Residents of communities along the Chemu Lagoon at Chorkor and its environs are now beneficiaries of a floating bridge over the lagoon to facilitate the movement of persons.
The bridge was constructed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma West Constituency and Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful, with the support of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI).
A medium-term measure, the bridge, which will be used free of charge, replaces a makeshift bridge constructed by some young men in the communities who charged people who used it.
Some residents of Chorkor, including Michael Agyekum and Joseph Narh, told the Daily Graphic that the young men who constructed the previous bridge charged 20 pesewas per crossing.
They, therefore, expressed joy over the new bridge, especially because it was safer and its use did not attract any fees.
At a durbar held as part of the official opening of the bridge yesterday, Mrs Owusu Ekuful commended the young men for their initiative in constructing the previous bridge, but said she needed to intervene because it was not safe. She said there were reports of people tripping and falling into the lagoon and hurting themselves.
“This is why I approached the Minister of MESTI, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, for his professional advice and support, which he gladly gave,” the MP said. Mrs Owusu Ekuful said Prof. Frimpong-Boateng got his outfit to conduct geotechnical and feasibility studies of the situation and recommended that a floating bridge would be appropriate for the situation with the lagoon, which often overflowed its banks.
She said Prof. Frimpong-Boateng also recommended that the lagoon, which had been choked with refuse and silt, be dredged ahead of the construction of the bridge, which had been done successfully.
She appealed to the residents to desist from throwing refuse into the lagoon and also ensure that they used refuse containers that had been provided in the area. Floating bridge
Explaining the technology, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said the bridge was constructed by joining rectangular wood strips, strapped to one another in a sequence, over a number of empty barrels fitted together firmly with steel round pipe rails to prevent it from falling over.
He said the empty barrels provided the bridge with a floating ability to ensure that any time the lagoon overflowed its banks the bridge automatically rose or floated and returned to its current position when the floods subsided.