Drivers plying the Han-Tumu highway to Burkina Faso have come together to patch the unmotorable Han – Tumu highway with bare hands.
Over 40 vehicles stopped and filled the potholes and gullies that had developed on most parts of the road posing a threat to the drivers and increasing the cost of maintaining their vehicles.
The drivers blocked the Nandom, Wa stretch of the road as well as the Han – Tumu section for all vehicles to stop and participate in a voluntary filling and patching of the deteriorated portion while others parted away some monies in solidarity with the action, which took about two hours.
Benin Yakubu, a businessman who uses the road regularly told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Jeffissi in the Sissala West District that the drivers got so frustrated with the situation of the road after a series of accidents and the many gullies that had developed on the road, which made transportation of goods from the Southern part of Ghana extremely difficult and time-wasting to cart.
Mr Yakubu said the action left over forty vehicles both from Tumu and Han parked to participate in the action.
He said “I paid GH¢20.00 as my support and still helped in carrying stones from the nearby bush to fill some of the potholes, which had become very deep and left many drivers complaining of break down and damages to their shocks and tyres. In the process of helping, I nearly got bitten by a snake under a stone”.
He called on the members of Parliament of the Sissala East and Sissala West to initiate the process of leading the youth and drivers to demonstrate to the government about the seeming neglect of the Tumu-Han-Bolga towards Burkina-Faso highway where several truckloads of goods are transported on weekly basis.
Mr Sule Issah who drives from Techiman weekly said in 2012, the road from Han to Jeffisi was a bit motorable but that due to neglect, the road had deteriorated.
“Coming through to Tumu has been so difficult since independence meanwhile it’s a border town, since last week I spent close to GH¢5,600 on tyres and other parts of my truck, the government must do something since transporting goods is our livelihood”, he said.
“This is the road from Wa to Tumu, cars cannot even move, and drivers themselves have to go down and carry stones to fill potholes, it’s pathetic”, Mr Mohammed Issah, a driver said.
Some of the drivers also questioned whether the people in the Sissala area took part in the national election since the Sissala enclave had been totally neglected.
A trade who identified himself as Aziz said, “Look, the vehicles are stacked in the dry season and they cannot even move, it means in the rainy season it will be serious, if the roads are tarred we can even come from Techiman to Tumu to Ougadougu twice in a week and this will create work for the youth”.
He has therefore appealed to the government to pay attention to the Sissala roads.
The haulage of goods from Ghana to Ouagadougou through Tumu involves fruits, tubers, detergents, gari, and dawadawa, whilst animals, millet, and sorghum are carried into Ghana.
The Tumu-Wa highway construction was given to some five contractors in 2023 to ensure early completion but only two out of the five contractors namely Marippona Limited and Ashcal Limited are on site in Lilixia and Pulima respectively whilst Ghanem Construction Limited on the other hand has commenced applying bitumen from Mwankuri towards Han.