Afram Plains residents demand share of national cake
Residents of Kwahu Afram Plains North District, have appealed to government to give them their share of the national cake, to ensure the development of the area.
The residents, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA)-STAR Ghana Media Auditing and Tracking of Development team, expressed worry about poor road network, lack of electricity, educational infrastructure, health centres, and a ferry to transport those living on the Island to and from the Inland.
According to them, the district is endowed with large socio-economic potentials, yet the area has not seen much development.”
The GNA team gathered that, one-third of the total population of 112,563 live on the five islands in the district, namely, Kpala, Dwarf or Dodi-Digya, Tsetsekpo, Dzalepata and Kporve.
As a result of the poor water transport system, most of the farmers on the Islands do not receive agricultural extension services, and have challenges with the marketing of their produce.
The team found out that teenage pregnancy was high in most of the rural areas in the district, a situation which had made most girls school drop-outs.
In an interview with Mr Windham Emil Afram, District Chief Executive (DCE), he confirmed the economic challenges facing people of the area, but allayed the fears of the residents, since the Assembly continued to find solutions to those challenges.
He disclosed the Assembly had taken measures to attract investors to the district to invest in agriculture and tourism, to make the area economically vibrant, urging that, farmers should not relent in contributing their quota to make the district the food basket of Ghana.
“The government is aware of the situation here, that is why it is making every effort to bring several interventions for the development of the District,” he added.
Mr Afram assured prospective investors to the district of his outfit’s readiness to create an enabling business environment which would lead to a “win-win” venture.
The DCE expressed gratitude to the few financial institutions in the area working directly with residents, particularly the farmers, and appealed to them to make soft loans available to more farmers in the district.
The Kwahu Afram Plains North has a total land size of 2,351 kilometre-square out of which 1,480 kilometre-square of it is covered by water with one-third of its population living on the various Islands in the district.
According to the DCE, the abundant water from the Volta Lake has the potential for the promotion of irrigation farming for the cultivation of vegetables.
He told the GNA team that the land is so rich for the cultivation of ginger, black and hot pepper, cassava, maize, yam, cashew, sunflower and citronella.
“Agriculture provides more than half of the employment in the district, accounting for 54 percent of the labour force with the service sector having 37 percent, while industry employs nine percent and fishing, one percent,” he said.
The GNA discovered the rise of ceramics industry at Bebuso and Adeemmra, both rural communities in the district as a result of clay deposits in that part of the district, and that industry is dominated by women.
Mr Afram said, the “naturalness” of the district makes it viable for the establishment of tourists’ attraction sites as well as the construction of more hospitality industries and therefore invited interested persons to come to invest in the Kwahu Afram Plains North District.