‘Okada’ easing transportation challenges in communities in Lower Manya Krobo

Okada Transportation Krobo The Okada riders spoke to GhanaWeb in an interview

Thu, 28 Jan 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Correspondence from Eastern Region:

Bad roads in most rural communities mean most rural dwellers in various parts of the country have no option but to patronize the commercial motorcycle (okada) as the most reliable means of transportation.

GhanaWeb visited some of these communities in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality in the Eastern Region to observe the impact okada plays on the transportation needs of the people and how the motorcycles are helping to address the transportation difficulties they face.

At Oborpah, about ten motorcycles are parked at the junction waiting to transport the rural folk through untarred roads to various, hard to reach communities in the hinterlands.

These are communities where vehicles visit only on market days, thus Wednesdays and Saturdays, and even with these, only particular vehicles carry market women from the communities to the markets and back.

The residents in an interview with GhanaWeb expressed relief and gratitude to the motorcycle operators whose services they say have assisted in addressing the transportation challenges of the villagers.

The commercial motorcycle operators ply various communities including Gyekiti, Wawase, Abubeng, Oborpah, Akosombo among a host of others.

Despite the fact that motorcycles easily maneuver their way through the most horrible roads, the riders nevertheless say they find it difficult most times maneuvering their way through the roads due to their horrible nature.

One of the riders, a 24-year-old who gave his name only as Francis noted that aside the economic benefits they derive from the business, they also owe it a duty to provide transportation services to the hundreds of villagers who have no other means of movement other than the motorcycles.

Asked how much they charge for their services, he said “Our charges depend on the junction where the passenger is going or will alight. We charge Gh?10 to Gyerkiti, Gh? 15 to Akompa, Gh?20 to Tsledom, Gh?20 to Abuben, Gh?30 to Wawase, etc.”

He, however, added that sometimes the villagers find their charges exorbitant and they are compelled to reduce the fares for them.

Another rider, Tetteh Abraham lamented about the poor nature of the roads which he said hampers their businesses.

“Mostly, our problem here is the bad nature of the road, the road is very bad. Sometimes when it rains, it becomes so bad that we’re unable to ply the routes. Even if we try to go, we go through so much difficulties,” he said adding that attempts to repair the road have not yielded any results.

Okada to the rescue of residents

A resident of Oborpah, Kwao Emmanuel Odjao narrated to GhanaWeb how the Okada has helped to address the transportation needs of residents in the communities.

“We rely mostly on the okada to ply the communities. Vehicles only come here during market days and if one comes, hardly does another show up so we rely on the okada,” he said.

On the high charges, he said: “their fares are too high but we are compelled to pay because there are no other means.”

Recalling instances where the motorcycle had come to the rescue of women in labour, Mr Kwao called on the government to fix the deplorable roads in the communities as soon as possible to avert such situations.

“Government must fix the roads for us because just three days ago, we had to rely on the okada to convey a pregnant woman who was in labour to the nearest health facility,” he narrated.

Odonkor Rebecca, another resident praised the efforts of the riders but added that fixing the road would help save residents from dire health situations.

“The okada boys are really helping us. Just few days ago, a woman in labour lost her baby because she could not be safely transported to Koforidua where she had been transferred due to the bad nature of the road,” she lamented.

The riders, however, have to face stiff competition from operators of tricycles whom the villagers rely on to convey their farm produce from their farms to the market centers and nearest towns for sale.

Popularly referred to as Okada, motorcycles are used for public transportation in most Ghanaian towns, cities, and villages.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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