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Our resources don’t reflect our development – W/Regional Minister

The Western Regional Minister, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, has said that even though the Western Region produces over 50 percent of the country’s natural resources, the level of development the region has seen over the years does not reflect its contribution to Ghana’s development. Road networks in most parts of the region are in terrible shape, with those in cocoa growing areas being the worst affected. The three Wassa Amenfi districts, which have outweighed the Sefwi areas  in terms of cocoa production, have no good roads, apart from the only road that connects them to other districts. That inter-linking road is even already suffering major defects with life-threatening potholes. Same can be said of the Akontombra, Bia East and West, Aowin and the Suaman districts which are known for producing large quantities of cocoa and other food crops. Many parts in these areas are yet to see asphalted roads. Some school children in the region still study under makeshift structures, whilst all major rivers and other water bodies have been polluted by illegal mining activities. Dr. Afriyie, who was speaking at a two-day consultative process ahead of the creation of the proposed Western North Region at the Western Regional House of Chiefs in Sekondi, noted that “we shall always have cause to complain about the region’s level of development. This is in view of the fact that, although the region is blessed with vast natural resources, this does not however reflect in its development”. The Western Region contributes more than 50 percent of Ghana’s GDP annually from revenues generated from oil, Cocoa, Gold, Bauxite, Manganese, Rubber, Coconut and Oil Palm the resources. Other resources produced in the region include Kaolin, Timber, and Wildlife etc. The region also has the longest Coast Line (293 km) supporting a flourishing fishing industry. It is the wettest region with an annual average rainfall of 1600mm. it has 75 percent of the tropical rain forest in Ghana, and 40 percent of total forest reserve. The region has a total population of 2,376,021 (2010 census).

Source: Citifmonline.com

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