Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Work on KATH-Abuakwa road at slow pace

Steel workers of China Geo Engineering Corporation working on the Agric junction underpass

Work on the 10.3 Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital- Abuakwa asphaltic concrete surface dual carriageway in Kumasi was progressing at a slow pace.
Former President J. A. Kufuor cut the sod on April 21, 2007 for work to commence on the US$80 million project, which is one of the principal trunk roads in Kumasi.
The project, involves widening of the existing two-lane single carriageway into a dual carriageway with walkways and Bus Rapid Transit facilities, construction of two interchanges, five underpass bridges and landscaping.
However, almost 21 months down the line, the Chinese Contractors, Messrs China Geo Engineering Corporation was yet to achieve any meaningful visible feat on the project.
The contractors are currently working on the first underpass at the Agric Junction out of the entire five underpasses they are to construct in addition to the two interchanges, one at Sofoline and the other at the present Komfo Anokye roundabout.
Landscaping for the sofoline interchange had been done but that of Komfo Anokye was yet to be touched.
In addition landscaping from Bekwai roundabout through Sofoline, Asuoyeboah and Tanoso had also been done.
The project, which is being financed wholly by the Government of Ghana is scheduled for completion within three years.
Many residents of Kumasi expressed delight when work commenced on the project and expressed the hope that the traffic congestion in one of the busiest roundabouts in the metropolis – Sofoline – would soon be a thing of the past.
As a result they are eager to see the completion of the project on schedule without any hindrances.
At the sofoline interchange, traffic from the Abrepo junction and Patasi roads are to be directed to the Sunyani road through an underpass bridge. This is anticipated to ensure the free flow of traffic at the location, which is currently one of the traffic bottlenecks in the city.
A second two level interchange to control vehicular movement will also be constructed at the KATH roundabout, while five underpass bridges would be developed at the University of Education Winneba (UEW) Kumasi campus, Institute of Planning and Technology (IPT), Agric, Apatrapa and South Suntreso junctions to facilitate the smooth flow of vehicular traffic at that

PBC provides borehole for people of Gyankobaah

Nana Asiamah Poku, Toasehene tasting water from the borehole in a calabash. With him is Mr Anthony Osei Boakye, Managing Director of the Produce Buying Company (PBC).

The Produce Buying Company Limited has provided the people of Gyankobaah, a town in the Atwima Nwabiagya District of Ashanti with a borehole valued at GH¢8,030.
This is to enable the town folk have access to clean drinking water since they relied on a stream as their source of water following the breakdown of the borehole in the town.
The Managing Director of PBC, Mr Anthony Osei Boakye explained at the commissioning ceremony that his outfit decided to assist with the borehole as part of its corporate social responsibility.
He said the PBC have decided to provide three (3) boreholes every year at various cocoa producing areas in the country.
He said the PBC instituted a cocoa farmers award day about seven years ago, where hardworking farmers were awarded by the company every year.
Mr Boakye said the company have decided to change focus and rather provide boreholes, which it felt would go to the benefit of many people in the communities instead of the awards which went to individuals.
He said another borehole had been constructed for the people of Boudi in the Western region and would soon be commissioned.
Mr Thomas Ofori Donkoh, District Chief Executive for Atwima Nwabiagya and the chief of Toase, Nana Asiamah Poku expressed appreciation to PBC for the kind gesture.
There was delight on the faces of the community members of Gyankobaah, especially the women folk who sang and danced and expressed appreciation to PBC for the kind gesture.
The DCE Mr Thomas Ofori Donkoh said the provision of clean drinking water with the construction of boreholes was prime on the agenda of the District Assembly.
He said a total of 73 boreholes were provided for various communities in 2008 and that the assembly have planned to install 200 this year in collaboration with the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB).
He called for the expansion of the cocoa spraying gangs in the area so as to enable a lot more farmers benefit from the spraying exercise.
Mr Kwaku Gaisie, Ashanti Regional Manager of PBC called on the community members to take very good care of the borehole so as to ensure a longer lifespan.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Radio Xtacy focuses on urban entertainment

