Debates of 3 Jun 2005

PRAYERS 10:05 a.m.




Mr. Speaker 10:05 a.m.
Order! Order! Correc- tion of Votes and Proceedings for Thursday, 2nd June 2005. Page 1. . . page 6.
Mr. J. K. Hackman 10:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, page 6 (20), I was absent with permission but it has been recorded as absent.
Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor 10:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, page 6 (23), I was also absent with permission but it has been recorded as absent.
Mr. Speaker 10:05 a.m.
Page 7. . . page 13.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu 10:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, page 13, I was present at the meeting of the Committee on Mines and Energy but my name is conspicuously missing.
Mr. Speaker 10:05 a.m.
Thank you very much. We have the Official Report for Thursday, 2nd June 2005. Are there any corrections to be made? [Pause.] We shall now move on to item 3, Business Statement.

Mr. Ken Ohene Agyapong (Assin North) 10:15 a.m.
To ask the Minister for the Interior what his Ministry is doing about the following three (3) men who were killed on election day in 2004:
i) Abu Hanifa Barsha (killed at Gyakpahili)
ii) Ahmed Mohammed (alias Iran- Iraq) (killed at Gyakpahili)
iii) Alhassan Dawuni (killed at Gblin)
Questions --
Minister for the Interior -- 30 & 31
Minister for Fisheries -- 52 & 53
Second Reading of Bills --
National Petroleum Authority Bill
Motions --
Adoption of the Report of the Committee of the Whole on the Proposed Formula for the Distribution of Subsidies to be paid to Licensed District Mutual Health
Mr. Ken Ohene Agyapong (Assin North) 10:15 a.m.
Insurance Schemes. Adoption of the Report of the Committee on Subsidiary Legis- lation on the Income Tax Rates Regulations, 2005, L.I. 1810.
Adoption of the Report of the Committee on Subsidiary Legis- lation on the Internal Revenue (Amendment) Regulations, 2005,
L.I. 1811.
Committee Sittings.

Questions --

Minister for Education and Sports

-- 7, 8, 9, 32 & 33

Committee Sittings --

Committee of the Whole to discuss the Proposed Formula for Sharing the District Assemblies Common Fund for the year 2005.

Question --

M i n i s t e r f o r L o c a l G o v e r n m e n t a n d R u r a l Development -- 44, 45 & 46

Consideration Stage of Bills --

N a t i o n a l P e t r o l e u m Authority Bill

Committee Sittings.

Questions --

Minister for Road Transport -- 13,

15, 16, 17 & 18

Third Reading of Bills --

National Petroleum Authority Bill

Committee Sittings.


Minister for Road Transport (Dr. Richard W. Anane) 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, Dome and Nsogyaso townships are linked by an 8.1km long track used by tractors. It has deep gullies and difficult to use during the rainy season. There are a few water crossing points which also require some culverts to be installed. The general condition of the track is poor.
In the case of Gavorkope-Ekye feeder road it is 2.8 km long. The road leads to a farming community which has a primary school. The road has good subgrade material. It requires provision of culverts, shaping, and drains to make it motorable.
Mr. Speaker, Agya Atta and Tomefa are linked by a footpath of 3.5 km length. It will require engineering to convert it to a feeder road.
In the case of Forifori and Tailorkope they are linked by a 23 km track. It connects three communities, namely Sakabo, Dim and Tailorkope. The track is in poor condition and will require the improvement of bad sections through the construction of culverts with approaches to make it motorable.
Semanhyia-Bondaso has a feeder road of length (36.9 km) and goes through some major yam growing areas of the Afram Plains South district, namely Koranteng and Krachie. The first 12.0 km of the road is in fair condition. The remaining 24.9 km connects communities like Kwaekese-Koranteng-Bondaso-Kwabena Kushie. This section of the road is in poor condition and requires some improve- ment.
In 2003, the Department of Feeder Roads in consultation with the commu- nities in the Afram Plains selected roads which included the following for improvement under the Feeder Roads Improvement Programme (FRIP). It is part of the package of the 9th European Development Fund. Pre-feasibility studies were completed in 2003 and engineering studies completed in 2004.
(a) Dome-Nsogyaso feeder road
(b) Gavokope-Ekye feeder road
(c) Semanhyia-Bondaso feeder road (km 12.0-36.9)

Mr. Speaker, these projects were submitted to the European Union (EU) for approval in March 2005. It is expected that the procurement of works will commence by January 2006.

