Mechanics in Bolga ready to relocate to Talensi District
Eliasu Abdulai, Chairman of the Upper East Regional branch of the Association of Garages has said mechanics within the Bolgatanga Municipality are ready to relocate their activities to a new site at Pusu-Namogo in the Talensi District of the Region.
The Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly is, however, preparing a new site for that purpose, but the Chairman said the Assembly’s site was waterlogged and could be more expensive to develop by individual mechanics.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Bolgatanga, Mr Abdulai recalled that about 15 years ago, the leadership of the Association observed that mechanics operating within the Bolgatanga township were scattered all over the town, and those who encroached on people’s lands were driven away.
The Chairman explained that the leadership at the time saw the need to relocate all mechanics within the township to a more suitable place which could house all categories of mechanics.
“So, we appealed to the Chief of Pusu-Namogo, and he gave us land, we negotiated with the Department of Feeder Roads and got a grader to grade and demarcate the area accordingly.
“As I speak to you now, the Assembly has constructed a very good borehole, provided electricity at the site. Going there will not be any hindrances to us,” he said.
He said there were rapid developments in the Bolgatanga township, which had led to encroachment of lands by some mechanics in the municipality. “Many mechanics are actually sitting on people’s lands. We have roadside mechanics everywhere.”
He said mechanics who had good workshops and could easily move from their homes to work, may refuse to relocate, but majority of the mechanics would be willing to move and save themselves from the struggle for space and disturbances from landowners.
He observed that the delay by members of the Association to move to the site had caused some people in the area to erect structures on the allocated land “because the people gave us the place and we have not moved.”
The Chairman said even though the site was far from the Bolgatanga township, their relocation would spread development to that part of the Region and create opportunities for the youth in that District who mostly indulged in illegal mining activities to earn a living.
Asked why they had not moved for the past years, Mr Abdulai recalled that when members of the Association were ready to relocate, the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly expressed concern about their action because the Assembly realized that it would lose revenue from members, which would reduce the Assembly’s revenue mobilization.
“That demoralized our movement to that place, we could not have challenged the authority because most of our members are from within the municipality and could not leave their land and move to a different place.”
When the GNA contacted Mr Joseph Atura Ameyuuri, the Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) on the issue, the MCE in the company of Mr Daniel Atehulo, the Bolgatanga Municipal Works Engineer, drove this reporter to a secured land for the construction of a mechanical enclave within the municipality for mechanics.
He disclosed that the enclave was a five-year World Bank-funded project, under the Ghana Secondary Cities Programme, which would have facilities such as police and fire service posts, lorry park, lavatories, health facility among others.
He gave assurance to the mechanics and said as part of the preparation to get the site ready, heavy concrete works would be done to direct the sewerage and contain the floods.
Mr Atehulo on his part explained that oil was a solvent to bitumen and roadside mechanics often littered roads with oils from vehicle engines on the bitumen and with time, the roads developed potholes.
“To prevent some of these things, we need to move them to a place where we will not have bitumen.”