The government has paid mobilization funds to contractors executing the 10 landing beaches projects, the Minister of Transport, Mr. Kweku Ofori Asiamah, has said.
He said funds earmarked for the construction of the projects were available and that the government was committed to the completion of the projects to boost the local fishing economy in the beneficiary communities.
Addressing a durbar of the chiefs and the people of Mumford in the Gomoa West District in the Central Region last Wednesday, the minister noted that “the issue of money or the lack of money is not a problem, as the government has made initial payments to the project contractors for work to begin”.
In December 2018, the Minister of Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, announced that the government had earmarked $235 million for the construction of 10 coastal fishing and landing sites.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut the sod at Moree in the Central Region on July 26, 2019, for the simultaneous start of the projects, in fulfillment of his campaign promise to the people of the coastal communities.
When completed, the project — which is being executed by the China Harbour and Engineering Company over a two-year period — will provide each of the 10 landing beach sites with a fish market, a net mending hall, a daycare centre, toilet facilities, an administration building, an ice-making plant, a cold store, a workshop and a premix fuel station.
The beneficiary coastal towns are Axim, Dixcove, Elmina, Moree, Mumford, Winneba, Senya Beraku, Gomoa Fetteh, Teshie and Keta.
Mr Asiamah noted that the conditions under which the fisher folks in the beneficiary communities operated were not the best.
“The President’s vision is to ensure that the beaches and the fishing industry are hygienic for the people to work to improve their fishing activities,” he said.
The minister said the target was to complete 70 percent of the work by November 2020 and charged community members to own the projects by monitoring their progress.
He charged the contractor to respect the local content part of the contract and ensure that some of the workers were engaged from the respective communities to provide direct and indirect jobs for the youth in those areas.
The Central Regional Minister, Mr Kwamena Duncan, said Mumford deserved the project, since it contributed immensely to the improvement of the fishing industry in the country, saying the construction of a landing beach there was long overdue.
He expressed the hope that the project, which had been on the community’s wish list for the past 66 years, would become a reality by the agreed completion date.
The consultant on the project, Mr. Ben Reeskamp, assured the people that it would be professionally done and completed within the contracted date.
The Mankrado of Mumford, Nana Okumtwi Brebo Asamoadu VII, expressed displeasure about the failed promises made to them by successive governments in relation to the project.
He said in spite of the disappointments as a result of unfulfilled promises to the people, their expectations were still high, saying: “We are of the firm belief that this time around the project will become a reality.”