Mr. Speaker, engineering studies
Mr. R. K. Ahaligah 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would be grateful if the hon. Minister would tell me specifically when his Ministry would start engineering works on the Agya Attah-Tomefa road.
Dr. Anane 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I see that my
hon. Colleague is now being tutored in the game of questioning. Mr. Speaker, I have mentioned a whole lot of projects that are ongoing in the particular district where my hon. Colleague comes from. Mr. Speaker, they are so many, and most of them happen to be tracks, which are now being converted into feeder roads. We cannot capture all the roads in the district within this year. We believe that as we
go on phasing out the others, we would capture this Agya Atta track. I believe that since we have captured it for engineering studies, definitely next year's budget should be able to capture that so that we continue with that as well and add up to what we are already doing in this district.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
want the hon. Minister to give us an idea about when something will commence. “We have now captured it for engineering studies within a year,” he has conjectured. Knowing the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) track record whereby even when the things had been packaged for four years on, a lot had not been done and we have to re- package it -- Can he tell us when it will commence?
Mr. Speaker 10:25 a.m.
Deputy Minority Whip,
your supplementary question was not clear.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the
hon. Minister in his answer indicated that Agya Atta will be captured for engineering; and he said that by September, certain steps would be taken. My question is this: I want him to give us a specific date when the certain things will happen, given the NPP's track record.
Dr. Anane 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my hon. Colleague definitely knows that the NPP's track record is superior to what he knows. He can attest to the fact that his bridge has been constructed for him and he should be very happy for the NPP Government's - [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker, I mentioned that we have
captured many of the tracks, not feeder roads in the district to be converted into feeder roads. I also mentioned that these are all done under budget and therefore since Agya Atta footpath -- which is not
even a track used by people but a footpath -- needs to be converted into a road for food to be conveyed to other parts, and this will be captured in our next year budget. It will also be done just as we have captured the others and they are being done. So next year's budget will cater for that project.
Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I want to know from the hon. Minister; when he says a particular footpath has been captured, what does he mean? Is it that it has been earmarked, it has been awarded as a contract, or there is financial commitment to the project? I want to know what he means by “captured”.
Dr. Anane 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my hon.
Colleague is a lawyer and I expected that he would have appreciated what I meant. I did not mean capture in water. What I meant was that this had been noted and it would be handled appropriately.
Mr. E. K. Salia 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in
the hon. Minister's answer to my hon. Colleague's question, he mentioned a Transport Sector Programme Support Phase II. What is this all about? Is there any Transport Sector Programme Support Project Phase I? If so when did it start and what is it about?
Dr. Anane 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would wish
that my hon. Colleague who happened to have been in the Ministry and who knows what he is talking about would come in with a substantive Question so that I would explain it to the entire House.
Mr. Salia 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am very surprised at my hon. Colleague's response because it is in his Answer, that is on page 6 (ii) - “engineering studies are currently going on ….” when he mentioned that it would be included in Tranche II of the Transport Sector Programme Support (TSPS II) for improvement. To the best of my knowledge, and I am sure to the best of the knowledge of this House, there has
never been any mention of any Transport Sector Support Project Phase I and now he is talking about Phase II. So I want to know about it -- I know that there is a Road Sector Development Programme but I am not aware of this new programme. Since he has provided it in his Answer, I want him to enlighten me about what it is -- and how he got the Phase I and the Phase II is beginning to come up. So that is the question. It is in here in his Answer; he provided it.
Mr. Speaker 10:25 a.m.
Hon. Member for Jirapa,
your supplementary question.
Mr. Salia 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my question is: what is Transport Sector Support Programme Phase II? Has there been a Phase I? When did it start? What has it achieved; and when is the Phase II starting?
Dr. Anane 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, I would have thought that my hon. Colleague would have put up a substantive Question so that I could get the time to explain; but I will only summarize. The Phase I is a DANIDA supported project under the IFPP. Phase I came to an end and we started the Phase II in 2004.
Minority Leader (Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin) 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister was asked to clarify the use of the word “captured” as used in his Answer and he said it means “noted”. Mr. Speaker, there is a very vast difference between captured and noted. So I want him to clarify that. When you say captured and you are talking about projects, you are talking about roads, it means that it is part of it and there is provision for it; but “noted” is not the same. Mr. Speaker, he has to clarify it for us to know what it is. “Captured” and “noted,” they are very different.
Mr. Speaker 10:25 a.m.
Hon. Minority Leader, your supplementary question please.
Mr. Bagbin 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, “to clarify
that situation” - what is the situation because “captured” is very different from “noted”.
Dr. Anane 10:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, if my hon.
Colleague listened, the statement was “captured under” and “capture” implies a bigger concept - one would say a set with a subset; and noted is a subset of a bigger set captured. Therefore, when I said this has been captured under the programme, I meant that it had been noted under that programme and come next year, we definitely would make it happen. Mr. Speaker, that was what I meant by “capture” in the ongoing programme.
Dr. Kunbuor 10:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, just for the sake of the record, we would really want some assurance from the Minister that anytime he talks about “capture” in the road sector, it is a term of art which means “noted”. We want that assurance from him.
Mr. Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Hon. Member for Lawra, this is not a supplementary question.
Mr. Salia 10:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my question is, I want to know when the hon. Minister can come to this House and brief us on the Transport Sector Programme Support that he has talked about, which is the first time it has appeared in any literature in this House. I am not aware of any such project and this House has never approved any such programme. For me, this is the first time I am hearing of it. The only project that used to exist was the Road Sector Development Programme which was approved by this House in 2001. So I would like to know when this particular programme was approved by the House, what it entailed and when it will end.
Mr. Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Hon. Member for Jirapa, I hope you would come back in a proper way.
Construction of Feeder Roads in Afram Plains South Constituency
2. Mr. Raphael Kofi Ahaligah asked the Minister for Road Transport when the following feeder roads in the Afram Plains South constituency will be constructed:
(i) Asenyaso-Bonkro-Gyaniboafo,
(ii) Mamie Krobo-Dinkro-Kojo Gare,
(iii) Kwesi Fanti-Nsoagya-Anaafo.
Dr. Anane 10:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Asenyaso- Bonkro-Gyaniboafo feeder road is a 15.0 km track. It requires improvement of its alignments, installation of critical culverts, raising of low lying areas and sectional gravelling.
Mr. Speaker, the Mamie Krobo- Dinkro-Kojo Gare feeder road forms part of the Tease-Praprababida-Mamie Krobo feeder road (60 km). The first 18 km is in fairly good condition whilst the remaining section is in poor condition. The road provides access to the farming communities along the road corridor and markets at Tease and Mamie Krobo.
In the case of Kwasi Fanti-Nsoagya Anaafo, it is a 5 km track. It is in poor condition.
Mr. Speaker, the Asenyaso-Bonkro- Gyaniboafo feeder road has been programmed for stage development. The first stage involves the shaping to form the road. This has been packaged for the 48 Engineer Regiment as part of the rehabilitation of the Mamie Krobo- Asenyaso-Agogo Dukusen road. The
works are scheduled to start by mid-June 2005. The second stage which involves construction of culverts, raising of low- lying areas and sectional regravelling will be programmed under the Transport Sector Programme Support (TSPS) Tranche III which will commence in 2006.
Mr. Speaker, the Mamie Krobo- Dinkro-Kojo Gare feeder road has been engineered for spot improvement under the FRIP. The project was submitted to EU for approval in March 2005. It is expected that the procurement of works will commence by January 2006. Construction is expected to start by June 2006.
Mr. Speaker, Kwesi Fanti to Nsoagya Anaafo track is undergoing studies for eventual conversion into a road in 2006.
Mr. Ahaligah 10:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to know if the Minister is aware that the Kojo Gare feeder road was awarded to a contractor but was abandoned.
Dr. Anane 10:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am not very much certain about the issue of abandonment. Mr. Speaker, we had to go back to repackage part of the road and in this particular case, this project has been packaged and has been submitted to the European Union for approval. I am not very certain about whether my hon. Colleague has appreciated the quantum of work that has been done on this project, which was one of the routine maintenance programmes that would not involve much.
Mr. Ahaligah 10:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Minister what he means by “18 kilometres is in fairly good condition”.
Dr. Anane 10:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in my Answer, what I said was that the first eighteen kilometers of the Mamie Krobo-Dinkro- Kojo Gare feeder road which forms part of the Tease-Praprababida-Mamie Krobo feeder road is in fairly good condition whilst the remaining is in poor condition.
Mr. Speaker, we evaluate the roads in the country and this first part is in motorable condition whilst the remaining part, even though motorable, is in very poor condition and needs to be managed immediately. That is what we are trying to do. But we would keep on maintaining even the one we felt was in fairly good condition.
Mr. Ahaligah 10:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that the road he is talking about is a tractor track and not a road.
Dr. Anane 10:45 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to assure my hon. Colleague that I know that after kilometer eighteen, we would not normally call it a road, but we only accommodated his Answer and that is why we just did that. But we will work on it.

