The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Mr Thomas Alonsi, says the Authority has spent GHC19 million to remove stumps from the Oti River to ensure safe navigation in inland waters.
Mr Alonsi said the amount was paid for work done by the Kete Krachi Timber Company on a 30-kilometre stretch by way of cutting trees and the removal of stumps from the Oti River to make transportation easy.
Areas covered were Tumpanja to Dzelokope, five kilometres; Dzelokope to Dambai, seven kilometres; and Dambai to Njari, 18 kilometers, all totalling 30 kilometres.
He said the mandate of the Ghana Maritime Authority included ensuring safe transportation in inland waters and that could only be achieved if the trees or stumps that caused accidents on the river were removed.
“The stumps you see here pose a great risk to people and commuters on the lake because they result in boat accidents on inland waters,” the CEO stated.
“I’m here in the company of the board members of the Authority, the Ghana Navy Commander, Rear Admiral Seth Amoama, and supporting staff to pay a working visit to the place to see the extent of work done.
He said the Authority commissioned Kete Krachi Timber Company to cut the trees and remove stumps from the river to aid smooth transportation, without any hitches, and a year on, we are here to inspect the work done so far.”
He hinted that similar work was going on at Yeji in the Bono East Region.
Mr Alonsi said after this exercise, “we are going to liaise with the Krachi East Municipal Assembly to bring in the Forestry Commission to assess the economic value of the trees and a decision would be made as to what to do with them.”
For his part, the Municipal Chief Executive Officer of Krachi East, Mr Patrick Charty Jilimah, expressed his gratitude to the Authority, the Ghana Navy and the entire people in the catchment areas for their support throughout the exercise.
Mr Jilimah said the removal of the stumps and cutting of the trees had made transportation on the lake easy and accident-free.