Report reaching Republic Press indicates that farmers in Okorase, Domeabra, Mmetiamu and other communities in the Akuapem- North Municipality in the Eastern Region has embarked on a demonstration over the collapse of a wooden footbridge that connects 12 farming communities to a market center at Okorase and Suhum.
The wooden bridge was constructed in 1808 at the cost of £1,680 by a Swiss Missionary and Civil Engineer, Mr Jacob Isliker, on behalf of the Enterprising Pioneer Cocoa Farmers who migrated from the Akuapem Mountains mostly La Mmetiamu and established early farms around the Densu river, collapsed two weeks ago.
The footbridge was featured by Dr Polly Hill, formerly of the University of Ghana in her book, ‘Migrant Cocoa Farmers of Southern Ghana (1970).
In the book, he described the bridge as a splendid and historic landmark that should be preserved as a monument to the business enterprise of the first cocoa farmers due to its uniqueness in Africa.
But for lack of maintenance, the bridge has collapsed, rendering hundreds of farmers stranded while their farm produces mostly cassava; plantain and cocoa are rotting away.
Few farmers capable of swimming does so to cross the Densu River to their farms but are attacked by some dangerous amphibians. Pregnant women are unable to attend antenatal care while pupils are unable to cross to attend school.
Report indicates that three school children who attempted to swim their way to school nearly die until a timely intervention from some farmers around rescued them from drowning.
The angry farmers clad in red attire and red armband under police protection embarked on a demonstration to draw the attention of the government to their predicament.
In a telephone interview with the Queen of Okrase, Nana Oye Asiwaa Apem, said several petitions had been sent to the Presidency and the Akuapem-North Municipal Assembly about the poor state of the bridge but yielded no result until the total collapsed, which has cut off over farming communities from accessing already market for their farm products.
The Assembly member for Okorase, Mr Charles Adu Asinor and his colleague Assembly member for Koransang Electoral Area, Ransford Norvol, under Suhum Municipality called for urgent intervention to save farmers, pregnant women as well as school children.
The two Assembly men also want the road to be constructed to facilitate transportation of farm produce from the farming communities into the cities.