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General News of Monday, 6 June 2016


No work done to remove threatening Aburi boulders

Authorities have failed to deal with the danger of falling boulders on a portion of the Aburi-Accra highway along the sharp curve heading towards Accra, despite a promise by the Ministry of Roads and Highways that preliminary works to remove the threatening boulders would be completed in the early part of this year.

It will be recalled that the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA) closed, temporarily, one side of the road to traffic, as a precaution against the imminent fall of a dislocated boulder in January this year.

The design-and-build contract was awarded to CST Ghana at the latter part of 2015, with sources indicating that the project was expected to end by July this year.

However, six months after it was awarded, nothing has been done to address the issue, a situation that has left the threat of falling boulders persisting.

Class FM’s Ridwan Karim Dini Osman, who visited the scene on Monday 6 June 2016, reported that the section of the mountain with the boulder consists of sedimentary rocks with visible cracks. He says particles of the rock are wearing off as residue can be seen just below the mountain.

According to him, water is gushing out from the base of the mountain, which could weaken that section, making it easier for the boulder to tumble to the streets. He said the size of the boulder could block both lanes of the highway, should it fall, which would make it impossible for motorists to use the road.

Ridwan also reported that road signs had been placed at the junction to warn motorists of the situation, but judging from the inscription, it did not look like a warning sign from the Ministry of Roads and Highways, but from a company, which did so out of benevolence.

He explained that the signs have no reflectors, making them invisible at night, while drivers were not even complying with the warning to drive on the outer lane.

Meanwhile, Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Akuapim South, within whose constituency the mountain is located, has demanded answers from the Ministry of Roads and Highways on its failure to deal with the danger posed by the hanging and falling sedimentary rock.

Speaking on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class 91.3FM Monday June 6, the Chairman of Parliament’s Subsidiary Legislation Committee said the Ministry needed to provide answers on why that threat persisted.

“The Assembly went for inspection there, we all saw what was happening. Indeed, because of what was happening, we brought in the Ministry, Highways, and every institution involved in this situation. And, indeed, if you check they have put sign boards there that: ‘Beware of falling rocks but the major thing is that the Ministry of Roads and Highways made us aware last year that by February this year the contractors would start work on this particular stretch and that, given the situation was an emergency, within few months the whole problem would be addressed,” he stated.

Mr Amoah continued: “That was February and we are in June and nothing has started. Indeed they even gave us the name of the company as CST which has been awarded the contract to start the whole thing. That was when we all alerted them to the danger involved in this situation. So, some of us have been asking everyday: ‘Are we still in February?’ and now this disaster is looming. So, the Ministry should come out and tell us exactly what is happening and why up till now the contractor has not commenced work?”