NEW JUABEN SOUTH: DILAPIDATED ROAD NETWORKS AFFECTING BUSINESSES IN KOFORIDUA

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The effect of a dilapidated road network on businesses around Koforidua, in the New Juaben South of the Eastern Regional capital cannot be overemphasized.

Businesses in the regional capital always suffer due to poor road networks.

Many roads are in a deplorable state, serving as death traps, regardless of whether they are funded by Internal Generated Fund (IGF) or the state-sponsored.

Taxicab drivers and Motorcycle operators (Okada) said their cars break down from time to time, noting that it was raising the firm’s logistics costs through constant vehicle maintenance every month.

The bad roads in Koforidua seem to have been abandoned. There is a security risk there. The road can be lonely and someone can easily be attacked while going home from work.

“Also, the taxicabs are breaking down and getting beyond repair now and again,” they lamented.

A small business owner lamented low patronage of goods and services saying that the road was making it impossible for him to meet set targets.

A recent observation revealed that roads in the communities unlike those in the New Juaben South Municipal had been completely abandoned.

Some roads in Koforidua business centres such as the ones in Oguaa, Labour Office, Zongo, and Boddy among others, were testimonies to the government’s negligence.

Angry residents who ply these roads are more or less on their own as they continue to live with the sad experience of plying the poor road conditions, which are usually aggravated during the rainy season.

Residents often struggle on waterlogged areas and roads that are not motorable.

During the dry season, residents in these communities struggle with dusty roads which can lead to a major public health challenge, such as upper respiratory tract infection caused by exposure to dust.

Koforidua New Juaben South is the Eastern Regional Capital in terms of small land mass.

This geographical conundrum is further compounded by the fact that Koforidua consists of wetlands and mountains and rivers.

“For people who work in Yilo Krobo for instance, from Koforidua to Nkurakan is not up to 15 minutes, but the bad roads will make you spend up to 45 minutes or an hour.

“Though construction is ongoing, it is not the first time. By the next rainy season, everything will be bad again and they will come and construct again. Why can’t they do something that will last, at least we are paying our taxes?”

A car owner and resident of Koforidua who only gave out his first name as Kwame said, “We want the government to intervene; we can’t continue like this. Since the beginning of the rainy season, plying the road has become a huge problem and in the dry season, it is a bit better, even though the dust is so much.

“Now, any little rainfall and the potholes will become bigger to the point that some of them will turn into ditches. Vehicles get stuck here every day, bikes keep falling with their passengers too, we can’t continue like this.”

“Most of the vehicle and taxi drivers keep complaining of bad roads. Some who have cars are unable to move around freely as much as they want because of the bad roads. Most car owners are always in and out of mechanic workshops,” he stated.

This, he said, was always an issue, especially during rainy seasons.

A commercial trotro driver in Koforidua expressed pain and anger with the poor state of roads in Koforidua while speaking.

“There is water everywhere; the potholes are many and deep; you just have to slow down and there is nowhere to escape to as the holes are everywhere.

“These people seem not to know what they are doing, they are just there collecting our money and enjoying their lives. We are the ones suffering,” he said.

He added, “Before, I could go three months without fixing anything on my car, but now almost every day I must go to the mechanic over issues like shock absorber or shaft. Everything breaks down every day, which is a lot of cost for me.

A roadside mechanic in the Koforidua-Ada Magazine Area said trucks and vehicles often get stuck there, thereby causing gridlocks.

“If you had come earlier, you would have met a truck that broke down while trying to force its way out of that big pothole. It was just recently that individuals filled that particular portion, but the rain has affected it,”

Another driver, who was at the mechanic workshop, said, “I dread the rainy season. I ought to be at work now but here I am fixing my car. The roads are horrible and motor parts are very expensive.

“I spend my weekends at the mechanic and it is on my bank account. When you enter potholes such as the ones on this road, your vehicles will feel the pinch. It is tiring and annoying.

“Is it that the government cannot see all of these? They will just blow sirens while moving up and down. Yet, they will not do their job. Go to other communities like Kyebi they have better roads than we do” he said.

He said, “One drop of water like this. and the roads will be terrible. Every day that I leave my house to go carry passengers, I pray to God that it will not be my last.

He said some of the identified roads in Koforidua had been deplorable in the current administration in the state took over.

“Some of them need reconstruction, and some need palliatives”.

Story by Andy Cole, Koforidua

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