Work on the Tamale interchange, the first to be constructed in the northern part of the country, has started in earnest barely three months after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the commencement of the project.
According to the Northern Regional Director of Urban Roads, Mr Kwasi Darko, residents whose houses would be pulled down to make way for the road works would be compensated. The move, he said, was to ensure that construction went on smoothly and was completed on time.
However, he said the Tamale Central Mosque, located close to the project site, would not be affected.
Mr Darko made this known in an interview with the Daily Graphic.
He said owners of houses to be affected had been contacted and compensation packages were being discussed.
“Work has begun in earnest. Unfortunately, some houses might be affected. Those houses have been identified and we are in talks with owners so that we can compensate them to pave the way for the work to go on smoothly.
“Though the Central Mosque is also close to the project, I must emphasise that it will not be affected in any way and will not be pulled down contrary to the concerns of residents,” Mr Darko assured.The interchange is expected to improve the traffic situation in the metropolis and, given its proximity to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Togo, it will also contribute to enhance trade relations and integration among countries in the sub-region.
The one-kilometre stretch of interchange is part of Phase One of the $2 billion Master Project Support Agreement (MPSA) between the Government of Ghana and Sinohydro Corporation of China, under which a number of infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges, housing facilities and electricity extension to rural communities across the country, are to be executed.
The Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta, visited the project site recently to find out the challenges that the contactor on the project was facing. He was accompanied on the visit by the Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Anthony Karbo; the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Saeed, and other officials from the Roads And Highways Ministry.
He said he was hopeful that the contractor would work hard to meet the project timelines and adhere strictly to the project plan.
“I am very optimistic that the contractor will do a good job; I am aware of his performance,” he said.
Even though construction works are expected to create inconveniences for residents in the metropolis, some say they are ready to go through with it given the importance and necessity of the project.
“I initially had doubts about the project and did not think it will become a reality because I believed it was just a political gimmick, but now that work has commenced, I am very happy,” Adam Salifu, a resident, told the Daily Graphic.
Currently, the central part of Tamale experiences vehicular gridlock during peak periods, so the interchange, when completed, will reduce time spent in traffic, as well as enhance trade, development and socio-economic activities in the city and beyond.
On April 10, 2019, President Akufo-Addo launched the $2 billion Government of Ghana–Sinohydro Master Project Support Agreement and also cut the sod for the construction of the Tamale interchange.
According to the President, through a barter arrangement, Sinohydro Limited will provide $2 billion worth of priority infrastructure projects of the government’s choice across the country in exchange for Ghana’s refined bauxite.