Sogakope-Ho-Dzolokpuita- Fume Road

3. Mr. Francis Aggrey Agbotse asked the Minister for Road Transport what the currnet status of Sogakope- Ho- Dzolokpuita-Fume road is since construction stopped on it in January 2001.
Dr. Anane 10:45 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I appeared before the previous Parliament to answer this Question. This is a new Parliament and I am being asked to give the current position of the road. This is our current position.
Mr. Speaker, the 117 km Sogakope- Ho-Dzolokpuita-Fume Road is a Regional Road (R28) which links Sogakope, the district capital of the South Tongu district through Ho to Fume in the Ho Municipal Assembly. The road is an important one, providing access to the many farming communities that lie along the corridor. The road is unpaved and its condition
Dr. Anane 10:45 a.m.
In 1996, the road was awarded for design and reconstruction to bituminous surface dressing (tarring) to Messrs Frandesco West African Limited under a prefinancing agreement in two phases.
Phase one consisted of the 45 km Ho- Fume and Vane-Amedzofe stretch at the contracat sum of £18,805,255 (US$31,216,723) without fluctuations.
Phase two of the project consisted of the 88 km Sogakope-Ho section at the sum of £31,634,970.00 (US$52,251,405.00) without fluctuations.
The project was terminated in June 2003 due to funding constraints and the slow pace of work.
The contractor consequently chal- lenged the termination. Since termination in 2002, the case has been pending before a High Court in Accra. The case is being handled by the Serious Fraud Office with the support of the Attorney- General's department.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has appointed an auditor within the last six months to conduct a forensic audit on the project to reconcile the indebtedness of each party to the other.
The project, as I stated the last time will definitely be continued after the determination of the suit. At the date of termination, the payments position on the project was as follows:
In totality, the original contract sum for the projects for phases I and II was £50,439,725. At the time of termination the total amount which had been paid was £17,786,574.70. But Mr. Speaker, the payments as well as the outstanding

payments are as shown in the Answer, which are --

Phase 1 -- 45 km

Total certified to date
-- 10:45 a.m.