A new radio station, intended to focus mainly on urban entertainment is set to be launched in Kumasi.
Radio Xtacy, is how the owners have christened the new station which was currently playing test transmission on the 94.5mhz, which used to be known as Kesewaa Radio.
Kesewaa Radio has undergone a revamp with the name changed to Radio Xtacy as the whole station has been dissolved with the entire management team changed.
Ownership however is still in the name of Mr Ofosu Agyarko of Iron Birds.
This comes to three, the number of times that the 94.5mhz radio station has changed names. It started as Kess Radio before becoming Kesesewaa and now Xtacy.
As expected the radio scene is already witnessing the poaching of “highly rated” presenters from already existing radio stations to beef up the human resource base of Radio Xtacy.
Sources within the new station would not confirm this but names like, Billy Ocean of Peace FM, who is regarded as a “highly-respected” disc jockey and a radio presenter with many years experience as well as Magic Sam of Fox FM, also a renowned night club DJ at The Fox Trap Night Club are the names doing the rounds as possible names on the pay roll of the new Radio Xtacy.
Others are Lexis Bill of Kapital Radio, one of the finest urban DJs in Kumasi as well as Andy Kirn, a renowned DJ and radio consultant who have had stints with Kapital Radio and Luv FM during their early days.
The name of DJ Andy Dosty of Angel FM who will try to overturn things in favour of the new station has also cropped up.
Information gathered by the Graphic Showbiz indicated that negotiations were still underway to get these top DJs to work for the new station.
If the deal with Billy Ocean also known as Afrafrahene goes through, then the mix master of either visual audio or audio would be back to the Garden City, where he started it all to do his Afrafra thing.
Billy is really a Don, when it comes to selection, mixes, playing of music and knows what to play at a particular time.
Lexis Bill and Magic Sam are equally good disc jockeys whose inclusion at Radio Xtacy would bring on board more listeners since they are fine DJs who know when to play what and their dexterity is second to none in the Garden city.
With the test transmission of the new station currently running, Kumasi was set to enjoy the best of urban radio and entertainment as the competition to survive intensifies.
Andy Kirn, who was playing a very instrumental role in the setting up of the new station, told the Graphic Showbiz that the new station would be officially launched on January 30, 2009.
This, he said would be culminated with a float through the principal streets of Kumasi and a pool party.
He said the test transmission which started on January 1 was expected to end on January 31 for full programming to start February 1, 2009.
“Our station is going to be all about entertainment. We would be organising a number of events so as to give listeners an opportunity to have fun, apart from the normal night clubbing and funerals”.
“We would be having the normal thing like the morning shows and the others but would ensure that entertainment would dominate. If even it had to do with politics, we would be looking at the entertainment angle”, he said.
Andy Kirn explained that the radio station had to be revamped because, Kesewaa was not doing well on expectations and that it even got to a point where the owners wanted to dispose it off completely.
“Now some of us have come on board and we are changing the style for a mass urban entertainment radio for discerning listeners”, he said.
“When it comes to entertainment radio, we don’t see any competitors in Kumasi as of now and we want to fill that vacuum”, he said.
Whatever the case is, listeners are waiting to see if there would be any significant change in the airwaves with respect to programming since some stations made serious impacts during their various test transmissions but less is being heard of them of late.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Programme for new Kumasi Mayor

