You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2010 02 26Article 177453

Opinions of Friday, 26 February 2010

Columnist: Yiadom, Joseph Boakye

Are People In Authority Aware Of The Socio-Economic Effects Of Road Accident On Ghana?

Road accident in Ghana has become a disease responsible for most avoidable and quickest way one dies or hears of the death of a relative, loved one or friend few minutes after seeing or hearing from that person.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 1.2 million people are killed on roads every year with over 50 million more seriously injured. The organisation predicts that by 2020, the number of people killed each year can reach two million if swift and coordinated action is not taken both at global and national levels.
It is further predicted that in the next decade road crashes in high income (developed) countries will decline by 30 per cent but will increase by 80 per cent in low as well as middle income (especially developing African) countries like Ghana.
The road transport sub-sector currently accounts for about 95% of all transportation within Ghana. The other means of transport such as rail, sea or air are under-developed because of the huge capital involved in the construction of the infrastructure to support these alternative transportation systems.
Ghana€™s transport system consist of about 64,000 Km of roads, a rail network of just 950 Km, one international airport and five domestic airports and the Volta Lake transport system which serves communities at the fringes of the Volta Lake.
It is estimated that road traffic crashes in Ghana kills at least 1800 people yearly (reference to national road safety policy) this is equivalent to the population of an average-sized town in Ghana, seriously injures about 15000 people of which about 5000 become physically disabled. All these victims were overwhelmingly healthy prior to their crashes.
Again the financial cost to the nation (directly and indirectly) is a whopping $165million or GHC 230million representing 1.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per year. This is equivalent to the budget of 16 ministries and agencies of state of Ghana per year.
Everyday a family or community in Ghana loses a loved one through road accident. The pain, grief and shattered hope and dream of dependants of road accident victims cannot be quantified. Again road accident is currently Ghana€™s biggest public health problem. Medical and funeral expenses on victims put serious financial pressure on family members.
The statistics should be viewed with caution as the quality of the national data is affected by under-reporting (including both non-reporting, because not all crashes are reported, and under-recording arising from incomplete retrieval of reported crashes from police files). Whereas the actual degree of under-reporting is not currently known, the level of under-recording of the data has improved over the years.
Most victims of road accident are the bread winners of their families and their sudden departure throws their dependants into hardships. The death of a male breadwinner through road accident creates widows and female-headed households. In the same vein, the loss of the female caretakers of households leaves the men alone to take care of the children. Such children who are denied the precious motherly love in their formative years are not likely to grow up to become well-balanced members of society.
In situations whereby both parents die, the onus is on family members to take care of the children. Dependants of road accident victims usually become school dropouts, social destitute and eventual delinquents (armed robbers, prostitutes etc).

Again long hospitalization or disabilities prevent victims from indulging in their usual and normal productive activities rendering them dependant on others.

The economic impact is really felt when the loss of future productivity and contributions of highly talented and educated people whose talent, knowledge and experience are required by the country for national development. Again many people lose their business and capital because their investments in a vehicle or goods are lost through road accident.

Furthermore tourism development can never be realized if road crashes continue to scare away potential domestic and international tourists. When a nation gains a reputation for dangerous or unpredictable roadways, other nations caution their visiting citizens, scholars and investors against road way travel, which discourages tourism and foreign investment. For e.g. Between Accra and Cape Coast highway, the National Road Safety Commission has erected billboards showing how many people have died on that route through road accident. The United States of America on their Department of State website has warned its visiting citizens to be extremely careful when travelling on that route because it is a death trap. This discourages tourism.
The passing away of Bishop Kwadwo Owusu and Ferdinand Ayim are critical cases in point. Some honorable members of our August Parliament House such as Alhaji Kwawdo Mahama, Edward Osei Kwaku and John Achuliwor and others suddenly departed us due to motor accidents. Her Lordship Elizabeth Mills Robinson, first female Speaker of Parliament was involved in a motor accident on 10th November 2009.
Boniface Adams an aspiring deputy national propaganda secretary of the NDC who died through motor accident on 3rd January 2010 is a recent case in point.
Ghanaian celebrities such as Suzy Williams, a fast-rising actress, Terry Bonchaka, Kwame Owusu Ansah and others who died in motor accidents have indeed left a great vacuum in the Ghanaian Film and Music Industry.
The death of the three Urologists Prof J.M.K Quartey (82 years), Dr Isaac Bentsi and Dr Benjamin Osei Wiafe of Korle-bu Teaching Hospital on the Kumasi €“ Accra road on 27TH AUGUST 2005, the death of the children and members of Rev Eastwood Annaba and Fountain Gate Chapel on good Friday in 2009 and in fact countless similar reported cases are still fresh in our memory.
Media reports reveal that former President Kuffour's convoy was involved in many serious road accidents during his tenure. About 6 security officers died in these accidents.
The former Vice President also experienced deadly motor accidents one of which occurred somewhere in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana which claimed the life of a teenager.
Of course former, former President Rawlings was not immune from motor accident. The infamous case in which a mini bus drove into his convoy, killing 4 body guards on the spot has not been forgotten. None of these victims of road accident ever taught that they could be victims.
Although statistics available reveal that pedestrian (particularly men) and children between the ages of 4 to 10 years are most vulnerable to road accidents, every person in Ghana stands the risk of this menace.
Irrespective of your social class or status, you can choose the type of vehicle you drive, the hospital you and your family attend, the school your children attend and many things one has a choice but you can never choose, even as the President of Ghana; the other person you share the road with.
Ghana is the hub of commercial activity in the West African sub-region and a major transit route for land€“locked countries like Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. This means a constant increase in vehicular activity raising the stakes of safety on our roads.

