For a rapidly expanding municipality like Wa, it is necessary to upgrade its social and economic infrastructure to meet its development needs, former President John Dramani Mahama has said.
“Wa as the capital of the Upper West Region is a fast-growing metropolis and it’s not only expanding in terms of physical space but it is also expanding in terms of population,” he observed.
Former President Mahama said this in Wa on Thursday during the 99th edition of the Damba festival celebration of the chiefs and people of the Waala Traditional Area on the theme: “Environmental Conservation in the Waala Traditional Area, a must”.
The week-long event, characterised by the display of the rich culture of the people including the “jumping over of the cow by the Waa Naa,” Naa Fuseini Pelpuo IV, was graced by illustrious sons and daughters of the traditional area, both in Ghana and abroad.
Mr Mahama noted that as part of his efforts to improve on the infrastructure to meet the demand of the people, government was working assiduously to expand water supply to the Wa municipality and its surrounding communities through the Jambusie waterworks.
He said the successful completion of the new Upper West Regional Hospital would help improve healthcare delivery to the people of the Wa metropolis, the Upper West Region and the nation as a whole.
“The commencement of commercial air operations to the Wa airport is also very welcome. It improves access to the region for business activities, for tourists and actually for residents of Wa itself,” the former president added and expressed hope that there would be daily direct flights to and fro Wa in the near future.
The former President donated an amount of GHC5,000.00, a cow and some cartons of water to support the festival celebration.
Naa Pelpuo IV, on his part, intimated that the rampant logging of rosewood trees in the Upper West Region and some parts of the country, sometimes with the aid of people in authority, as well as the felling of trees for charcoal production was adversely affecting the environment.
He said there had been no attempt to replace rosewood trees that had been harvested, which had led to the shift of focus to other tree species, including shea trees.
“Starting from next rainy season, each chief is expected to plant at least one acre of cashew trees while encouraging their subjects to also do same”, Naa Pelpuo IV directed.
The Paramount chief commended the government for the interventions in the agricultural sector and said if those interventions were sustained they would reduce the poverty level in the country.
He, however, noted that programmes such as Planting for Food and Jobs and Planting for Export and Rural Development among others required good roads to enable farmers to transport the produce to the market centres.