The Chiefs and People of Sumbrumgu, a suburb of Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region have warned that, they will resist any attempt by government to relocate the Bolgatanga Airstrip proposed site at Anateem to Sherigu.
The group alleged that relocation of the airstrip was a calculated attempt by the Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Bukari and the Aviation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah to relocate the proposed site currently at Anateem.
They backed their suspicion with the claim that, the Aviation Minister led by the Regional Minister deliberately visited aviation projects at Paga and another proposed site for the Bolgatanga Airstrip at Sherigu but refused to visit the Bolgatanga proposed Airstrip at Anateem.
At a press conference in Sumbrumgu, spokesperson for the group, Elias Ayinbila Apasiya questioned why the ministry of Aviation would want to relocate the proposed project to another place.
[contextly_sidebar id=”Iy0vaYheul2bABMZ4ZGOD1cgYNwOqW3b”]”We want to ask the Regional and Aviation ministers why they want to abandon the Anateem Airport project and throw government’s investment into the gutters and begin to incur the same expenditure which could have been used to continue the completion of the existing project.”
“We therefore, insist that the airport project should be continued at Anateem. And failure to do, we will use all legitimate means to make sure that the project is not relocated to Sherigu,” Apasiya stated.
But the Upper East Regional minister Rockson Bukari told Citi News, that the relocation of the airstrip to Sherigu was as a result of poor soil quality not suitable for citing the airstrip at Anateem.
“It is not the case that, we just want to relocate the Bolgatanga proposed airstrip at Anateem to Sherigu but the soil there (Anateem) is not good for an airstrip after experts conducted soil test on that site long ago and that also accounted for the stalled of works on that site for a long time.”
“But when the experts conducted soil test at Sherigu, they [experts] realized the soil there was the best that is why the Aviation ministry considered relocating the airstrip there otherwise who am I(Rockson Bukari) to relocate an airstrip from Anateem to Sherigu and in what capacity was I doing that? But that was the conclusion of the experts to relocate the propose Bolga airstrip to Sherigu,” he added.
The abandoned Bolgatanga Airport at Anateem
The proposed construction of the Bolgatanga Regional Airport which started in 1995 in Anateem, a suburb of Bolgatanga has been abandoned after several attempts by previous governments to rehabilitate it.
The proposed airport has a runway of 120 meters width and a length of 3.5 kilometers as been abandoned.
It was in 2013 that, former President John Mahama visited the site and promised to get it rehabilitated but the project is yet to kickstart.
The site has now become a grazing ground for animals with the cleared trees re-surfacing.
The road leading to the proposed Bolgatanga regional airport has developed cracks including breakdown of culverts resulting from erosion and sand wining.
By: Frederick Awuni/citifmonline.com/Ghana