Picture shows a busy scene in front of the Kumasi Central Martket

Apart from the issue of decongesting the central business district of Kumasi to rid the streets of hawkers, whoever is appointed the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive would also have to make redevelopment of the Central Market, into a modern status a priority.
The new city boss to take over from Miss Patricia Appiagyei would also have to make waste management a priority issue to deal with.
Kumasi is the capital city of the Ashanti region, a very important and historical centre for Ghana. Tradition is held very high in Kumasi and blends very well with modernity.
There is a wide range of attractions in Kumasi and topmost among them is the Kumasi Central Market, which is a major attraction that attracts a countless of traders from various areas of the country into the city on daily basis to do business.
The market is said to be the biggest in the West African sub region.
The access roads in the market is full of trading activities and people who enter the market have had terrible times meandering through the human traffic.
One may argue that has always been the trend at the market but if that situation was improved upon, many more people would be attracted to go to the market.
As the situation prevails now, it makes it unattractive for many residents to enter the market to buy foodstuff and other commodities because of the human traffic and congestion in there.
Customers to the market are welcomed by filth. Ironically many traders and hawkers sit and transact business in the midst of the filth as if good health doesn’t mean anything to them.
The main entrance road to the market has been converted into a trading area as a result of congestion. Traders openly sell foodstuffs and their wares in the middle of the road and on the pedestrian walkways in the market amidst filth which they themselves generate.
Some display their goods including tomatoes, yams, garden eggs, apples, lettuce and cabbage on the ground over a mat while others put theirs on the bare ground just next to drains filled with stagnant and stinky water.
Again, getting access to the market in times of fire outbreaks has been a major topic of concern and the KMA had been persistently urged to take up the matter.
The old main storey building block has outlived its usefulness as it can no longer accommodate the increasing number of traders in the market. The main storey building could be redeveloped to accommodate more traders in tandem with the expansion of trading activities at the market.
Redeveloping the Central market to befit the status of Kumasi would go a long way to enhance the status of the city as well as improve upon revenue generation for the KMA.
The redevelopment of the market into modern one has been on the drawing board for too long and action must be taken by the current government to make things much better.
It will demand a pragmatic leader to get the assembly to act on this, and whoever will be appointed for that hot position should act swiftly.
Kumasi is indeed going through terrible times and unless the problem is tackled, the image of the city would continue to dwindle.
At least if the market was modernised and expanded, some of the traders who have taken over the streets and pavements could be relocated in the central market to help in the move to decongest the city.
It is currently not clear who was going to be the next Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive but various names have come up for consideration for the position since the NDC was declared winner of the December 2008 elections.
Amongst the names are Mr Joseph Yammin, Mr. Tei Larbi, Mr Dominic Adoma, Mr. Afrifa Yamoah Ponkoh and Mr. Amidu Gariba.
It would therefore be very prudent for the person who becomes the next Metro Chief Executive to also prioritise the issue of sanitation.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Work on Oforikrom-Asokwa carriageway progress at slow pace

Constructional work on the €37million dual carriageway from Oforikrom to Asokwa in Kumasi was progressing little by little.
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor cut the sod for work to commence on the project on Saturday June 21, 2008 but almost seven months down the line, the contractor M/S Shinsung Engineering and Construction Limited from South Korea, was yet to achieve any meaningful feat, with regards to earthworks.
Some residents of Kumasi, who are anxious to see the completion of the project, have expressed concerns about the slow pace of the project, which was expected to be undertaken within two years. Completion date has been slated for June 2010.
Last Friday, when the Daily Graphic visited the project site, the contractor was working on the first culvert for the creation of an access road.
It was observed that earthworks done on the access road was yet to reach one kilometre.
Some officers of the contractor, M/S Shinsung Engineering and Construction Limited from South Korea told the Daily Graphic that they were currently working on diversions and relocations and that they were still in the process of installing their plants.
The officers said they have finished demolishing all the structures in the right of way of the project and that the access road under construction was to help fill some of the swamps in the area as well as construct a bridge over the Aboabo river.
They mentioned that actual construction works which comprised of about 90percent concrete works and 10percent earthworks was yet to start.
The €37million dual carriageway from Oforikrom to Asokwa is being jointly funded by the Government of Ghana and France as part of government's move to handle the traffic situation in the city of Kumasi for easy vehicular movement.
The entire project includes the construction of an interchange at the Timber Gardens at Asokwa and improvement of the Lake road.
The construction of the Oforikrom-Asokwa Bypass followed the completion of the Sokoban Wood Village project, which is a key component of the project where wood workers at Anloga (who were carrying out their activities in the right of way for the road works) are to be relocated to give way for the construction of the road.
There would be a construction of another interchange at the Anloga traffic lights.
There are plans to develop the Kumasi arterial road network and that roads earmarked for expansion in Kumasi are the Sunyani road from the Komfo Anokye roundabout to Abuakwa, which works had already started and scheduled for completion in 2010.
The Mampong road from the Suame roundabout to Ahwia and the Western Bypass from Sofoline to Santasi roundabout. The rest are the southern Bypass from Santasi roundabout through Ahodwo roundabout to Timber Gardens and the Eastern bypass from Timber Gardens to Oforikrom junction.
The outer ring road is a 70 kilometre road around the city which would divert non Kumasi bound traffic away from the city.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Turkey market develops at Santasi roundabout