The determination of the country to become a middle income country by the year 2020, can suffer if pragmatic plans are not initiated to help curb road accidents since there is a link between road accident, public health and poverty, as enshrined in the Millennium Development Goals which primarily focuses on health, eradication of poverty as well as hunger.

2009 BUDGET AGAINST COST OF ROAD ACCIDENT ANNUALLY
COST OF ROAD ACCIDENT
FINANCIAL COST = $165,000,000 = GHC 231,000,000 EVERY YEAR
HUMAN LIVES = AVERAGE 1840 KILLED EVERY YEAR
SERIOUS INJURY = 15000 EVERY YEAR
PHYSICAL DISABILITY = ABOUT 5000 EVERY YEAR

2009 BUDGET
Ministry of Food and Agriculture
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢80,034,267 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢14,097,316 IGF is GH ¢37,518,900 Donor is GH ¢18,418,052 and HIPC is GH ¢10,000,000

Ministry of Trade and Industry
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢72,296,148 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢9,740,064 IGF is GH ¢11,844,500 and Donor is GH ¢50,711,584

Ministry of Tourism
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢3,757,185 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢3,372,185 and IGF is GH ¢385,000

Ministry of Energy
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢317,243,469 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢6,070,589 Donor is GH ¢286,172,880 and MDRI is GH ¢25,000,000

Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢285,929,547 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢46,122,240 IGF is GH ¢1,544,764 Donor is GH ¢218,755,543 and HIPC is GH ¢19,507,000

Ministry of Transport
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢4,562,859 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢3,379,289 and IGF is GH ¢1,183,570

Ministry of Roads and Highways

For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH¢386,370,228 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH¢90,114,575 IGF is GH¢1,113,020 Donor is GH¢171,860,226 and Road Fund is GH¢123,282,407

Ministry of Communication
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢18,720,755 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢4,779,827 IGF is GH ¢650,000 and Donor is GH ¢13,290,928

Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢113,045,554 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢41,320,001 IGF is GH ¢2,994,455 and Donor is GH ¢68,731,097

Human Resource Development
Ministry of Education
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH¢ 1,693,735,829 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH¢107,132,235 IGF is GH¢180,477,430 Donor is GH¢69,418,281 and HIPC is GH¢37,930,000 GETFUND is GH¢275,077,883 and MDRI is GH¢23,700,000

Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH¢32,896,982 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH¢11,037,461 IGF is GH¢3,035,224 Donor is GH¢1,324,297 and MDRI is GH¢17,500,000

Ministry of Health
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH¢921,929,472 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH¢344,398,438 IGF is GH¢108,312,030 Donor is GH¢82,582,842, HIPC is GH¢11,427,000 and NHIF is GH ¢375,209,162

Ministry of Women and Children€™s Affairs (MOWAC)
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH¢9,570,786 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH¢2,752,775 IGF is GH¢6,768,571 Donor is GH¢768,571

Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS)
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢91,232,823 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢89,912,823 and IGF is GH ¢1,320,000.

Good Governance and Civic Responsibility
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD)
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢179,102,552 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢46,620,153 Donor is GH ¢81,055,400 HIPC is GH ¢41,427,000 and MDRI is GH ¢10,000,000

Office of Parliament
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH¢29,726,273 has been allocated

Ministry of the Interior
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH¢157,223,942 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH¢153,971,312 and IGF is GH¢3,252,630.l

Judicial Service
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢32,720,762 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢31,837,118 and IGF is GH ¢883,644

Public Services Commission
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH¢1,895,727 has been allocated


Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢73,108,536 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢67,426, 526 and IGF is GH ¢5,682,010.

