Amidst pomp and pageantry and shouts of appreciation, President John Mahama last Saturday enumerated a number of projects implemented by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government as he joined the chiefs and people of Dzodze to celebrate this year’s palm (Deza) festival, in the Ketu North District of the Volta Region.
From education to the road sector through to agriculture, President Mahama accounted for his stewardship, announcing the passing of the Oil Palm Regulatory Act for massive investment into the sector to create employment for the youth and ensure self-sufficiency.
President Mahama showed the importance he placed on the festival when he informed the
gathering that he had to forego a church convention and two funeral ceremonies that coincided with the Deza celebration, to be present in Dzodze to celebrate with the people, saying, “Whatever happened I said to myself I had to be at Dzodze to celebrate Deza, rain or shine.”
President Mahama disclosed that Cabinet had passed the Act that would set up a Board to drive investment into the oil palm industry and the people of Dzodze would benefit from these
investments as the people embark on a 50-acre plantation, as part of measures to diversify the economy.
The presence of the president effectively dashed the hopes of running mate to New Patriotic Flagbearer, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia from addressing the gathering where he would have likely attempted to score political points.
Ghana’s democracy however received a big maturity boost when President Mahama and Dr. Bawumia exchanged warm pleasantries to the admiration of all present.
President Mahama promised that government would assist Dzodze to develop an oil palm plantation, support small scale plantation owners as well as construct procession plants to give value to the fruits after harvest.
In the road sector, President Mahama disclosed that he had the privilege of recently cutting sod and later commissioning the Akatsi-Dzodze road under the Millennium Challenge Compact, adding that, the Tadzevu-Dekpor road has been completed.
He also announced to the admiration of the gathering that, the Tadzevu-Dekpor road had been constructed as well as the Tadzevu township roads. The Dovevor-Avove junction road is also completed. The Abor junction to Ohawu- Dzohevi and Avalavi-Dekpor- Kavi roads have been done under the NDC reign, the President disclosed.
The President stated that Dzodze-Ehi-Agbozume road had been given on contract and the
contractor has moved to site for work to begin, just as the Ehi town roads. The Ehi to Penyi road has also been given on contract whilst the Metsrikasa to Havedzi road has been packaged for contract.
The Ho through Dzodze to Denu is being transformed into a first class road and this would
stretch into President Mahama’s second term.
In the educational sector, President Mahama revealed that government had almost eradicated schools under trees in the Ketu North district with the construction of sixty (60) six-unit classroom blocks in the district alone with twenty (20) at various stages of completion.
The Dzodze-Penyi Senior High School’s Administration Block is ready with an ICT Center and a new library in addition to another ICT Centre in Dzodze township built by the Ministry of Communication.
Ketu North has also benefited from the recent distribution of 300 buses to senior secondary schools in the country and under President Mahama’s administration, every senior high school in the district has a bus.
“More than 160 communities in the district have been connected to electricity in Ketu North,” President Mahama stated, adding that over 100 boreholes had been drilled for efficient water distribution.
Funds have been approved by Parliament for the building of a new hospital at Kpota to enhance health care for the people while four CHIP compounds facilities have been constructed with two more under way.
The farmers in Weta are being supplied with subsidized fertilizers to enhance rice production and to encourage the youth to go in agriculture.
In a short fundraising exercise to support the celebrations, Dr. Bawumia responded positively by donating 5,000 cedis while President Mahama took it a notch higher by donating 10,000 cedis.
Speaking on behalf of the chiefs and people of Dzodze, the Central Planning Committee Chairman of the festival, Mr. Prosper Ledi, hailed President Mahama for the numerous development projects implemented in the area during his first term of office.
“Indeed, we the people of Dzodze have received our fair share of your numerous developmental projects: The new administration block for Dzodze-Penyi Senior High School, six-unit classroom block at R.C. Demonstration Junior High School, Kindergarten Block for Fiagbedu R. C. Primary and Kindergarten School, and many more,” Mr. Ledi recounted.
He asked government to continue to identify other areas that require intervention in order to bring development to the area.
Mr. Ledi reaffirmed the loyalty of the people to the President and to support him in his agenda to develop the nation.
“We the people of Dzodze Traditional Area wish to re-affirm our allegiance to you and your Government and assure you of our continuous support as stakeholders in the development of this nation.”
Deza, the palm festival of the chiefs and people of Dzodze, is celebrated annually to promote the produce and to foster unity among the people.
This year’s theme was “15th Dzodze Deza-Bringing the people together for peace and
In the early days, Dzodze was among the few towns in Ghana that had considerable oil
palm plantation and actively featured as a producer of most palm products. The Palm
oil, Palm kernel oil, Palm wine, Local Dry Gin (Akpeteshie), Palm fronds for baskets and
roofs were all produced in Dzodze to feed the nation and for export.
Following the continuous depletion of the forest and the ensuing felling of the palm trees
due to high market demands, the Palm festival (Deza) was instituted in 2002, to among
other things salvage the oil palm from depleting, rejuvenate the oil palm industry in the
area and to foster unity through forgiveness and reconciliation.
Source: GHANA DAILY newspaper/GhanaPoliticsonline.com