Filth engulfs abandoned library project in Navrongo
Filth, human waste and rainwater have taken over an abandoned library project sited at Navrongo in the Kasena-Nankana Municipal Assembly of the Upper East Region.
The abandoned project which is expected to serve as a library complex when complete, was started in the latter part of 2007 by Joesph Kofi Adda, then Member of Parliament for Navrongo Central under the Kufuor administration.
It was intended to serve as a replacement for the small, under- resourced library serving the two assemblies in the noisy Navrongo Township.
However, work on the project stalled few months into 2009 after the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government lost power to the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Mr Adda retained his seat in that election. Reasons for the halt in the project have not been made known.
Now, the structure has, since work stalled, become a place of convenience for some unscrupulous residents who have taken advantage of the “underground” space to hide and free bowels and dump refuse.
The long years of exposure to rains have also washed sand into the dugout which is supposed to have housed some underground rooms of the library complex.
There is uncertainty as to when work on the project, which is rotting away at its foundation stage, will commence.
It is gathered that the library project was intended to eulogize the late Felix Askia Adda, father of the MP, Joseph Kofi Adda.
According to details from deep throat sources, construction of the library complex was funded with proceeds realized from the funeral of his late father.
The source added that Mr. Adda, prior to the commencement of the project in an interview he granted to a local radio station in Navrongo made it clear the library was being constructed with funding raised from donations during the funeral of his late father. He said in the interview that his family had agreed on using proceeds for the project.
Some members of Navrongo have raised doubts over the source of funding for the project. Many who spoke on grounds of anonymity say funding from his father’s funeral could not have been much to undertake such a project. They are asking Mr. Addda to come clear on that assertion.
Other interesting facts
Meanwhile, the Kassena Nankana Assembly under the then Chief Executive Emmanuel Chegeweh (late), in 2005 said the assembly was going to build a modern library facility for the district to improve learning and research in the area.
At the time, the then DCE said the project would cost the district about 2.2 billion cedis.
The late Chegeweh said the two-storey building project would commence in December that same year year (2005) and would take the contractor nine months to complete.
Mr Chegeweh (late) at the time said the District Assembly was providing 800 million cedis, while the two Members of Parliament (MP) from the districts with part with 700 million cedis each from their share of the District Assembly Common Fund.
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development was to assist with top up of the remaining funds.
In 2013, the then Regional Liberian and member of the Ghana Library Authority Board, Mr. John Ayeseya, appealed to the Kasena-Nankana Municipal Assembly to come to its aid by renovating and stocking the Navrongo library with relevant books.
The library was renovated. But no attention was paid to building a better Library facility for the two assemblies; Kasena-Nankana Municipal and West District.
It has been 13 years since then successive governments and the assemblies have done nothing about it.
Expectations from Mr.Joseph Kofi Adda and the Assembly
Joseph Kofi Adda is currently the Minister of Sanitation and water Resources. An appointment he got after the New Patriotic Party came into power in 2016. He is also the Member of Parliament for Navrongo Central after beating fierce contender and then incumbent, Mark Owen Woyongo, for the seat in the 2016 general elections.
It is the hope of the people of the constituency that he reconsiders the commencement of work on the abandoned library project.
State of old Navrongo Library
After almost eleven years since the commencement of work on the ‘Felix Askia Adda’ library project and thirteen years after failed promises by the assemblies to build an ultra-modern facility for Kasena-Nankana, nothing is seen of the two projects except for the decaying foundation of the library complex.
It is surprising that Kasena-Nankana can boast of numerous educational facilities including the campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS), the St. John Bosco's Teachers Training College and the Navrongo Community Health Nurses Training College (NCHTC), but cannot tout of a library to match.
Students in the two assemblies continue to use the old library facility that sits right in the centre of Navrongo Township. The noise from the not-distant Navrongo Lorry Station and Taxi Rank, coupled with the major street that runs directly in front of the facility are contributory factors to the reasons the Kasena-Nankana Municipal and District Assembly deserve more than an Ultra-modern Library.
But until then, concerned residents and indigenes of Navrongo including Ali Moro, Pius Awennala Atiirimbey, who have called for a better structure, well-stocked with books and other learning materials to enhance learning and research, through their “Alliance for a Better Navrongo,” will continue to make their calls loud and voices heard.