Traditional Area in the Kassena Nankana West District of the Upper East Region, Pe Adams Kwarase Asongojem Parijei Adurigola II, speaking with A1 Radio’s Mark Smith on the Day Break Upper East Show today, expressed high level of disappointment in the Upper East Regional Minister for his seeming lack of action. 

“In fact, this bridge is a problem to the entire Upper East Region, not just the people of Navio. Since this bridge got broken, I have complained and organised press conferences and up till now, there’s been nothing done. Recently, I brought people to come and put stones there. Last 2 months, the regional minister called me and said the contractor is coming. We have waited till today and there’s still nothing. Even when I call them, they do not pick up. Everyday, people would come to my palace and complain to me,” he said. 

But speaking to Mark Smith, on the same platform, the Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu explained that the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council has not lost sight of the struggle the damage of the bridge has brought to the people. 

Mr. Yakubu explained that several engagements are ongoing with the Ministry of Roads and Highways to ensure that the bridge is reconstructed. The Navio bridge, and two others within the Kassena-Nankana areas are to be reconstructed, according to the Regional Minister.

“In fact, this very Monday, I was in Accra and I was with the Minister about these very bridges. There are three bridges that, in fact, we want to construct. We need to relaunch them and it is going to be costing us a couple million cedis. We are working on it. The Minister has promised me. I am very worried, especially looking at the season that we are in. I want to assure the people that are living around that corridor that I am not sleeping over it,” he said. 

Mr. Yakubu was however unable to give specific timelines within which the bridges would be fixed.

The Assemblyman for the Navio-Electoral area, Roland Apugido, speaking on the same platform explained that the broken bridge has caused a lot of inconvenience for communities around the area. 

“With these few rains, it is very difficult to cross to the other side of the bridge. People who are yet to sow their crops across the bridge. They cannot have access to the farmlands. Just last week, they started to give malaria drugs to children under 5. My community that is at the otherside of the river is still yet to take their share. We cannot also cross to the nearby markets to do our businesses,” he said. 

The Assemblyman, also frustrated about the entire issue, explained that they had exhausted all means to carry their concerns across. 

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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