Audit Service
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢24,904,054 has been allocated

Ministry of Justice and Attorney General€™s Department
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH¢15,006,817 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢13,623,971 IGF is GH ¢1,374,900 and Donor is GH ¢7,946.

Ministry of Defense (MOD)
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢159,015,198 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢156,568,605 and IGF is GH ¢2,446,593

The Electoral Commission
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢7,091,990 has been allocated.

Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ)

For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢4,206,832 has been allocated

Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢13,190,099 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢11,584,106 IGF is GH ¢1,414,340 and Donor is GH ¢191,652



Ministry of Information
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢41,255,208 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢15,027,100 IGF is GH ¢15,435,086 and Donor is GH ¢10,793,022.

National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE)
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢5,044,605 has been allocated.

National Development Planning Commission

For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢3,083,056 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢2,016,997 and Donor is GH ¢1,066,059
National Labour Commission
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢416,401 has been allocated.

National Media Commission
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢503,741 has been allocated.

Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢146,681,167 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢63,960,956 IGF is GH ¢2,378,854 Donor is GH ¢61,101,357 and HIPC is GH ¢6,500,000 and MDRI is GH ¢12,740,000.

Office of Government Machinery
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢289,610,596 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢102,731,631 IGF is GH ¢373,980 and Donor is GH ¢186,504,985.

District Assembly Common Fund (DACF)
For the implementation of the above activities, an amount of GH ¢348,269,833 has been allocated. Out of this, GoG is GH ¢182,350 and Statutory Fund is GH ¢348,087,483

NB: The underlined ministries and agencies put together is equivalent to the amount the nation waste road accident after the crash.

WHAT DO YOU KNOW
1. Do you know that Ghana waste over $165 million or GHC 230 million (1.6% of GDP) every year because of road accident.

2. Do you know that an average of 1840 healthy people in Ghana die untimely through road accident every year? Everyone is a potential statistic.


3. Do you know that about 5000 people in Ghana become physically disabled in Ghana every year? It can be anyone at anytime?

4. Ministers, MP€™s, Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, Chiefs, Musicians, Policemen, Lecturers, Engineers, etc have all died through road accident?


5. Do you know that someone€™s action or inaction (personal or professional) can result in your sudden death or injury?

6. Do you know that every vehicle that drives past you is a potential threat to your life?

7. Do you know that over 99% of road accident victims never taught they will ever become victims until it happened to them? Have you ever taught about road accident?


8. Do you know that over 99% of road accident victims regret their actions and inactions (good or bad) after the accident has already happened?

9. Do you know that over 80% of road accidents are avoidable? But it continues to kill innocent people in Ghana.

10. Do you know that irrespective of your social class or status, you can be killed at anytime through road accident?

11. About 70% of people who cause road accidents are not victims, but innocent people and their families suffer greatly.

12. Have you ever taught that someone left home like you have done but never returned or got to his or her destination because of road accident?

13. As an official of road safety, what will you gain if get all the wealth in this world and some innocent people lose their lives because of your action or inaction?

14. Can your family survive if you or the bread winner of your family is killed in a road accident?

15. Can anyone in Ghana be issued with a doctor€™s license without any knowledge in medicine? Can anyone in Ghana be issued with a driver€™s license without any knowledge in defensive driving?

A doctor or a driver, who can kill more human beings at a time?
Akwaaba foundation has for the past two years thoroghly researched into the real causes of road accident in Ghana and we have developed a proactive strategy to address the spate of road accidents in Ghana.
AKWAABA FOUNDATION GHANA

AKWAABA ROAD TO SAFETY STRATEGY! 2010 €“ 2015: TIME FOR ACTION

A PROACTIVE STRATEGY TO COMBAT ROAD CARNAGE
€œA DECADE OF AVOIDABLE DEATHS ON GHANA€™S ROADS€



ROAD ACCIDENT: KILLER OF THE NATION


THEME
SOMEONE€™S ACTION OR INACTION (PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL) MUST NOT PUT HIM/HERSELF AND OTHER ROAD USERS AT RISK


We need support from all Ghanaians both home and abroad interms of road safety expertise, advice, funding, prayers, and any form of assistance is welcome. Do something to save a life. For further information please contact 051-21462 or 0244434522 or 0208121199. Email: akwaabafoundationgh@yahoo.com. God richly bless you