Residents of Navio threaten demo against government over unfixed bridge

The chief and people of Navio in the Kassena-Nankana West District are threatening to demonstrate against the government if urgent steps are not taken to reconstruct the Navio- Manyoro- Sirigu road steel bridge.

The residents say the local authorities and the government have not shown concern to repair the broken bridge since it collapsed in March 2022.

The steel bridge collapsed in late March as a cargo truck loaded with wood drove over it. The vehicle was going towards the Paga township from the Tangasougo where it had picked the wood.

No deaths were recorded as the driver and two conductors survived the accident.

An estimated six people, however, died weeks later through accidents at the spot. The reported deaths were people trying to cross the lake on motorbikes and tricycles.

Speaking at a press conference, Navio-Pio Pe Kwarase Asongojem Parejei II stated that residents and government workers were unable to access areas such manyoro, sirigu, Natugnia among others, especially in the rainy season.

He said economic activities have also been badly affected as residents had difficulty accessing their farms and markets to transact businesses.

“This is a major road in the district. From here, you get to manyor, Natugnia, Sirigu, Mirigu and Kandiga.

Businesses are totally off. People cannot go and people cannot come. Even teachers and nurses cannot cross especially when it rains. The traders cannot go to the markets and also cannot go to the farms”. Pe Kwarase lamented.



Security
The Navio-Pio feared the broken bridge which has cut the link to areas, other major areas within the district could impact the government’s fight against infiltrating Ghana’s territorial integrity by terrorists.

He said security personnel who have been deployed to the area to curb cross-border crimes and the infiltration of terrorists as is happening in neighbouring Burkina Faso, were unable to access the Eastern part of the district to conduct duties.

He described the situation as worrying, saying his people were living in fear.

“Assuming that there’s an attack in Manyoro because of this terrorism, the military and other security agencies cannot move to the scene. If there’s a fire outbreak, Fire Service cannot move.”

No vote
As the Chief and his people appeal to the government and the district assembly to take urgent actions to fix the bridge, they are threatening a ‘no vote’ in any national election exercise.

The Pe Kwarase said, “day and night, the politicians are always here with us, but after they have own, they forget us and abandon the community.”

“Even look at the road. It is very bad. People cannot go and cannot come. From here all the way to Manyoro, sirigu and Natugnia.”

“So, we are here seriously to say that when it gets to election, we don’t want any politician to come to our community. We are not ready to listen to them. As a chief, I’m here for development but we can’t see any development.”

Reconstruction to begin
The Kassena-Nankana West District Chief Executive, Gerard Ataogye responded to the concerns of the Navio-Pio and residents.

He agreed that the bridge and roads were indeed in a poor state.

He, however, stated that the government’s efforts have advanced to reconstruct the steel bridge to enable smooth travel to areas in the East of the district.

He said the heavy rains accounted for the delay in the commencement of work, stressing that work would begin as soon as the rains subside.

He urged calm among the residents, adding that the government was “not asleep on the broken bridge and roads”.

Source: asaaseradio

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