Ghanaian filmmaker, Leila Djansi shares the following sentiments in what she calls “Musings of my fatherland”:
Back in the day growing up in Ghana and traveling every weekend to Accra to see my Mom who was in school at Korlebu, the roads from Ho to Accra were smooth. Back in the day when smuggling across the Togo border was lucrative business and generated revenue for the state. When smuggling died down, it took volta roads with it. The Sogakope Accra stretch is still a very viable revenue generator because it plies trade routes and connects Accra to Togo and Nigeria.
Collectively, the NDC has had more years to rule Ghana and if we’re to add the PNDC era, that’s extra real estate. The Volta Region is aptly referred to as the world bank of the NDC and yet, in all these years Volta has nothing to show for its loyalty to the NDC government.
Back in 2016, John Mahamas government hurriedly plunged bulldozers onto the bad roads and displayed some white elephant in the name of an airport to confuse voters to exercise their franchise in favor of the NDC and as gullible as Voltarians are, they did- again.
As much we support the current sentiment that’s now simmering but might bubble into a full-blown protest dubbed #FixVoltaRoadsNow, what exactly does the Volta Region have to offer Ghana? The investments into quality roads will beg this question, unfortunately. Universities – someone would call out. Yeah, but those students will graduate and sit on their palms waiting for government to employ them. And in that employment, most will not maximize their potential. The education is merely to guarantee a paycheck. It’s not to pursue a passion, neither is it to contribute towards nation building. Capital of the region, Ho, being a college town is really just another government liability.
That’s the general outlook of us Voltarians. Miwa nu videe ko. (Let’s manage).
Ziope has some miserly tomato production. Have we lobbied to bring a cannery into that village or the regional capital?
We have a lot of farms and tourist attractions, won’t a train service from the region to Accra have served a better purpose than an airport? Or the Ziope farmer will fly his tomatoes to accra? Well, they are small enough.
Gemini hauls in so much fish that is briskly smoked and transported to Adabraka market in Accra and sold for such exorbitant prices, you might as well be paying with your kidney. Both of em.
When I land in Ghana, I head first to Gemini to place an order for smoked fish I bring back with me to the States. The road from Asikuma to Gemini is so bad, it’s grace that keeps that cars and traders alive. Kpandu Torkor has a booming fish trade but is also saddled with bad roads. The fish trade doesn’t necessarily register on the GDP so government doesn’t care. If there were a hygienic hub for these traders; a smoking, drying, cleaning facility and a structured form of distribution that earns them money and pays a little tax to the regions/state, things might be different. Good roads might become important.
Who are the MPs, Assembly reps, DCEs’ MCEs’ and local government officials of these places? As citizens of the Volta with access to funds, government ears and lobbyists, what can we do bring revenue generation into the region and in that process, make us viable for infrastructural development?
Protest for good roads but that’s only a good and necessary but temporary fix for the real issues plaguing the region. Volta needs investment. Private and State owned.
Maybe one of the media houses or interest groups would be interested in hosting a town-hall meeting with indigenes and all the various reps present. 2020 is election year when all the hopefuls will pretend to care. So, now might be the time to use the world bank to an advantage.
If you’re a Voltarian, whether you live at home or abroad, please consider adding your voice to the #Fixvoltaroadsnow campaign. We might live abroad but have friends and family who need good infrastructure!