Life is gradually returning to Agordeke in the Kwahu Afram Plains North District in the Eastern Region following the introduction of a water bus, MV Akpini Princess on the 22 nautical-mile route from Agordeke to Kpando Torkor in Kpando in the Volta Region.
Residents in the two areas, particularly Agordeke, had yearned for the return of the pontoon so that life would return to the town. It was, therefore, welcoming news for the people that with the inauguration of yet another pontoon and a water bus, the town would once again come alive.
In April this year, President John Dramani Mahama inaugurated a new pontoon, MV Dame, and a water bus, MV Akpini Princess, at Agodeke to facilitate travel between Agordeke in the Kwahu Afram Plains North District in the Eastern Region and Kpando Torkor in the Kpando District in the Volta Region.
Besides making travel easier between the two towns, the pontoon and water bus were to enhance trading activities.
The inauguration of the vessels, which was expected to revive business activities between the two districts, was welcomed with pomp and circumstance, and rightly so, because for almost seven years Agordeke became a pale shadow of itself.
Unfortunately, since the very day the pontoon was inaugurated, it had remained berthed at the Kpando Torkor side of the lake awaiting repairs following a breakdown. The breakdown of the pontoon has devastated the folks as it was expected to pull crowds to the community. It would have conveyed not only passengers but vehicles and goods as well, unlike the water bus that was designed to convey passengers only.
The expectations of the people, mostly traders, have waned because the MV Akpini Princess does not bring the same relief to them as the pontoon, MV Dame, would have brought.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Kwahu Afram Plains North, Mr Windham Emile Afram has assured the people of an early return of the pontoon which they eagerly await so that life in Agodeke would turn around.
He said the manufacturers of the pontoon would be at Kpando Torkor this month to bring it back into operation. He also commended the people for their patience for the over seven years as they waited for the return of the pontoon.
The Assemblymember for Agordeke, Mr Felix Bless Edze, expressed confidence that the pontoon would be back before the end of the year. He said the pontoon did not only convey passengers and goods but also attracted traders to the area.
He was pleased that the water bus was working and appealed to the people at both ends to patronise the water bus, which he said was safe and comfortable.
He said the main challenge for the people of Agordeke was the lack of electricity in the community even though almost all other communities around had electricity.
The Captain of the water bus, Mr Charles Yaw Asante, said he was concerned with the absence of a light house in the towns which could be used as landmarks to guide the vessel to land safely. He called for the matter to be addressed immediately.
He said the absence of lights in the town made berthing of the vessel very risky and that a landing place like Agordeke must be connected to the national grid.
“How can a landing place be without light? What happens if there is an emergency?” he queried.