General News of Sunday, 10 March 2013

Source: Martin Asiedu-Dartey/

COMMENT: Gaping death traps at Nkrumah Circle

Drivers and pedestrians who use the stretch of road at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, right from the main lorry station heading towards the Awudome Cemetery, stand a grave danger of losing life or property because of the huge yawning death traps on both sides of the road.

The ugly sight of the uncovered gutters leaves much to be desired as the half on the left side is filled with stagnant liquid (too horrible to be called water) and has been breeding mosquitoes for over a year now.

The other half on the right side has both liquid and solid waste made up mainly of plastic, polythene and all kinds of waste and commuters are doing a good job of indiscipline by continually dumping rubbish into it. Nobody really cares.

This brings to mind the health concerns associated with such filth and its associated risks. In case there is an epidemic (cholera, etc) right this moment, we are looking at a serious disaster.

Randomly picking thoughts of people around the area, some of whom were doing brisk business; it was obvious that the contractor who abandoned the project over a year ago has not been to the sight again. Reasons for abandoning the project is still unknown but the contractor and the persons who employed his services (government) have left the commuters to their fate by exposing them to such grave danger.

The Weekend Globe gathered that quite a number of people have slipped and fallen into the gutter on the right side with many more losing their property (from mobile phones to bags, purse, money etc) when it fell from their hand.

This is also because the Neoplan lorry station is situated right around the gutter and hundreds of people do business in and around the station. Travellers from far and near use this station which has vehicle that travel to many parts of the country and even our neighbouring Nigeria. Quite recently, a taxi with a mother and her child in it, fell into the gutter when the driver tried to pack to pick other passengers. It took the efforts of several young men around to pull the taxi out of the ditch.

Another disturbing issue is that the gutter is getting wider by the day due to human activity and this is gradually eroding parts of the tarred road. In no time this is going to be another headache for government.

When the greater Accra regional minister, Nii Layear Affotey Agbo was being vetted he was asked whether he had seen the huge gutters which had been left unattended to for over a year now and he answered in the affirmative.

He said yes he had seen it and that he was also very worried about it adding that he would immediately get in touch with the Mayor of Accra, Alfred Vanderpuye, to address the situation.

It might be early days yet in his new role as the regional minister under this new administration but he has been in that position for almost a year. In fact he was the regional minister before former president John Evans Atta Mills died so he is only continuing at post and it is high time concrete steps are taken to address the problem.

I wonder how Dr. Kwame Nkrumah himself would be feeling right now looking at the way we as nation are desecrating an area that has been named after him as a way of remembering him.

Dr. Nkrumah deserves better and we either sit up as a nation and get the place in a befitting way after his name or take his name from it and stop associating such filth and danger to him.

I do not intend to be a prophet of doom but it seems to me that we are probably waiting for lives to be lost in this avoidable situation before any action is taken to address the situation.

With the rainy season just around the corner, there is looming danger because when these gutters overflow their banks we all know where the filled it would have gathered over the period is heading...peoples homes.

Would we wait for the situation to get out of hand before we take action or we want to wait till a so-called ‘big man / big woman’ - be it a government official is seriously affected before we do something about it?

A word to the wise, they say, is enough.