Youth cultivating marijuana due to unemployment - Chief
The acting Paramount Chief of Kpalime traditional area has expressed concern about the increasing rate of unemployment in his area which he described as "a major key social risk."
Torgbui Adza Wiah Kwesi II explained that the phenomenon which has taken a toll on the livelihood of youth in the area might have contributed to the increase of marijuana cultivation in the South Dayi district which is said to be a major haven for the illegal trade.
He made the assertion over the weekend at the climax of their annual Kpalikpakpa festival at Kpalime Duga in the South Dayi district of the Volta region.
"We have identified youth unemployment as one key social risk within the Kpalime traditional area. The risk is gradually developing into alarming proportions. There is the wild believe that South Dayi district is a major haven for marijuana cultivation in Ghana," he said.
Torgbui Wiah Kwesi II argued that because his youth have no other alternative hence their engagement in "the illegal trade of marijuana which is described to be attractive and very lucrative" to support their lives.
He mentioned that "it is apparent that the youth are prepared to engage in active farming activities. I, therefore, call on government to provide alternative livelihoods support in the form of cash crop cultivation that is equally economically viable or other income generating activities such as an agro-based factory or skill training to empower or serve as income generation for the youth."
He detailed that due to system failures and regulatory breaches by law enforcement agencies, Ghana has failed to control the illegal underground business.
Torgbui Wiah Kwesi also pleaded with government to provide a mechanized borehole to augment potable water supply to the area since there has been a perennial water shortage in recent times.
Nevertheless, he was grateful to government for commencing construction works on the Todome -Toh road, Anyirawase - Kpeve road and Bame - Dzolokpuita road as promised but was skeptical on the timely delivery of the roads.
"Information available to us suggests that the Anyirawase - Kpeve road project was awarded under government of Ghana funded project instead of Cocoa Roads Rehabilitation Program as promised. Our worry is about the change."
He added that "There are many road contracts awarded under government of Ghana which is sometimes delayed or abandoned due to financial challenges. The slow pace of work on the Asikuma - Have a section of the Eastern Corridor road is a source of worry to us.
"Our fervent hope is that all road contracts ongoing in the Kpalime traditional area are successfully completed on schedule, we shall be closely monitoring", he concluded.