Okuenya, Lower Manya Krobo – The Municipal Chief Executive of Lower Manya Krobo, Honourable Simon Kweku Tetteh has assured farmers affected by the construction of the Tema – Akosombo rail lines at Okuenya in the Eastern region that adequate compensation will be paid them, adding that measures will be put in place to address the flooding of their farms by the Matedor river.
The MCE gave the assurance when he met with the affected farmers at Okuenya on Tuesday. The meeting which involved the assembly chief and several affected farmers, stakeholders and construction firm, AFCONS Infrastructure Limited, was necessitated by the flooding of several farms following the diversion of the course of the Matedor River to pave way for construction works.
The farmers are complaining about the destruction of their farmlands by AFCONS Infrastructure Limited undertaking the 97.3 kilometres Single Standard Gauge Railway Line Tema-Mpakadan.
The diversion has left many farms submerged and destruction to over a hundred acres of farmlands, a development that necessitated the meeting with the various stakeholders to discuss measures to address the devastating effects of the construction activities.
“The meeting with the farmers has become necessary to find ways to construct waterways for the river to avoid flooding the farms,” the honourable MCE asserted adding that he had already instructed AFCONS to construct culverts to serve as waterways for the river.
Hon Simon Kweku Tetteh while assuring that nobody’s interests will be sacrificed during the construction of the railway project urged the affected farmers to be patient as adequate compensation packages are worked out for them.
Present at the meeting were some representatives of AFCON Infrastrcuture Limited, MCE for Lower Manya Krobo, farmers, opinion leaders, representatives of the ADF Real Estates who will evaluate the cost of the affected farms and arrange for adequate compensation for them.
Most farmers who spoke in an interview with Rite news expressed optimism of the authorities taking the appropriate steps to address their concerns which is primarily to create strategic culverts to allow for the flow of the river as well as compensating them adequately for their losses.
84-year-old Martey’s farmland situated in the heart of the Tema-Akosombo rail line is on the verge of destruction, that is if immediate steps are not taken to salvage the devastating effects of the diversion of the Matedor River which has left his farmland submerged.
The diversion of the river, an awkward contractual discretion to AFCONS has already destroyed the chuck part of my 30 acres farmland of mangoes, okro, maize, etc, a bitter Mr. Martey complained to Rite news’ Michael Oberteye who visited the affected farms.
But shortly after the area recently received volumes of rainfall in the last few weeks, the eighty-four-year-old farmer says the rains totally submerged most of his crops while the ‘lucky’ few were covered up to waist level.
Mr. Martey is not alone in his concerns. Several other farmers have been affected by the diversion following the activities of the rail line project.
The concerns of the farmers have prompted affected farmers to call for immediate intervention from the Ghana rail development authority, AFCON Infrastructure Limited, municipal authorities and other stakeholders.
Other stakeholders in the project have also been called upon to as a matter of urgency intervene to salvage the problem.
The project which is expected to be completed by June 2020 when completed will include; the construction of rail tracks of standard gauge, railway maintenance facilities for locomotive and wagons, building of stations at specific locations with communications and signal equipment and capacity building for personnel in all aspects of the railway system.
The project would also facilitate the transportation of goods from Northern landlocked neighbouring countries to Tema Port through Multi-modal transportation and facilitate passenger connectivity between districts.
The project would also help to re-vitalise the rail and lake transport systems with consequent social and economic benefits accruing from both nationally and more specifically within district levels, reducing transport costs, reducing Environment impacts and improved avenues of export of natural resources through better transportation facility as well as improve connectivity to neighbouring countries like Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.