Government has reaffirmed its commitment to ensure that the processes leading up to the construction of the Dipke Bridge at Dipke in the Lawra Municipality is fast tracked.
The expedited process would ensure that residents in Ghana and those in neighboring Burkina Faso are able to travel and transport goods across between both countries seamlessly.
The Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP), for Lawra Anthony Karbo said that the project has been handed over to a contractor who had done soil tests and other preliminary tests to determine which materials would be best suited for the project.
Mr. Larbi said this while interacting with the media after he led a delegation to the project site.
The team was made up of representatives from Ghana and Burkina Faso. The delegation from Burkina Faso who came on behalf of the Prime Minister was led by Fidel Toe.
They were to inspect the design, get informed about the process and implementation of project plans.
The two-way Dipke Bridge will be 275 metres long and 70 metres wide. The steel and concrete bridge will be raised a little above the ground with pylons to keep it above rising water level in the Black Volta when it rains.
The Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways explained that about 75 metres of the bridge would be in Burkina Faso thus the need to hold bilateral talks and set up a committee with representatives from both countries to oversee the completion of the project.
He said the committee will deal with cross-border disputes, travel restrictions, land litigation and compensation for persons whose lands would be affected.
Mr. Karbo also said aside the enormous benefits after construction; the construction process itself is going to provide employment for residents in the two countries.
“When this project starts, both sides; Ghana and Burkina Faso will benefit. The villages here will benefit. When there are employment opportunities, the contractor would employ the local people. This is an important project because residents from Bawku to Bolga, from Bolga through Navrongo to Tumu, Hain, Bo, Eremon and Lawra will cross here into Ouagadougou.”
Mr. Karbo also mentioned that a bypass is being constructed to lessen the motor traffic to and from Burkina Faso from the town itself.
The Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, Amidu Chinnia Issahaku who was part of the delegation said he was excited about the project. He said it would go a long way to boost trade between the two countries.
“This project is important to both countries as it will enhance both social and economic in Lawra and Ghana as a whole and Burkina Faso and so we will need to get the bridge bridged. For that to happen there must be collaboration between the two sides because the project is going into Burkina as well.”
The Chief of Lawra, Naa Puowelle Karbo thanked government for the decision to construct the bridge. He said residents have been appealing to various governments to construct the bridge for about 60 years. It would be recalled that the construction of the Dipke Bridge was captured in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 budgets of the Akufo-Addo administration.
Story by Mark Smith