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Regional News Thu, 31 Mar 2016

Kotokuom, the community which uses Land Rovers as taxis

Poor road network is worsening the level of poverty at Kotokuom in the Ashanti Region, TV3 can say.

The major road linking Kotokuom to Kwanfinfi has been in a bad state for years, compelling most commercial drivers to halt their services on the stretch.

Only four-wheeled and heavy-duty vehicles can ply the road currently.

The Kotokuom community has earned itself the accolade “Land Rover community” because about 90 per cent of the vehicles that are able to render commercial services to Kotokuom are Land Rovers.

The Land Rovers take 13 persons including the driver, and each passenger pays GH¢2.50 for a 3-kilometre journey from Kotokuom to Kwanfinfi.

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Most taxis have broken down beyond repairs because of the bad nature of the road.

The few taxis and 207 Mercedes Benz buses that render services charge higher fares.

“I decided to change using taxi to Land Rover because the cost of maintaining the taxi anytime I use it on the road was unbearable,” said Alhassan Illiasu.

Kotokuom is one of the over 300 communities in the Atwima Mponua District.

With a population of over 1,000 residents, the community is among the fortunate few to have access to electricity.

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But the deplorable road network, according to the residents, greatly affects production and distribution of goods and services from the community to the district capital.

Motorists also fear the weak bridge linking Kwanfinfi and Kotokuom could collapse any moment. Some steels which served as guard to the bridge are no longer in place.

Residents have already taken some steps to protect the collapse of the bridge. They have ceased all heavy duty vehicles from using the bridge until it is reconstructed.

The Atwima Mponua District Assembly has started reshaping the road but residents and motorists are pleading with the assembly to tar the road after reshaping.

Meanwhile, activities of illegal gold mining popularly known as ‘galamsey’ have led to the pollution of the only alternative source of drinking water for residents of Kotokuom.

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The Offin River has been heavily polluted, and residents are pointing accusing fingers at their leaders, who gave the miners permission to operate.

The community has two mechanized boreholes and one functioning hand pump, but residents say they sometimes face water crisis especially when they experience power outages.

The Offin River used to be their alternative source of water when the boreholes dry up but the river has been polluted.

They want the authorities to take immediate steps in clamping down the illegal miners.

Source: Tv3network.com