Residents of Larabanga in the West Gonja district are questioning the whereabouts of a community recreational park (astroturf) with a spectator stand, modern lighting system and an inner perimeter for sports promised them by their Member of Parliament Abu Jinapor and the current government.
According to the Youth of the area, “When the campaign got heated, a contractor was dispatched to the project site (Laribanga JHS park) to start the execution of the project. The markings were done and fence wall was done to start with. In a few days, some of the materials including carpets were dumped at the site”.
However, work stalled after the 2020 election.
But in a written answer to an urgent question filed in Parliament by the Tamale North Member of Parliament Alhassan Suhuyini on the astroturfs constructed by the government across the country, the Sports Minister included the supposed Laribanga astroturf pitch.
He said GHC 1.8 million had been spent on completing the community recreational park (astroturf) with a spectator stand, modern lighting system and an inner perimeter for sports in Larabanga.
Read A Letter From One Resident To The MP
From: ISSIFU SEIDU KUDUS GBEADESE
(Youth Imam from Laribanga)
To: THE MP FOR DAMONGO CONSTITUENCY (HON. SAMUEL JINAPOR)
WHERE IS THE GHC 1.8M ASTRO TURF MONEY MEANT FOR LARIBANGA?
Good day to my MP,
I bring you greetings from my humble cubicle in the holy city of Laribanga (the Mecca of Africa). I write this to your humble office not as an everyday political activist, but as a concerned and passionate native of Laribanga who want answers for his people.
Gearing up to the 2020 general elections, my MP (the NPP Parliamentary Candidate then) and his NPP government came to inform the Laribanga community that they were going to construct a community recreational park (astro turf) with a spectator stand, modern lightening system and an inner perimeter for sports and other social and economic activities. The key stakeholders in the community agreed on the Laribanga Junior High School park to be used for this project.
When the campaign got heated, a contractor was dispatched to the project site (Laribanga JHS park) to start the execution of the project. The markings were done and fence wall was done to start with. In a few days, some of the materials including carpets were dumped at the site. The pictures as attached are the current state of the materials and the project at large.
Fast forward into 2021, the Member of Parliament for the Tamale North Constituency, Hon. Alhassan Suhuyini, posted a question to the Minister for Youth and Sports, to furnish Parliament and the people of Ghana with the number of astro turf pitches constructed so far, their locations and their relative costs.
In his written answer to the question, the minister for Youth and Sports provided that, the Zongo Development Fund undertook and completed some astro turf pitches across the country, and inclusive was the supposed Laribanga astro turf pitch. Whether it was deliberate, a mistake or an oversight, Laribanga was rather placed under the Sawla/Tuna/Kalba Constituency/District and not the West Gonja Municipal/Damongo Constituency. I hope that oversight or mistake would be corrected by the MP for Sawla/Tuna/Kalba Constituency, my MP and the Ministry.
What is mind boggling is the fact that, as part of the answer, the amount spent on the so called completed Laribanga astro turf pitch is a whopping GHC 1.8m as captured in the order paper of Tuesday, 23rd November, 2021 as marked. Meanwhile, no work was done beyond fencing and dumping of some materials at the project site.
My people in Laribanga pay their taxes as law abiding citizens and they are therefore supposed to benefit from the taxes they pay. Capturing the uncompleted project as completed, and a whopping 10.8 billion old Ghana cedis spent on an incomplete project is gravely unacceptable. The project has since been abandoned and the materials are rotten away. The Laribanga JHS has equally lost its park as a result.
It is on this note I write this to my MP, Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor to clarify the following issues as raised:
- Is my MP, Hon Samuel Jinapor, aware that the project (Laribanga astro turf) as started in 2020 has since been abandoned?
- As a cabinet minister, is he aware that a whopping GHC 1.8m was allocated in 2020 and has since been expended without any work done beyond the fence wall and the dumping of some materials?
- Is my MP aware that the materials dumped at the project site (Laribanga JHS) and the fence wall are wearing out with the carpet getting rotten?
- When last has my MP visited Laribanga, and did he take the pain to inspect the project site upon his visit?
Beyond these questions raised, I wish to humbly request of my MP to equally ask his colleague minister a follow up question or file a fresh question for him to give further clarification as to whether or not the project is completed and whether or not the GHC 1.8m was spent or yet to be spent. As we speak, the Laribanga astro turf is captured by this government as a completed project, meanwhile as per the pictures, the project has not gone beyond fencing and dumping of materials since the last quarter of 2020.
I only wrote to your office as a concerned but passionate member of the Laribanga community in the Damongo Constituency, and a citizen who is called to duty.
I would humbly wait for an appropriate but constructive response.