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Feature Article of Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

Ghana's Outdoor Advertising Hoardings

: Regulate Their Design, Fabrication and Erection

By Kofi Thompson

One of the most unnerving sights, driving around Accra, our nation's bustling and quirky energy-filled capital, in the aftermath of the recent storm - with winds packing speeds of over 50 mph - are the twisted and mangled hulks of the metal frames of massive advertising hoardings, which came to grief when they encountered those winds.

It is such a relief that there have not been any reports thus far, of their injuring or killing anyone.

The question is, if they are such potentially dangerous things, surely, those who regulate the erection of such structures, ought to ensure that they are designed to withstand even gale-force winds - and that they strictly comply with laid down specifications: in terms of the materials used in their fabrication and erection?

For many of those that were brought down by the power of the winds that accompanied the storm, the shoddy work carried out by those who put them up was pretty obvious.

The city authorities, the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA), and other local authorities throughout Ghana, must learn lessons from the number of advertising hoardings, downed by the strong winds.

Above all, the AMA and other local government authorities across Ghana, ought to collaborate with the Advertising Association of Ghana (AAG), to put new regulations in place - to ensure that such structures are well-engineered and also meet international safety standards for their erection.

It is totally unacceptable that they should pose such risk to the safety of the general public. That risk ought to be swiftly removed henceforth - to make the built-environment and public space across urban Ghana safer for all those who live and work in our nation's many towns and cities. A word to the wise...

Tel (Powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana, which actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109. Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Vodafone

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