NORTH GONJA DISTRICT:THE SEASONAL ISLAND.
North Gonja District is one of the seven (7) districts in the Savannah region. It was carved out of the then larger West Gonja District by the Atta Mills/ John Mahama NDC government on the 28th of June, 2012.
North Gonja District with its capital being Daboya, has a population of 61,432 according to the 2021 Population and Housing Census with most of the inhabitants being farmers and fishermen, smock weavers, and others, traders and public sector workers.
The district is bounded by West Gonja District to the West, Tolon District to the East, Mamprugu Moagduri and Kumbungu districts to the North and Central Gonja to the South.
North Gonja is surrounded by the White Volta and its accessory streams, impeding free movement of vehicles and people in and out of the district.
The creation of the North Gonja District brought immerse benefits to the people of the district. Few amongst the many benefits include the building of an ultra modern office complex for the District Assembly, Office for the Electoral Commission, and ultra modern Community Day SHS and many others.
These developmental projects were possible because the Visionary JM was able to complete the construction of two metal bridges at Tachali and Mognori, connecting West Gonja and the Southern Part of Ghana to North Gonja District.
These two bridges were the only means that allowed constructors and engineers to move their machines and raw materials into the North Gonja District to undertake projects.
The bridges also aided the farmers and traders to send their products out of the district for business purposes.
In fact without these bridges, development was impeded since no vehicle could move into the district.
Several pleas were made to Several governments to construct the Daboya bridge; a bridge across the White Volta that will link North Gonja to Tamale and other places, but those pleas fell on deaf ears, in fact John Agyekum Kuffour prior to the 2000 general elections for the purposes of votes made it a campaign promise, but of course, typical of NPP, it was a hoax.
JM, a man known to fulfil his promises, made a pledge to continue with his efforts of solving the inaccessibility of roads in North Gonja District especially, during the raining season by constructing a bridge across the White Volta to link the district to the east when given the mandate again after the 2016 general elections.
Unfortunately, Ghanaians bought into the lies of NPP, and JM lost the elections. This made the pledge by JM unrealistic since he cannot construct the bridge from opposition.
Before the Visionary JM left office in January 2017, work on the Busunu-Daboya Road was ongoing steadily with tarring of the road done up to Langanter3.
Drainage systems were also being constructed in Daboya township so as to reduce if not completely eradicate the incidences of flooding in Daboya township during the raining season.
Unfortunately, power changed hands, and the Busunu-Daboya road construction was abrogated by the Akuffo Addo/Dr. Bawumia NPP government.
Notwithstanding, thanks to JM,the good people of North Gonja were still able to travel out of the district even during the raining season when the water levels are high due to the two metal bridges.
Nature always has a way of causing havoc but God in his infinite wisdom has given man the wisdom to maintain any havoc created by nature.
Prevention they say is better than cure, hence the importance of maintenance culture. One would have expected that the NPP government even if they could not continue with the Busunu-Daboya road construction, would at least practice some form of maintenance culture on it.
However, maintenance culture on the road was not done, leading to a gradual depletion of the road and subsequent cutoff of the road due to erosion, heavy downpour and overflow of the Tachali river.
Several cries were made to the governing NPP before shoddy work was done to restore the road back to human use.
The people of North Gonja District had high hopes that once the raining season was done, a comprehensive work will be done to provide a permanent solution to the peril that road exposes the good people of North Gonja to. A stitch in time, they say saves nine, however, it’s either the NPP does not believe in that saying or they are probably taking the good people of North Gonja for granted.
After the shoddy work, nothing was done about the construction of that road even after several pleas from the people.
Daboya township roads have also been left unattended to and the inhabitants continue to suffer.
The promise of the NPP to construct a bridge over the White Volta have been realized to be a deception of the good people of North Gonja.
It’s yet another raining season, and North Gonja has been cut off from the rest of Ghana. No vehicle can leave the district neither can one enter.
The Nation Ambulance Service that is supposed vehicle that is used to save lives in times of emergency is now a white elephant since there is no motorable roads now.
The only means of movement now is by motorbikes, which is now becoming impossible because of shortage of fuel in the district.
The district capital have two fuel stations but both have ran short of fuel due to the inability of fuel tankers to drive into the town.
On daily basis, travelers risk their lives to sit on canoes and boats for several minutes to cross the river because that is the only means to get out of the “island”.
Public sector workers who are hydrophobic have to vacate post, causing low productivity.
On Friday the 30th of September, 2022, a boat carrying passengers and goods capsided and sank into the Tachali river due to high water levels currently, thanks to God, the people have been rescued, the worse could have happened. As I write the boat is still lost in the deep water.
Few days ago motorbikes and laptops of travelers sunk into the river at Daboya, thanks to good swimmers around, they have been retrieved but to what use is a laptop that has been completely immerse in water for a while?
These are but a few unfortunate incidences the people of North Gonja are facing annually.
It’s disheartening to note that, the NPP thinks more of votes and elections than the quality of lives of the people that will do that voting.
It’s surprising to note that, even part of the much touted Daboya-Mankarigu road has been flooded. This got me thinking, how could a road that has just been constructed with culverts get flooded? What kind of road engineers and surveyors worked on the road?
JM and NDC shall bring massive development to the good people of North Gonja, God willing 2025 and beyond when voted into power.
Until then, the NPP should stop sleeping on the job and use the tax payers’ money judiciously to solve their problems.
The NPP should alleviate the suffering of the people of North Gonja by continuing the construction of the Busunu-Daboya road and finding a permanent solution to the unwanted yearly “island” North Gonja turns into.
Enough of the disregard of the NPP to the good people of North Gonja
The good people of North Gonja deserve better
Our lives matter too
Sidik Jabaru John (J J)
Member; Daboya-Mankarigu Constituency NDC Communication Bureau