Residents of Assin Ochiso have heaved a sigh of relief following the construction of a steel bridge over River Ochi in the Assin South District.
The 70-metre-long steel bridge, completed at an estimated cost of Gh¢400,000, serves more than 3,000 people in surrounding communities including Odumkrom, Amoanda and Akyesan.
Commuters hitherto relied on a weak footbridge and canoe to cross the river at high risk.
About a decade ago, two out of six school children drowned when the canoe carrying them to school capsized on the river
Not long after that incident, a woman and her day-old baby got drowned when they were returning from a hospital.
The plight of the people caught the attention of Madamfo Ghana Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).
Following the completion of work on the bridge, the people can now travel back and forth from Ochiso and the nearby communities with ease.
At the handing over ceremony, Mr Enoch Sunday Attipoe, Deputy Managing Director of the NGO noted that the inhabitants could not have access to proper education and healthcare, hence the need to construct a bridge.
”Handing over the bridge to the community at a time when the rains are about to set in is a delightful moment for me and my people”. he said.
He encouraged the people to use the footbridge and not resort to canoes without life jackets.
In addition, he said the education of the school children was paramount to the NGO, so he urged more school-going age children to attend schools in their numbers when school reopened.
On her part, Mrs Felicia Ntrikwa Amissah, the District Chief Executive, (DCE) cautioned the people not to use tricycles on the bridge, since it was a footbridge, not a road.
The DCE admonished other NGOs to come to the aid of the Assembly and pledged her commitment to ensuring that the bridge was maintained.