Mr. Agbotse 10:45 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am aware that up to Dzolokpuita is what the contractor was handling; and that is what is in court now. What about that of Dzolokpuita-Fume? He said at the last Parliament that he was repackaging it. What has held him up from repackaging it?
Dr. Anane 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think I now do understand my hon. Colleague. Mr. Speaker, the name of the project is what is under the purview of the law and it is Sogakope-Ho-Dzolokpuita-Fume road. Since this is what is being handled in totality, the advice that we will be given will cover each of the entire project.
I do appreciate that at a point in time the client, which is the Government, decided to curtail parts of the project so that the project could be repackaged for execution by the contractor. But Mr. Speaker, currently, as far as I am aware, my advice is based on the entire project, which is the Sogakope-Ho-Dzolokpuita- Fume road and which has been divided into phases one and two.
Mr. C. S. Hodogbey 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my question to the hon. Minister is, was funding for the entire project procured before commencement of the contract?
Dr. Anane 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, this project was awarded on a prefinancing basis and the Government of Ghana was to pay according to the payment schedule. Mr. Speaker, for the phase 1 of the project the Government of Ghana was to start making payment, one year after the beginning of the project. For the phase 2 project, the Government of Ghana was to start
-- 10:55 a.m.

Mr. Agbotse 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Minister which aspects of the contract are before the High Court and which aspects are before the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
Dr. Anane 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has been dealing with the payments for the entire project. The Attorney-General as the advisor to the Government was asked to advise us and there was the need for the investigation of the entire project. Therefore, the entire project is under investigation by the SFO.
There was a problem with respect to payment of even the workers of the company. This was handled at the Attorney-General's Office and some compensation was paid to some of the workers last year, as far as I do understand.
paying six months after the beginning of the project. The stalling of the project at some point, I do understand, was due to the inability of the Government of Ghana to make some payments; and that, I understand, was between 1999 and 2000.
Capt. G. K. Nfojoh (rtd.): Mr. Speaker, I would want to know from the hon. Minister what role Aya Construction Limited is playing in this project.
Dr. Anane 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I have been dealing with the project and the contractor, and in this case the contractor is Frandesco West Africa Limited; I have not been dealing with persons.
Capt. Nfojoh (rtd.): Mr. Speaker, so if Aya Construction Limited comes into the project, would it mean that it has been subletted to him?
Dr. Anane 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, the project was awarded to Frandesco West Africa Limited. I am not aware of Aya Construction Limited being part of the project.
Mr. Edward Salia 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I just want to find out from my hon. Colleague whether he is sure that this particular project was terminated only in June, 2003 considering that in the next line of his Answer he said, and with your permission, I quote: “the contractor consequently challenged the termination…”; and this was since 2002. If the termination occurred in 2003, how could he have, as a consequence of that termination, begun the litigation in 2002 on the termination of the contract? Is he sure that the contract was not terminated in January 2001?
Dr. Anane 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the contract was terminated in 2003 and in my statement -- I am sorry I did not clarify, I made a correction -- I said, since then
Mr. Salia 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, can I then find out from my hon. Colleague how 2002 came to be stated in the Answer to us, and whether indeed the litigation did not begin in 2002. Is he convinced, and has he got the facts to provide that litigation started after 2003 instead of 2002?
Dr. Anane 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my advice is that the litigation started after the termination of the project; and the project was terminated in 2003. I think this may have been a printer's devil because it is the same Director who presented the Report who drew my attention to the correction that it is “since then”, and not “in 2002”. But that notwithstanding, I would still want to clarify this for the benefit of the House when I get back to the office.
Fume-Gbadzeme-Amedzofe Road, Kpedze-Kpoeta Road,
Amedzofe-Kpedze Road, Dzolo-Dodome-Kpedze-Todze Road
4. Mr. F. A. Agbotse asked the Minister for Road Transport what his Ministry's plans are for the rehabilitation of: (i) Fume-Gbadzeme-Amedzofe road, (ii) Kpedze-Kpoeta road, (iii)Amedzofe- Kpedze road, (iv) Dzolo-Dodome- Kpedze-Todze road.
Dr. Anane 10:55 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Fume- Gbadzeme-Amedzofe feeder road is 5 kilometres long. It is engineered. It goes through a mountainous terrain. The road serves the farming areas within its catchment. Similarly, it serves the market and school at Fume. The road condition is generally poor because of the terrain it runs through and especially after the rains.
Kpedze-Kpoeta feeder road (10
kilometres) is an engineered road passing through mountainous terrain. The road has its gullies along the steep sections. This makes travelling between Kpedze and Kpoeta, the two major market centres very difficult.
Amedzofe-Kpedze feeder road is 6 kilometres. The road is a narrow one of about 4.0 metres wide and meanders along the slopes of the Amedzofe hills. It is impossible for vehicles in opposite directions to pass each other. The road has some very steep sections and widening on one side will be necessary. Generally the road needs major earth works to improve upon the difficult sections.
Dzolo-Dodome-Kpedze feeder road (10 kilometres) is an engineered road in fair condition. The road provides access to the market and other social facilities at Kpedze and communities along the road corridor.
Current Programme
The Dzolo-Dodome-Kpedze feeder road was awarded for rehabilitation under the HIPC benefit fund programme in 2004 to Messrs Bragha Limited. The contract is 100 per cent completed. It has also been programmed for normal routine maintenance under Maintenance Performance and Budgeting System (MPBS). The tender for the routine maintenance of the road will be advertised in June 2005 and it is expected that the projects will be awarded by August 2005 for commencement in September 2005.
Future Programme
The engineering studies on the Kpedze- Kpoeta feeder road (10.4 kilometres and Fume-Gbadzeme-Amedzofe feeder road (5.0 kilometres) were completed in 2004
and the designs are being reviewed. They will be rehabilitated in 2006. Meanwhile they have been programmed for routine maintenance to make them motorable.
The Amedzofe-Kpedze road will require reconstruction. The road has been surveyed and designed and programmed for construction within the Government's 2006 Budget.
Mr. Agbotse 11:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, before the 2004 elections, bulldozers, excavators and a lot of machinery were sent on this road but immediately after the Elections they were withdrawn. What was the cost of the withdrawal?
