ADDRESS BY THE ANLODUKOR DURING THE EXCLUSIVE MEETING AND DURBAR ORGANISED DURING THE VISIT OF HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA-PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA
On behalf of the Chiefs and people of the Anlo State, I have the singular honour to welcome you, Your Excellency and your august entourage to this very important interactive meeting.
We should call this meeting an interactive one because it is meant to afford you the opportunity to appreciate directly the concerns and frustrations of our people who are agitating against the Government because it seems all our pleas to the Presidency regarding lack of attention to our area do not get to you. If they do, Your Excellency, then you will please be able to explain to us during this forum why the seeming neglect of most of our major requests.
The Anlodukor has been very loyal to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Family over the years. The kinds of support the NDC receives from Anlo land and for that matter, the Volta Region, is unalloyed and unparallel, hence the accolade reflected in the quantum .The World Bank of the party. This is usually of votes that the Party receives from us during elections. As a bank, we have to trade for good returns. We cannot continue doing business with clients who will not pay back the loans contracted with good interests. We do not seem to be receiving good dividends from the partnership we have with the NDC so far. To us our share of the National Cake is very much just not enough. This is our conviction.
Your Excellency, we appreciate the number of developmental and infrastructural facilities that have been provided all over the five assemblies of Anlodukor vis -a-vis School buildings (1st and 2nd cycles) health facilities/clinics, CHPs compound, nurses quarters (clinic) water projects, areas of sanitation, office complexes, roads and the like,
Laudable as these efforts may seem, they fail to address a very crucial fundamental need of the teeming unemployed masses. They do not create the required sustainable job avenues for these people. The poverty level in our area therefore is very high. The hardships are tremendous to narrate. The only alternative left to them is to resort to such anti-social habits as robbery, smoking and prostitution; it’s high time this trend is stopped.
In view of the foregoing, our greatest desire now is to make a plea for the Government to look at undertaking projects, additionally, that will create sustainable jobs for the people.
We would therefore want to put across the following projects for your attention in order of priority, for consideration please.
CONSTRUCTION OF A HARBOUR AT KEA
Keta once Provincial Capital for the Eastern as province of the then Gold Coast, sometime ago served as a surf-post and was a major commercial town in the sub-region. With the construction of the Tema Harbour, the facility was closed. Added to the opening of the Keta estuary of the lagoon into the sea at Kedzi in 1963 massive destruction of the Keta and adjourning towns like Kedzi, Xorvi, Blekusu, Vodza and the rest.
With the presence of Diamond Cement at Aflao, which raw material, clinkers is imported through Lome Port, the salt potential of the area and the expected exploration of oil in the Keta Basin, the need for construction of a harbour completed with a landing port cannot be overemphasized.
DREDGING OF THE AVU-KETA LAGOON
Fishing used to be a major source of livelihood for our people. However, the construction of the Akosombo dam has virtually brought fishing activities to a halt due to the sitting of the lagoon. In order to revamp the fishing industry in the area of the Lagoon, we urge the Government to dredge the lagoon as a matter of necessity.
The Anlo States abounds in very vast arable land which is very good for commercial farming. Cash crops such as pineapple, on subsistence bases, mangoes, palm fruits, tamarin velvet, cassava, sugarcane, coconut etc are grown. These crops grow very well in the Anlo State and the government can invest in the area to bring employment to the people.
We would want Government to consider Public-Private partnership colloaboration in these areas and thereby give added value to crops to be produced. This will maximize the profit to the farmer.
SOUTHERN VOLTA BASIN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
We have advocated for the establishment of the Southern Volta Basin Development Authority which should be synonymous to the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority. To address the unemployment situation in the Southern Volta we plead with you to accord this suggestion a serious attention.
The establishment of this Authority will serve as the implementing authority for the
projects mentioned in items one to three above. This we wish to urge you to factor
into the National Development Plan.
OIL EXPLORATION IN KETA BASIN
The Government is aware that feasibility reports in the Keta Basin reveal large quantities of oil along the coast of Keta. The exploration has been on the drawing board for years. We appeal to the government to partner Swiss Africa Oil Company which has expressed interest in exploring oil in the Keta Basin.
