The Assin Akonfudi road project, perceived by many to be abandoned, has been halted as a result of the interference of the rains. The construction of the road is slowly progressing as compared to the period leading to the elections. During its by-election, the Kumawu Constituency in the Ashanti Region witnessed rapid road rehabilitation and construction before the bye-election. Similarly, there was an intense and rapid construction and rehabilitation of roads in the Assin North Constituency in the period leading to the by-election in the area.
However, a publication by GhanaWeb has indicated that the road construction within the Assin-Akonfudi enclave in the Assin-North Constituency of the Central Region has stopped. According to the report, the road was abandoned due to the outcome of the by-elections, which did not go in favour of the party in government. This has sparked political conversation on political shows, with some critics accusing the government of negligence. The viral nature of the article, as seen in news publications by Pulse.com, for instance, has necessitated this investigation by DUBAWA to discover if the project has been abandoned.
Upon a visit to the project’s site, the Fact-checker discovered that not much work was being done on the 1.5 km road project being constructed by the Maripoma Enterprise Limited on the Assin-Akonfudi. The machines were not on site except for one full-hydraulic single-drum vibratory road roller machine parked in front of the Butwia Royal Palace in Assin-Akonfudi.
Status of the road project
In an interview, the Assin North District Chief Executive, Charles Ohene Andoh, disclosed that the road construction of the Assin-Akonfudi stretch has gone through all the processes for the commencement of the project.
According to him, before the by-election, the Feeder Roads Department approved the road for construction after inspecting the site. Mr Andoh, however, noted that the progress of the project has been delayed as a result of the downpour in recent times, which is affecting the speedy completion of the project.
“Government is committed to solving social problems. All road projects that have commenced within the Assin-North Constituency will be completed devoid of political gimmicks and propaganda,” the DCE added.
Regarding why machines are not on site, the DCE clarified that they are done with their work on the road and are waiting for the rain to cease to enable contractors to start working on the first coat of the road.
A resident of Assin Breku also confirmed that the speed of the projects on roads within the Assin North Constituency before the election has slowed, causing the residents to worry about the reasons for the slow pace of work just after the by-election.
What are the contractors saying?
The Project Manager of Maripoma Enterprise Limited, Stephen Agyei-Kumi, noted that the project, which is 60 per cent complete, is currently ongoing. He points out that the primary work has already been done, but the completion is delayed due to the bad weather. According to him, his team and materials are on site, working for the smooth completion of the project on time. When DUBAWA asked the contractor for the project’s cost and whether they had received funding, he indicated that the project’s cost could only be determined after the work was done. With regards to payment, he pointed out that they will receive the value of their work from the government after the project is done since it was taken over by a previous contractor.
Upon visits to the site, it is evident that the project, though halted, may soon be completed.
This report was produced under the Department of Communication Studies and DUBAWA’s project aimed at improving fact-checking competency and practice among Ghanaian media organisations with support from UNESCO IPDC.