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General News of Wednesday, 14 November 2018


Contempt of court looms over construction of Madina-Adentan footbridges

Construction of footbridges on the Adenta-Madina highway in Accra could be stalled over concerns raised by persons with disabilities.

The Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD) has warned, it could go back to court to cite government for contempt if the footbridges to be constructed are not disability-friendly.

“We are just hoping that they would abide by the redress we are seeking,” Moses Foudjour, who is Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the Ghana Federation of the Disabled said.

The organisation, which claims a membership of over three million, in 2014 secured an injunction preventing the Ministry of Roads and Highways from continuing with the construction of the project because the designs had no provisions for disability crossing.

But government is under public pressure to finish the footbridges following frequent accidents on the Madina-Adentan section of the N4 Highway in Accra.

A citizens’ count claims 194 persons have died on the highway in 2018 but police put the deaths at 24.

The latest victim was a teenage student of the West Africa High School (WASS) who was knocked down and killed last Thursday. It triggered violent protests and severe backlash on government.

Residents around the Adentan-Madina highway have issued a 10-day ultimatum to the government to fix pedestrian problems. Contractors have reportedly moved on to the site to begin work.

But the federation of disabled persons would rather have a patient fix of the footbridges that includes their ability to use it.

“It will not be acceptable to us if they bow to public pressure and put up pedestrian crossing that is not disability friendly”, Moses Fordjour warned.

That would be against the Ghana Disability Act 715, he said.

He pointed to disability-friendly footbridges at Mallam market in the Greater Accra Region and KNUST junction in the Ashanti Region.

“It’s quite simple,” he said.