The Bolgatanga SPEFA group, numbering about 120 members, is made up of traders, hairdressers, seamstresses, mechanics, masons, Parent Teacher Associations and Civil Society Organizations, among others.
It queried the Regional Directorate of Urban roads about the poor state of road in the area and how it was going to address the problem. The group was formed through the initiative of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development with support from the World Bank, in collaboration with SNV, a Netherland’s based Organization.
The group before organizing the forum embarked on an inspection tour of the roads in question and detected some defects on the ongoing road construction projects hence the forum.
Mr James Adu Debrah, the Regional Director of Urban Roads, answering some of the questions, in relation to the defects on the ongoing projects, which include the upgrading of the Soe township road, the Ministry -Bukere road, partial reconstruction of Estate road, Tanzui road and the Bolgatanga Polytechnic road, explained that the work on the roads was the first phase, which involves surfacing.
He said usually under the first phase the first coat is done to allow vehicles to ply the roads for a while and assured them that plans were far advanced for the second phase to begin.
The Regional Director, who expressed happiness about the high level of participation of the group, assured that most of the roads were about 50 to 60 per cent complete and that it would be supervised and monitored very well to ensure that quality work was done.
He disclosed that there were plans to rehabilitate the Extee Crystal road, resurfacing of the Bongo and Zaare main roads, the Zuarungu road and Tanzui –Sherigu road and appealed to all citizens to support the Directorate to execute its mandate.
Among some of the challenges the Regional Director mentioned as affecting the smooth operation of the urban roads in the area were the delay in the payment of contractors, inadequate fuel for supervision, coupled with lack of personnel, difficulty in getting land to win gravel and lack of stone quarry in the region.
He urged the stakeholders to report to the Directorate people who dig up portions of the road to lay water pipelines and encouraged the people to cooperate with the contractors.
Mr Milton Aberinga, the Project Manager of the SPEFA, who took the stakeholders on the Public Procurement law stressed the need for value for money and impressed upon the group to be proactive and vigilant in their activities.
The Project Manager who expressed satisfaction about the project entreated the SPEFA group to continue monitoring and identify issues at the Assembly level to help ensure that quality service was rendered.