WETA IRRIGATION PROJECT
The Weta irrigation project (formally known as Afife irrigation project) employs people in the Anlo State. Over the years, the project has remained as it started. It is important to note that this facility has enough land for expansion. We urge your Excellency to consider this proposal as well.
CREATION OF ANLODUKOR COUNCIL
Your Excellency, the Awoamefia, Togbi Sri III, in his own wisdom and with the coming into being soon of Traditional Councils within the Anlo State Council. The need to form the body called the Anlo State Council which comprises all Fiagawo in the state as a lobbying group for the area is what the chiefs wants to pursue. This idea has the blessings of chiefs and people of the Anlo state.
LOGOTE IRRIGATION PROJECT
Over (40) forty years ago, the Government of Ghana undertook a survey for an irrigation project at Logote in the Akatsi South District. This project was to cultivate mainly, sugar cane and rice. From records available, this project was bigger than the Weta Project and could employ a large number of our people but it has not been accorded the necessary attention. We once again urge your Excellency to call for the survey documents and kindly consider its revitalization. It is worth mentioning that the sugarcane that will be cultivated on this irrigation project can feed the Komenda sugar factory, or if possible with other potentials in the Avu lagoon Basin can form the basis for the establishment of another sugar factory in the Anlo State.
Although government has awarded some roads for construction in the Anlo State, there are still some main roads that are in very deplorable conditions in the Anlo state. Some of the roads that must be worked on as a matter of priority are:
Havedzi-Metsrikasa road (this road although awarded, has seen very little work done on it. The quality of work done leaves much to be desired.
Shime road (Bleamezado-Tregui – Agortoe road) this gets flooded and cuts-off over 27 communities each year during the rainy season. Our information is that, the project was packaged for award on your directive but nothing has been done since the year 2014.
Kome roads (partially done)
Akatsi-Xavi-Bayive feeder raod
Akatsi-Korve-Ave Dakpa road
The following town roads require immediate attention:
Klikor town roads, Agbozume town roads, Keta, Anloga and Denu town roads etc.
It is often said that water is life. However, for some communities in the Anlo State, that assertion is not a reality because they have been leaving without potable water for years. The most hardly hit among these communities is Anyako and its immediate environs. Other communities that had some interventions earlier have had their facilities broken beyond repairs whilst some are managing the system anyhow. These communities are:
The entire Ave area
These communities need to be hooked on to the proposed Sogakokpe-Aflao-Lome water scheme which is yet to commence. The water scheme which was constructed by M/S Biwater during the tenure of former President Rawlings did not make room for expansion and this is affecting the scheme as most of the people downstream are having difficulty assessing the facility. We seriously recommend an upgrade of the scheme. Our check reveal that two pipelines will be taped on the proposed Sogakokpe-Aflao-Lome water scheme; one to be treated for domestic and commercial use and the other raw water. This untreated water could be very beneficial to the communities along the road since it can be taped for irrigation purposes.
I wish to commend the government for initiating a number of school infrastructure projects in our basic and second cycle schools across the Anlo State. However, most all the projects have not been completed. Our enquiries reveal that the contractors have not been paid. These projects are mainly the GETFund projects. We appeal to your Excellency to intervene and ensure that the uncompleted projects dotted all over the place are completed as soon as practicable. As you aware, Your Excellency, education is what the people of the Anlo State boast of and with the current state of affairs, the picture looks gloomy.
FULANI HERDSMEN ISSUE
The issue of the nomadic Fulani herdsmen is a serious source of worry in some parts of the Anlo State. Their activities are not limited to only the Ashanti and Eastern regions but part of the Anlo State is also suffering. They rape our women, destroy farm produce, threaten people with guns and sometimes rob their unsuspecting victims.
We wish to express our gratitude to your Excellency Mr. President for accepting and honouring our invitation at a rather short notice. The chiefs and people of Anlo State are solidly in support of your government interventions in all spheres of endeavour aimed at a better living condition for our people.
We wish you and the NDC people the best of luck in the forthcoming general elections.
Thank you and May God bless us all.
TOGBI SRI III
AWOAMEFIA OF THE ANLO STATE