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General News
Government to open up cocoa growing areas-Veep 3/20/2007
Akontombra (W/R), March 20, GNA- Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama said on Monday that Government was pursuing with zeal the development policy of opening up the cocoa producing areas to facilitate the cultivation and marketing of the cash crop.

He said cocoa was the life-blood of the economy, hence the determination of the Kufuor Administration to develop and tar all access roads to the crop growing areas.

Vice President Mahama made this known when he was addressing a durbar of the chiefs and people of Akontombra in the Western Region. He said 20 kilometres of the road linking Sefwi Wiawso and Akontombra have been awarded on contract for tarring.

"It is in the interest of everyone to open up the Sefwi area, since it is a major food growing area," he said.

He said works on the expansion of the bridge over the Tano River into a double lane would soon be awarded on contract.

Vice President Mahama said Government aimed at reaching out to the people to facilitate the development aspirations of every community. "The New Patriotic Party is a people centred government. It is a rural development government. It is a caring government," he said. Nana Kwartemg Ababio III, Chief of Akontombra, expressed worry that much of the resources needed to develop the area was being used to enforce peace in the Sefwi Wiawso District, which has been hit by a protracted chieftaincy conflict.

He appealed to the Government for the extension of electricity, telecommunication facilities and the establishment of a cocoa processing company in the area to create employment for the youth.

Mr Albert Evans Amoah, Regional Minister said Akontombra Constituency had been adopted for special development attention. Vice President Mahama inspected the Nsawura Health Centre, which had been abandoned for two years due to lack of funds. He directed the Regional Co-ordinating Council to expedite action to bring back the contractor-Kandicks Construction to the site to facilitate the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme in the area.

Vice President Mahama also interacted with the chiefs and people of Sefwi Asawinso, where the Chief, Nana Kwesi appealed for a masters'' bungalow, classroom blocks, library, computer laboratory and transport facility for the local senior secondary school.

He also visited the Sefwi Asafo-based St. John of God Hospital, where a number of people who were involved in an accident while returning from local activities marking Ghana''s 50th anniversary celebrations were on admission.

Dr Michael Salisu Adam, Medical Officer at the Hospital said out of the 195 accident victims, three died on the spot at Asempanaye while 175 pupils were injured.

He said four pupils were still on admission while the youngest victim who was one year old had died.

Dr Adam said all the patients were treated free of charge and appealed to the Governent to re-imburse the hospital. He also appealed for an ambulance, a car for medical outreach programmes and the replacement of the over-aged surgical lights. Vice President Mahama inspected works on the 44.4 kilometre Sefwi-Denjiman road being sponsored by the Government of Ghana and the Netherlands.

He also inspected school upgrading projects at Sefwi Wiawso and Wassa Akropong senior secondary schools where he advised the students to study hard to achieve their objectives in life.

At a meeting with Kasapreko Kwame Basanyi III, Paramount Chief of Wassa Amenfi Traditional Area at Tarkwa, Vice President Mahama expressed discontent about the shoddy jobs some contractors were executing on government projects and asked project consultants to be more vigilant to help reverse the situation.

He also asked officials of the Ministry of Transportation to ensure the training of local contractors to minimise the project cost and the undue delay of works, especially on road contracts. Nana Basanyi appealed to Government for a school bus for Wassa Senior Secondary School and the upgrading of the medical facility at Tarkwa. 20 March 07Source:

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