A new trend of vending livestock, especially turkey, guinea fowl and chicken on the streets at prime areas of the Kumasi metropolis was emerging.
Hitherto, it was newspaper vendors who were noted for standing in those areas in the middle of the road to sell newspapers.
However, the medians are gradually being taken over by livestock vendors.
This, if not checked, could develop into a menace in the likes of other street trading activities, which had become a problem for city authorities to control.
It has been observed that some traders were gradually turning one of the medians at the Santasi roundabout, a prime area in Kumasi, into an area for vending turkey.
The animals are brought unto the median in the middle of the road just in front of the Lavikus Hotel every morning and tied unto stones, ostensibly to invite probable buyers.
Apart from the fact that the animals defecate and soil up the entire area during the course of the day as pedestrians, motorists and tourists move about their daily activities, the lives of the traders, are at risk in case of an accident.
Apart from that, other traders have also mounted chicken cages on the pedestrian walkway a few metres away from the roundabout, also doing brisk business in that area.
It would be appropriate for city authorities to act now than to wait for the practice to degenerate into a situation, which would make it difficult to control.
This is because many of the street vending activities, which had become a nuisance and contributed immensely to the creation of congestion especially in the central business district (CBD) of the Kumasi metropolis, started on a gradual process as what was currently being witnessed at the Santasi roundabout.
Currently, almost every available space in prime areas of the Kumasi metropolis was gradually being turned into a spot for trading activities.
Unfortunately, city authorities have failed to act firmly to control the menace on a sustainable base.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) embarked on an exercise in 2007 and 2008 to get rid of trading activities on pavements and streets but that exercise was disbanded after the traders threatened to refuse to give the New Patriotic Party (NPP) their mandate in the general elections.
The issue of the enforcement of the by-laws of the KMA with regards to street trading have always turned into political debates and for fears of losing electoral votes, successive governments have failed to act firmly on the issue.
For how long would city authorities and politicians continue to play politics with issues of illegality with regards to trading activities on streets, on pavements and on pedestrian walkways instead of looking at the issue holistically?
Come to think of it, if nothing was done to stop the traders who have displayed the turkeys on the median in the Santasi roundabout, others would join in and the entire area would be turned into a turkey market.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Ghanaians usher in New Year

Members of the Aldersgate Singing Group at the Wesley Methodist Cathedral, Adum in Kumasi ushering in the New Year with songs.

In Kumasi, there were various celebrations to mark the end of 2008 and usher in the New Year.
Christians in particular congregated in various church services to usher in the New Year with prayers whilst revellers greeted 2009 with parties at various drinking bars and night clubs.
At the Wesley Methodist Cathedral in Adum, Right Rev. Professor Emmanuel Asante led the congregation in a special prayer to usher in the New Year at midnight.
He called on the congregation to examine their commitment to God, be confident and determined and avoid indiscipline in the New Year.
He said there was the need for Christians to live wise lives and take God seriously instead of living their lives as “mockers” who do not take God’s word serious, blaspheme and joke around.
“Do not live like fools since the fool live a Godless life and is corrupt. Do not also live a life without planning for the future, make a change and move forward”, he said.
On his part Rev Brew Riverson said it was time Ghanaians recognise the need for leadership to triumph in the country and realise the Godly factor in the country as well as know that power belongs to God.
“We should all be prepared to work together with whichever President God chooses for us a country”, he said.
Evangelist Mrs Victoria Brew Riverson in a handshake with Dr Kwakye Marfo (seated)
Rt. Rev Professor Emmanuel Asante. He led the congregation at the Wesley Methodist Cathedral in Adum Kumasi to greet the New Year.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