Dr. Anane 11:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am at a loss by my hon. Colleague's assertion because he is aware that the Dodome-Kpedze feeder road was, under construction; and I said that it has now been fully completed. Therefore, if it was, then that is why he saw that equipment on the road. But Mr. Speaker, I have been to the vicinity and I do appreciate the terrain.
We have a mountainous terrain and the people on the front of the mountain must access economic activities and other social activities down. We do appreciate that there is the need for something to be done and that is why we are doing our studies to see how we can overcome the difficulties of the terrain. So as a first step, we have studied the areas which are now to be done; but the others have been done and my hon. Colleague, I am sure, appreciates that.
Mr. Agbotse 11:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when he will be available for us to go on the road so
Dr. Anane 11:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my hon. Colleague knows that even without his input, I did go there and I did inspect the area. I am going on with my inspections from time to time and, if I do and he is available, I will definitely go along with him.
Mr. Agbotse 11:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in view of the demands on Members of Parliament for road works in their areas, would it not be fair to include Members of Parliament on all tenders and the selection of contractors in their areas? Because we are always the target; it is not the Minister, not the President, not the Regional Minister or the District Chief Executive; it is the Member of Parliament who is confronted. Will it not be fair?
Mr. Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon. Member for Ho West, this question does not necessarily arise out of your Question. [Pause.] Question 14; it stands in the name of hon. David Tettey Assumeng, the hon. Member for Shai Osudoku.
Doryumu-Agomeda Feeder Road
14. Mr. David Tettey Assumeng asked the Minister for Road Transport when the Doryumu-Kordiabe-Agomeda road would be fully rehabilitated and tarred.
Dr. Anane 11:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Doryumu- Agomeda feeder road is 11 kilometres. It was previously tarred and served as a major route for commuters from the Eastern Region, especially from Koforidua to the Tema corridor. The road has deteriorated considerably with potholes and depression. Some of the existing culverts need also to be replaced. The road condition is generally poor.
Mr. Speaker, in 2002 this road was
Mr. Assumeng 11:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to know from the hon. Minister who was the contractor and how come he was selected since he was overburdened with other works?
D r. A n a n e : M r. S p e a k e r, i n the procurement process so many considerations may be taken into account before the contract is awarded. But between 2001 and 2004, so many projects had been advertised and awarded and therefore several of our contractors appeared to be overburdened.
Mr. Speaker, this contractor was one of four who bid for the project but almost all of them appeared to be overburdened relatively and so this contractor was awarded the contract. But at the time, because he happened to be one of the four and he was awarded the contract, the World Bank was still not happy because they did not want the project to be stalled; and that is why the World Bank refused.
But Mr. Speaker, I am not sure I can recollect exactly the name of that particular contractor; I could submit it to the House if it is so needed.
Mr. Assumeng 11:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to find out from the hon. Minister if he is aware of the large concentration of stone quarries in the Doryumu area which does not augur well for the existence of bad roads in the area.
Mr. Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon. Member, are you asking a supplementary question?
Mr. Assumeng 11:05 a.m.
Yes , i t i s a supplementary question. I am saying that there are large concentrations of quarries in the Doryumu area and for that matter I would want to find out from the hon. Minister why there should be poor roads in that area. [Uproar.]
Mr. Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon. Member, this is not a supplementary question. Hon. Member for Shai Osudoku, if you have any other questions, ask them.
Mr. Assumeng 11:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to find out from the hon. Minister if he is aware of the importance of that road to the people of the area; and what urgency has he attached to that road?
Dr. Anane 11:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, yes, Government is aware of the importance of the road. And that is why, even after the long neglect, in 2002 Government decided to select it for rehabilitation. And that is why, when it was selected, in 2003 procurement was done for it. And that is why we sought for the “no objection” from the Bank. Had it not been for the inability of the Bank to get their “no objection”, I am sure that today my hon. Colleague would have seen the road on course. So Government really appreciates the importance of that corridor.
Mr. Michael T. Nyaunu 11:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, may I ask of the hon. Minister -- There is only one big bridge on that road, that is on the Doryumu-Agomeda road; and that road was built in the olden days. But it has become a death-trap now. I do not know whether that bridge is part of the
main contract that has been given to the contractor or it has been given separately. Whatever be the situation, would he consider getting that bridge constructed ahead of the other ones since that road is very, very busy?
Dr. Anane 11:15 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I do appreciate my hon. Colleague's input when he says that this road was constructed quite long ago. The bridge was built in the 1930s and at that time the traffic volume was very low, and this is why it was built that way. We appreciate that; we do know and we are currently ensuring that we rebuild all the bridges on most of our roads so that we expand them to accommodate the double roads that we are going to build.
Therefore, we have also ensured that this bridge which was built in the 1930s and which did not anticipate the traffic volume of today is also rehabilitated to accommodate the current traffic. So it is part of the programme and that is why we needed the World Bank's support to build the road.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 11:15 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to find out from the hon. Minister -- in his Answer he indicated that the Dornyumu-Agomeda road is currently a feeder road but it used to be tarred. So in the new scheme of things, is it going to be tarred or is it going to be a feeder road?
Dr. Anane 11:15 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, a feeder road does not preclude tarring. We have feeder roads that are tarred and feeder roads that are not tarred. Indeed, the current orientation to our feeder roads is to get them tarred as much as possible. And therefore we are tarring as many feeder roads as possible. This is a road which has so much significant and economic role to play in the area it lies, and therefore since it was tarred in the past so shall we have it tarred today.
Mr. Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Thank you, hon. Minister, for appearing to answer these Questions. You are hereby discharged,

