Hundreds stranded over closure of Buipe and Yapei bridges
Hundreds of passengers have been left stranded in the Northern Region following the closure of the Buipe and Yapei bridges last week.
The closure has created a situation where transport owners are charging exorbitant fares in order to use alternative routes to Kumasi and Accra.
Joy News’ Upper East Regional Correspondent, Albert Sore has reported the alternative routes have added “four solid hours” to the travel time.
Already, the effect of the closure is being felt by residents of Accra as prices of foodstuff continue to rise by the day.
A visit by Joy News’ Maxwell Agbagba to the Agbogbloshie Market in Accra Monday has revealed the price of a bag of onion has gone up from ¢200 to ¢250.
Agricultural technology platform, ESOKO has predicted an increase in food prices in the coming days following the closure of the two bridges.
But deputy Roads Minister, Anthony Karbo has said works on the bridges are necessary to avert a national catastrophe.
He told Gifty Andoh Appiah on Joy FM’s Top Story the two bridges are “trembling” because they have outlived their strength.
“We admit that all these challenges are practical, but can you imagine the national disaster?” he asked.
Deputy Roads Minister, Anthony Karbo
The Finance Ministry has released the sum of ¢4million for maintenance works on the Buipe and Yapei brides.
Rehabilitation of the bridges is expected to last for four weeks, leaving motorists with alternative roads such as the Wa to Techiman and Eastern Corridor routes.
But passengers are paying more for the use of these long, rough and winding alternative routes, Joy News has learnt.
The Deputy Roads Minister has asked motorists and passengers to bear with the government as it works to fix the bridges.
“It is a situation which is creating enormous inconvenience but we should also look at the national interest,” Mr Karbo said.
Yapei Kusagu Member of Parliament (MP), John Jinapor
But Yapei Kusagu Member of Parliament (MP), John Jinapor has criticised the Roads Ministry for “poorly” managing the closure of the bridges.
“I have been inundated with calls [because] this is the harvesting season and the closure of the bridge is inhibiting the transport,” he said.
He said the absence of an alternative route has worsened the situation, saying when the past regime closed the Atimpoku bridge it provided another route to motorists.
“The communication could have been done much better,” he said.