Residents of Samreboi, a community in the Amenfi West District of the Western Region have bemoaned the dilapidated nature of the only footbridge on Tano River in their community. The bridge which connects the main village to a suburb [Nsuakyir] was constructed in the 1940’s by African Timber and Plywood Company Limited.
The footbridge has an estimated length of 8o meters across the banks of Tano river. It was constructed with iron cables and wooden slabs from end to end.
Sarmatex Timber and Plywood Company Limited in the 1995 took over operations of the lumbering firm. The company have since been maintaining the bridge for the community.
According to the General Manager of Sarmatex Timber and Plywood Company Limited, Richard Nsenkyire the footbridge could collapse and result in fatalities.
“As the population is growing the bridge cannot sustain the number of people now. We’ve written a number of times, in fact over the last ten years to government but we have not had any assistance. We shouldn’t wait until there’s a disaster. The bridge is very weak” he explained.
He was however quick to add that the company has already taken an assessment of the footbridge and that plans have been developed to reconstruct the bridge.
“We’ve brought external technical people to assess it. And it cannot be reinforced, we need an alternative foot bridge. I plead with your outfit to make sure that we get an alternative footbridge as soon as possible. Otherwise we cannot even relocate the affected people to their previous settlement. There would be a disaster when we don’t attend to it”
Mr Nsenkyire says the company would be looking forward to collaborate with government in putting up a new footbridge for the people. He mentions they have the needed logistics and expertise in bridge construction.
Residents of Samreboi after being distressed by massive flood are expressing intense anxiety over the gradual degradation of the footbridge. Most of the wooden slabs are missing and the wire mesh used as a wall along both edges of the bridge have all worn out.
A community volunteer Mark Quayson tells Skyy News’ Reporter Abraham Mensah that hundreds of residents at Nsuokyir have since not been able to cross the river via the footbridge to salvage damaged properties. Some alleged thieves have taken advantage of the situation and are looting the affected.
Almost a thousand people in Samreboi have been displaced by the flash flood. The Tano River which flows along the length of the village broke its banks submerging buildings, farms and other properties.
Following news on the crisis the Disaster Response Team from the Western Regional Directorate of NADMO joined the Deputy Minister for Western Region Eugenia Gifty Kusi on an inspection visit to the community on Sunday July 9, 2017.
A truckload of relief items were present by the minister on behalf of government to the distressed residents.