at least, for the time being, as I see hon. Members would want to ask you further questions later.
STATEMENTS 11:15 a.m.

Minister for Environment and Science (Ms. Christine Churcher) 11:15 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to make a Statement on the occasion of the World Environment Day, 2005.
Mr. Speaker, Ghana will be joining the global community to observe this year's World Environment Day, which falls on Sunday, 5th June 2005. This year's celebration seeks to draw the attention of people the world over to the importance of urban planning and sustainable development. It is also a day set aside for all people to reflect on the threats posed to public health as a result of poor urban planning as well as irrational development and utilization of resources.
The global theme chosen by the United Nations for this year's celebration is “Green Cities: Plan for the Planet”. Our national theme chosen for the event is “Green Communities, Healthy People”. There could not have been a more suitable theme for deep reflection on the realities of the health threats posed to city dwellers than what has been chosen.
Mr. Speaker, greening our cities and communities is about creating better living environments for today and the future. It is about providing mass transportation for people to easily move around without using their own cars. Reducing the use of cars reduces the pollution produced by cars. It is about replacing wood fuel with more sustainable energy, efficient sources that will not only help preserve forests but also reduce air pollution.

It is about providing improved sanitation and clean water for our people in order to protect them from preventable diseases associated with the lack of safe water and poor hygiene. And it is about how air pollution can be checked by cleaning up vehicle exhaust and preventing the release of toxic fumes from burning plastic and other refuse by promoting appropriate waste collection and disposal systems and methods.

But what do we see in our cities and communities today? Mr. Speaker, people who during peak hours queue for hours certainly are subjected to breathing in what they should not. There are other issues of concern which are indiscri-minate disposal of all kinds of solid and liquid waste and inadequate sanitation, substance abuse, teenage pregnancy and violence.

The theme for this year's celebration, Mr. Speaker, once again reminds us of the need for our human settlements to have accessible green parks, recreational facilities and centres which will help ease the seeming tension in the society. We must get involved with the process of tree planting around our own homes, offices, lawns and the streets to provide shade and comfort not only for ourselves but our children and those yet unborn.

Mr. Speaker, admittedly, tackling these innumerable problems of urbanization requires effective urban governance. More and more, we find ourselves taking policy decisions and planning for the future of our cities and communities in a highly uncertain world, with a large number of diverse interests to be satisfied. The pace of change, increasing flow of information, and complexity of decisions bring about an almost certain planning gridlock. It is now time for us to make our political decision-making process “Green”.

This means that we apply ecological principles and processes to our ways of functioning politically -- at grass-roots levels in face-to-face, democratic, and popular assemblies. It means politics that is based on education, not just mobilization, so that we help create active, politically concerned, participatory citizenry, not passive and spectatorial constituents who have no control over their own destinies.

