Regional News of 2014-09-02

Weija abandons footbridge; Destroys Dam gate for easy access

Residents of some communities around the Weija Dam have abandoned a footbridge constructed over the Densu River to aid their movement.

They have, instead, reverted to the old practice of scaling the fence of the dam to get access to Weija.

According to them, the current steel footbridge does not link residents on one side of the Weija Dam to the main Weija town and, as a result, makes it difficult for inhabitants of Ayigbe Town, SCC, Old Barrier, Bortianor and Broadcasting to undertake their daily activities in Weija.

The 40-metre footbridge was constructed last year after the Daily Graphic had published in the September 14, 2012 edition of the paper that 275 pupils from the Weija Cluster of Schools had dropped out of school because they could not easily move to and from school.

The lack of the footbridge made the over 1,200 pupils resort to scaling the fence of the Weija Dam to get to school.

The construction of the bridge was a permanent measure by the government to address the problem.

When the Daily Graphic visited the area, the metal gate of the bridge had been destroyed, making it easier for people to pass through to climb the fence.

Although the main gate of the bridge had been locked, the absence of security personnel made it possible for some residents to climb the gate.

Some residents who spoke to the Daily Graphic after two weeks of monitoring, said the footbridge was constructed without soliciting the views of residents at both ends of the Weija Dam.

Mr Patrick Ayetoho, a resident of Weija, said he had no option but to revert to the old way of scaling the wall to get access to undertake his business activities at SCC.

“Jumping the fence is easier because I can use only five minutes to reach SCC than to use the main road or the footbridge on the Densu River,” he said.

Mr Ayetoho said although it was illegal to climb the fence, he would continue to use the unapproved route because “it is easier and costs less."

He, however, suggested that the management of the Weija Dam should open the main entrance for only older people while schoolchildren should be escorted by security personnel.

One of the pupils, who had gone for vacation classes but was spotted earlier climbing the wall, said she and her mates had been climbing the fence.

According to her, most of her mates use the same unapproved entry because the fence is closer to their school.

Asked whether they encountered any difficulties, she said they only had to monitor the movement of the security personnel who occasionally guarded the fence.

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