NPP supporters protest in Kumasi. NDC Chairman attacked

Supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Kumasi today (Wednesday) held a peaceful demonstration, calling on the Electoral Commission to suspend the Tain constituency elections, until it had examined the evidence from the NPP with regards to alleged irregularities in the Volta region in Sunday’s presidential runoff elections.
Wearing red bands and holding placards, the demonstrators besieged the premises of the Regional Administration in Kumasi and demanded to have audience with the Regional Minister, Mr E. A. Owusu Ansah.
They insisted that the Electoral Commission should not go ahead to conduct the Tain elections without examining the grievances of the NPP with regards to alleged irregularities in the Volta region.
Tain, a constituency in the Brong Ahafo region with about 53,000 registered voters is now the battleground where the close presidential race between Professor J. E. Atta Mills and Nana Akufo-Addo will finally be decided on Friday since voting in the runoff in that constituency could not be held as a result of a pending protest.
Announcing the new development in the presidential race in Accra on Tuesday, the EC Chairman, Dr Afari-Djan indicated that the commission was going to conduct investigations into allegations of electoral irregularities in Kumasi in particular and some parts of the Ashanti region as well as the Volta region.
Dr Afari-Djan said that both the NPP and NDC had made allegations against each other and that the NDC for its part had produced evidence on the alleged irregularities but the EC was yet to receive any evidence from the NPP.
The EC Chairman said because of the closeness of the elections, it was necessary to conduct the election in Tain, since results from there could make a difference and gave Friday January 2 as when that election would be held.
However, the NPP demonstrators in Kumasi claimed that once the Electoral Commission listened to the complaints of the NDC with regards to the allegations of irregularities in the Ashanti region, it should give the NPP the opportunity to provide its evidence before the Tain elections was allowed to come off.
The demonstrators held placards some of which read, “Kufuor you are too calm, wake up”, “Volta: Ketu, Hohoe, Avenor, the results are not accepted by NPP”, “Why do you listen to NDC without listening to us”.
Personnel from the Police Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) were called in to control the demonstrators at the premises of the Regional Administration.
A spokesman, Mr P. M. P. Drake Opoku explained that they did not understand why Dr Afari-Djan even went ahead to add disputed results from the Volta region and announced them to the nation before taking evidence from the NPP.
The leadership of the demonstrators later met with the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr E. A. Owusu Ansah who assured them that their concerns would be carried to the leaders of the NPP in Accra.
IN ANOTHER DEVELOPMENT, the police and military are providing twenty-four hour security for the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Daniel Ohene-Agyekum, after hordes of supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Kumasi allegedly attacked his Ridge residence n Kumasi this afternoon.
Two people at the residence were injured and were rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) for medical attention.
As at 4pm today security personnel had barricaded the roads leading to the residence of the NDC regional chairman to prevent further attacks.
The reasons for the attack were not immediately known but it was believed to be linked to the declaration of the presidential run-off by the Electoral Commissioner, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Djan on Tuesday.
The Daily Graphic reporters could cot get access to the residence of the regional chairman and all attempts to speak to him on phone proved futile.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Kwasi Mensah Duku, told the Daily Graphic that the regional police headquarters got information in the afternoon of today that some NPP supporters had attacked the residence of Mr Ohene-Agyekum.
He said earlier on, the regional police commander, DCOP Kwaku Ayesu Opare-Addo, had been informed about a demonstration by NPP supporters at the regional coordinating council (RCC) offices in Kumasi over the decision by the EC to declare the results of the elections when the NPP had raised doubts over the alleged irregularities in the run-off in the Volta Region.
ACP Duku said the regional commander had to rush to the RCC offices to inform the demonstrators that it was illegal to organise the demonstration without informing the police.
It was after dispersing the demonstrators that they marched to Mr Ohene-Agyekum’s residence.
According to deputy regional commander, when the police got information about the attack, they quickly organised and together with the military rushed in to save the situation.
He stated that leaders of the demonstrators were invited to the police headquarters for questioning.
ACP Duku did not give their names but said the suspects were cautioned and later released on bail.
He gave the assurance that the police would not allow anyone to take the law into their hands to misbehave in the aftermath of the elections.
Mr Duku said the security agencies were up to the task and would ensure that law and order prevailed.
He touched on another incident at Asawase on Tuesday night when enthusiastic supporters of the NDC barricaded the road after the electoral commissioner had announced the results, which gave Prof Mills a lead.
He urged the political parties to exercise maximum restraint in their reactions to issues about the elections.