Mr. Speaker, the importance of sustainable cities and communities in national development cannot be over- emphasized. This calls for the provision of the required financial support to back our political will and commitments to enable my Ministry, its Agencies and Departments to tackle the problems headlong. Any inaction will only succeed in “Browning” instead of greening our living environment, a detriment to our survival on earth.

It is my wish, Mr. Speaker, that in celebrating this year's World Environment Day we shall all reflect as Members of Parliament on these issues and each of us in our little way will contribute to creating a healthy environment in which we can live and prosper.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity.
Mr. Lee Ocran (NDC -- Jomoro) 11:25 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity. I stand to associate myself with the Statement made by my hon. Friend, the Minister for Environment and Science and Member for Parliament for Cape Coast.
Mr. Speaker, it is rather unfortunate that in this country people's appreciation of the environment is very limited and many a time they tend to equate the environment
with sanitation. So when there is a sanitation problem people think that it is the responsibility of the Minister or the Ministry of Environment and Science. Sanitation is just a poor portion of the environment.

Mr. Speaker, the environment is to be understood as a complex system upon which mankind's life depends. It is humanity's life-sustaining or supporting system from which air is taken in, water and food are drawn to sustain human life and raw materials for energy, shelter, transport and manufacturing.

Mr. Speaker, the environment is understood as comprising the whole set of natural or bio-physical and man-made or socio-cultural systems in which man and other organisms work and interact. Humans, for thousands of years, interacted with the natural environment, which has evolved over millions of years into a complex finely balanced, set of structures and processes. But human interventions into the environment such as hunting, fire and agriculture, logging, mining and quarrying, housing, industrialization and wars have altered and still destroy this finely balanced set of structures and processes.

Mr. Speaker, under perfect normal situations, when human impact on the environment is minimal, the environment, as a system, possesses inherent capabilities to maintain balance and repair itself. However, if disturbances inflicted on the environment by humans become too extreme and persistent, the system loses its ability to preserve the previous balance and may, as a result, become non- viable and change rapidly towards a new balance. Humans will continue to impact on the environment since we continue
Mr. Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon. Member, do you have any point of order to raise?
Mr. James Appietu-Ankrah 11:25 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I am wondering whether the hon. Member on the other side is making another Statement.
Mr. Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon. Member, let him go on; we have very good reasons for allowing him to continue that way.
Mr. Ocran 11:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it is unacceptable when ten per cent of the world's affluent population consumes about ninety per cent of the world's resources. And so those of us in the developing countries are left with almost nothing to survive on.
To regulate these imbalances and to ensure a harmonious coexistence with the natural systems, world leaders have been meeting since 1971 to find solutions to the problems of sustainable development. These efforts culminated in the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. A number of Treaties and Protocols have been proposed and ratified by various nations including Ghana and yet degradation of the environment continues.
Mr. Speaker, in Ghana, by the year 1900 we had eight million hectares of green forest; today, we are left with less than two million hectares. In fact, we have so much depleted our forests resources that legislation was passed in this Parliament to allow Ghanaians to import wood to feed our mills.
Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor (NDC - Lawra/Nandom) 11:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it is actually my pleasure to make a contribution to this all-important Statement on the World Environment Day.
Mr. Speaker, part of the environmental crisis of most African countries has to do with the lack of understanding of the synergy that ought to exist between environmental degradation and the living conditions of the people.
As rightly said by my hon. Colleague here, quite often people look at the issue of the environment as simply one of plain livelihood. But when you begin to go beyond the level of grass and trees, then you begin to see that there is a very interesting pattern that policy ought to
deal with.
In fact, it was actually in 1992 that the Brazilian Finance Minister at the Rio Summit was asked about what the major environmental problem in his country was and he said it was hunger. Of course, it did attract a lot of bad press.
But on hindsight, when one looks at it today, one will see clearly that there is a relationship between the degradation of the environment and the living conditions, which are cyclical in nature; that where there is a lot of pressure in terms of the living conditions of a people, the temptation for them to break even their traditional environmental barriers to find sustenance for living becomes very, very high. And because of that degradation, it creates a further situation of acute hunger and human suffering in the particular area.
When one looks at the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) in this country, one only sees that synergy between living conditions and environ-mental policy as one in passing. We have not yet developed a very, very concrete strategy in terms of how we link living conditions in this country with the environmental problems that we have been trying to address.
Significantly, Mr. Speaker, when one looks at the issue of environmental problems within the urban context, one asks whether we do not have institutions and legislation that have become obsolete and are incapable of addressing the conditions of our time. When you look at the main legislation that is supposed to address this, which creates the Department of Town and Country Planning, you will find that rightly, as the name suggests, it is a department of town planning because it came into force in the 1920s; and even Accra, in the 1920s was seen as a town.
Mr. Felix Owusu-Adjapong 11:25 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I believe I need to assist the hon. Member as to when the Town and Country Planning Law became effective in Ghana. It was in 1947 and not 1920.
Dr. Kunbuor 11:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am certainly not sure. Is he talking about the rules and regulations of the Town and Country Planning or he is talking about Cap 20 - [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon. Member, you continue. Go ahead.
Dr. Kunbuor 11:25 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would want to learn from his factual situation.
Mr. Speaker 11:25 a.m.
You can do so later.
Dr. Kunbuor 11:25 a.m.
Very well, Mr. Speaker. All that I am trying to say is that we simply have legislation and rules that are incapable today of dealing with the sprawling urban conditions in this country. And I would want to make a suggestion that it is about time we took a second look at the main legislation and the rules that actually govern the operations of the Town and Country Planning situation.
Lastly, Mr. Speaker, I am also of the view that we should not always be looking for what one will term “the modern prescriptions” to addressing issues of the environment. There have been a number of traditional mechanisms over the years that our own ancestors have used which have created that eco-balance that we are now striving to use modern technology to deal with. So it might indeed be the case that we might want to get back to some of these traditional methods and to encourage people to begin to administer them.
For instance, when you read most of the Euro-centred books on geography, one
Dr. Kunbuor 11:35 a.m.
of the first things you hear is that there is environmental degradation because of so-called shifting cultivation practices and bush fallow systems; and that these practices or agricultural practices are degrading of the environment. This has turned out empirically to be wrong.

