Hon.Osei Assibey Antwi
By: A news desk report
The New Trust Newspaper has gathered that, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), has taken tough measures as part of its commitment to deal with lawlessness, erosion among other challenges confronting the users of the Sokoban wood village.
To this end, plans were far advanced to fix some deplorable bridges, especially the one in front of the Sokoban wood village toll booth and the administration block which the road users and workers at the village have complained about for several times. The assembly has also adopted strategy to prevent indiscriminate littering of refuse in the area.
Hon.James Nana Prempeh, convener for Revenue sub-committee of KMA,who confirmed this to The New Trust Newspaper announced that,the Assembly has tasked a contractor to fix the bridges at the wood village.
He revealed that, they have also set- up a managerial committee and Task force to help deal with all the concerns of the users of the Facility.
He said to help address the lawlessness on the part of most wood sellers who block the access roads haphazardly, contributing to the destruction of inner roads and causing erosion, as soon as the contractor is done with the bridges and other assignment, the formed task force will begin their operation.
Hon.James Nana Prempeh said when the Task force starts their operation, Sokoban Wood village will now be opened from 5:00 am and close by 7 pm each day to help prevent lawlessness.
On the deplorable road networks at Sokoban Wood village, he revealed that the Assembly has consulted Urban Roads Department and all the necessary assessments have been done by them with a promised that they would help fix the inner roads of Sokoban wood village.It would be recalled that, in recent times users of the facility have threatened to stop paying levies to the Assembly if their concerns were not attend to .However, the Assembly’s delegation few days ago held a meeting with stakeholders precisely on Friday 10th September,2021 to brainstorm on strategies taken to deal with their concerns.
Flash back! LAWLESSNESS, EROSION TAKES OVER SOKOBAN WOOD VILLAGE. ..
By: Isaac Amoah
The New Trust Newspaper investigation has established that lawlessness on the part of mostly wood sellers, others and failure of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly(KMA) to control the business activities has resorted to terrible erosion at Sokoban Wood enclave.
A number of shop owners who have had their machines destroyed by the terrible erosion system and the lawlessness on the part of most of the wood sellers who usually block the access road have vowed to take all the necessary action to make sure that the rights things are done.
Mr.Peter Kofi Duodu, Ghanaian- based in Canada who was one of the first people who acquired shops at the wood village has had two of his machines broken down as a result of persistent lawlessness of wood sellers.
Pictorial and video evidence available to this paper indicates wood sellers who block access road to off load their goods usually leave the pieces uncollected compounding to severe erosion.
The access roads in most part of the village have become deplorable. A number of residents around the wood village have also expressed grave concerned about the inability of KMA to control the wood sellers who always block the access road to offload their goods without recourse to other users of the roads.
Most concerned residents who couldn’t bear the usual blockage of access roads are calling on the KMA authorities to deal with the situation and quickly improve the road network to avoid frequent erosion or have themselves to blame …
The King of Asante,Otumfuo Osei Tutu II who provided the land and former President John Agyekum Kufour whose administration acquired the loan for the project would weep if they visit the Sokoban wood village which gives KMA and for that matter government huge revenue but have been left unattended to, concerned shop owners and residents lamented.
When contacted the wood seller claim that they don’t have any place to offload their goods without usual blocking of the road.
Meanwhile,Concerned shop owners and residents in the area are also recommending for KMA to set up a strong taskforce to help check the lawlessness on the part of wood sellers.
They also recommend for the Assembly to create a special space for offloading of the wood from all part of the country coming to the Wood village for the wood sellers for a fee and that could help stop the haphazard and frequently blocking of the main roads for the purposes of loading their goods.
Source close to the KMA Administrator at Sokoban Wood Village enclave indicates that there have been several appeals to the Central administration to address the concerns of shop owners and residents in the area who suffered road block by wood sellers but such appeals are yet to be addressed
However, when contacted personally for her comment, the administrator declined to talk to the media and directed us to the Central Administration of KMA.
As a backgrounder!
President John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday,4th December,2008 inaugurated the Sokaban Wood Village Complex, an ultra-modern enclave built for carpenters and wood sellers at Anloga and other parts of Kumasi.It involved the construction of sheds, access roads, electricity and reliable water supply on 12.35 hectares.
The 11 million Ghana cedis project, jointly funded by Agence Francaise Development and Ghana Government forms part of the Kumasi Roads and Urban Development Project.
President Kufuor said with the completion of the project, the way had been paved for other components of the project including the road works, an interchange at Timber Gardens and Oforikrom Junction to progress smoothly.
He said the project would in addition, attract and generate substantial traffic and account for a significant percentage of the economy as well as providing a more secure, safe and congenial environment to the hardworking wood workers to increase productivity in the timber industry.President Kufuor was optimistic provision of adequate modern infrastructure facilities in the area would no doubt contribute to the high productivity and wealth creation of the people.
He expressed the appreciation of Government and the people to France for the support and assistance Ghana continued to enjoy from her.
President Kufuor described the project as a landmark initiative and a functional monument to the friendship and co-operation between Ghana and France.He asked Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to institute measures including private sector participation to ensure the continuous maintenance of the facilities to achieve the long-term objectives of the project.
President Kufuor said the assembly should take proactive measures to acquire additional land to accommodate apprentice-trainees who after completion of their training, might want to set up some sheds there.Dr Richard Winfred Anane, Minister for Transportation, said the Ring Road Urban Development Project consisted of five main elements which were, the Oforikrom-Asokwa by pass, Lake Road, Lake Road Interchange, Landscaping of the Aboabo River banks and Sokoban Wood Village Complex.He said the resettlement plan of the wood workers also included the payment of compensation to residents’ structures within the area.
Dr Anane announced that 500,000 euros had been allocated for the management of the resettlement process for the provision of wood processing equipment, drying kiln, training for the workers, HIV/AIDS /Malaria prevention campaigns and forest plantation development.
He said the project would in addition, assist in the transportation of their equipment and wares from Anloga to the wood village and hoped their re-location would be completed by the end of January 2009.
Madam Patricia Appiagyei, Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, expressed appreciation to the chiefs and people in the area for providing land for the project.Daasebre Osei Bonsu, Mamponghene who represented Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, urged the chiefs and people of the area to team up with the management committee to ensure successful implementation of the project to enhance the living standards of the artisans.Mr. Francis Hurtut, France Ambassador to Ghana, said the project would strengthen the cordial relations between both countries to ensure development.Credit:Gna)