Ranking member on Parliament’s select committee on Transport, Kwame Agbodza Governs is contending government has no excuse for its failure to complete the six footbridges on the Madina-Adenta Highway in the Greater Accra Region.
About 194 pedestrians have reportedly been knocked down by moving vehicles on the stretch in the last 12 months, a situation residents along the road have termed as disgusting.
Vice President of Imani Africa, Selorm Branttie, a resident of the area has also described the road as a “death trap” which has become “a national security issue” following the uncountable traffic deaths recorded as a result of the absence of a safe means of crossing.
About six footbridges which were started some years ago to offer residents and pedestrians, majority of whom are school children, a safer means of crossing has also been left abandoned leaving questions about government’s commitment to protecting lives on the road.
The latest of such accidents involved a student of West African Senior High School (WASS) who on Thursday, November 8 was killed instantly when she was knocked by a speeding vehicle. She was reportedly going home following the school’s mid-term break.
This angered residents in the area who blocked the highway and burnt lorry tyres in protest against what they describe as the rampant accidents experienced on the road.
Police deployed to the area to ensure calm fired warning shots to disperse the angry crowd. A stray bullet however hit the thigh of a pedestrian who is said to be battling for his life at the hospital.
Police had to fire warning shots to disperse the agitating crowd.
Speaking on Ete Sen programme on Radio XYZ 93.1 on Friday, November 9, 2018 Mr Agbodza who is also the MP for Adaklu questioned the commitment of government to completing the footbridge projects.
The MP avowed that “When you see the 2017 budget, the Ministry of Roads and Highways was allocated 700 million Ghana Cedis thereabout. Government only released just a fraction of that money to them so the government did no work on that road. Surprisingly, in 2018 that budget has been reduced by 200 million so in 2018 they were given just about 500 million Ghana Cedis and no wonder there is nothing going on at the road sector.”
He observed that, with lot of options available to government to consider, there is no justification for government’s failure in completing the footbridgess, adding “…when NDC was in government how were we able to fund these road projects? The taxes and the oil revenue. At that time oil was only drilled at one location. Today, we have three locations. In fact oil production has doubled by almost 200, 000 barrels and the price of crude oil has also doubled so there is no justification on the part of this government that they don’t have the money.”
The Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako Atta, in the heat of warnings over the lack of safety measures on the road, asked Ghanaians to be patient with him as he prepared to respond to the issues.
“At the moment, I am out of Accra and I do not have enough information on the issues that has taken place over the last four days to make a comment,” he stated on Accra-based Joy FM on Wednesday.
However, Mr. Amoako Atta, who was on a tour in the Western region cut his trip short and returned to Accra Thursday, following the heightening tension in the area.
Mr Kwasi Amoako-Attah, Minister of Roads and Highways.
In a statement, the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Roads and Highways, Transport, and Interior announced that they were working on relevant procurement processes to resume work on the uncompleted foot bridges within a week.
The statenment signed by Mr Kwasi Amoako-Attah, the Minister of Roads and Highways, and Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister of the Interior, appealed to residents in the area to remain calm and cooperate with the Ministries as steps were being taken to savage the situation.
It said personnel of the Motor Transport and Traffic Department of the Ghana Police Service have been deployed to enforce the relevant Road Traffic Regulations on speeding limits, jaywalking and pedestrian crossing.
The statement added traffic l lights and street lights would be fixed to improve visibility on the 120km/hr speed limit highway.
The statement said the National Road Safety Commission would also intensify public education and sensitization programme targeting drivers and pedestrians at the area.
By: Henryson Okrah & Charles Akrofi/Myxyzonline.com