Indeed, whether you call it the bush fallow system or the shifting cultivation system, it had a embedded in it proper pract ices to actual ly protect the environment and still maintain the eco- balance. So it will also be part of my view that the District Assemblies should begin to encourage their people to get back to these traditional mechanisms for actually addressing questions of the environment.

In our quest for development -- and it is a major problem for most African countries -- we always think that if we have to achieve development then we must engage in a battle against tradition. So what is modern, despite how inappropriate it might be for our circumstances, seems to be the focus of all our strategies. And yet, we know that those situations could work very well for other countries because of their peculiar culture and because of the level of their own industrial development.

But in a country like Ghana, that is still basically emerging from pastoral agricultural activities, mixed with high urbanity, you begin to run into difficulties; and we must stagger our environment policy in terms of what would deal with our major cities, what would deal with our major towns and what would deal with our rural communities.

Lastly, Mr. Speaker, I would also want us to begin to learn from the experiences of other countries, that we should avoid policies that are normally “fire fighting” policies. We wait till the crisis emerges; we look for an immediate prescription to address it.

When one looks at the sewerage system of the United Kingdom, it becomes interesting to see that the infrastructure for that sewerage system was laid down as far back as 1848; and it has stood the test of time because it is a forward-looking policy that anticipated expansion over the years in very complex situations like that. So it becomes important, whether it be in the environment sector or not, that any policy that we want to put in place should always be a forward-looking policy and not a one- hop type of activity.

Deputy Minister for Private Sector Development & PSI (Mr. M. D. Baah): Mr. Speaker, I wish to associate myself with the Statement made by the hon. Minister for Environment and Science.

Mr. Speaker, in talking about the environment, what comes to my mind immediately is the issue of poor planning of our towns and cities in the country.

Mr. Speaker, if I take the example of Accra, many of our suburbs have been poorly planned and where the planning is even properly done, there is inability to enforce the plans. So we see people building across waterways, building in areas that have been designated as parks and gardens, and so on. And in this process, Mr. Speaker, a lot of things go wrong, especially during the rainy season where the citizens call on Government to support in rescuing them from these places. Mr. Speaker, even in our smaller towns and cities, the planning is ineffective and it creates a lot of problems for our people during the rainy season.

Mr. Speaker, the other issue that comes to mind is the issue of poor sanitation. Recently, we are all aware of the decision that has been taken by the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA)

regarding the issue of plastic waste in Accra. Our people throw waste into gutters and drains that have been constructed with a lot of money, and people even defecate into these drains in our towns and cities. I think Mr. Speaker, it is time for Ghanaians to reconsider how we use these drainage facilities in disposing of our waste.

Mr. Speaker, the other issue that comes to mind is the lack of interest in planting trees in our towns and cities. I do not know how many of us sitting in this Chamber have planted at least one or two trees in our life-time, particularly around our own homes. Mr. Speaker, I want to urge hon. Members of this House to take up tree-planting -- especially now that we are in the rainy season -- around our homes and in our constituencies. We should encourage our people to plant trees, particularly fruit trees like mangoes, oranges and so on, that would help them in future.

Mr. Speaker, with these few words, I want to thank the hon. Minister for bringing to the fore the issue of sanitation in our towns and the environment as a whole.
PAPERS 11:35 a.m.

-- 11:35 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Item 6 (c).
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 11:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I was made to believe that the committee was going to meet at 9.00 o'clock this morning to complete the report; it seems they have not been able to do it so we should defer it to Tuesday of next week.
Mr. Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Deferred. Item 7 -- Committee sittings -- hon. Majority Leader, any indications on that?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 11:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I move that this House do adjourn till next week Tuesday at 10.00 o'clock in the morning. I would however encourage those who are supposed to attend various committee meetings, either today or tomorrow, at various places to make time to attend. I so move.
Mr. J. A. Tia 11:35 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 11:35 a.m.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 11.45 a.m. till 7th June, 2005 at 10.00 a.m.