Patrick Cofie, GNA
Well times have changed in many societies and for many communities in the country. But do you remember when we under took long journeys and for most of the entire journey, you hardly went beyond 70 kilometres an hour and this was due to the untarred road and the endless potholes on the tarred sections.
Do you remember the number of hours you had to spend for that journey and how dishevelled you appeared on finally reaching your destination? Well though for some times are still changing, for many others, times have changed.
Some may have a different view but good roads says a lot about the development focus of the nation. Decent roads are one of the healthiest gift any political regime can bequeath to its citizens.
And there is no year that the budget has been read without the mention of the extent of roads to be constructed within a given period. Hence, the need to applaud government and all preceding administrations for the good work being undertaken.
I would also wish express the hope that besides the stated intentions of roads to be in the budget, the Finance Minister would also increase the budget for the number of trees to be planted besides the roads and help increase the greenery and beauty of the country’s landscape.
Ah, there is nothing like good roads, with beautiful street markings, traffic signals blinking at well-timed intervals, well constructed rain gutters and beautiful trees for one to enjoy some respite when the sun is just too much to bear. There is nothing like this.
When the rule of law prevails, good things happen but sometimes certain omissions and needless commissions do hinder our entire effort. Take a look at this instance.
The University of Ghana not wanting to obstruct traffic on its premises, allowed some access routes to be constructed. One is the Agbogba Junction-GIMPA route. Well there are no trees planted by the road side, but that is not a concern compared to the unsustainable drainage system one sees on the route. Then to make matters worse the entire stretch has been tarred with the exception of the remaining 400 meters stretch to the Agbogba Junction of the route.
Again the mandatory notice detailing the extent of the contract and the participants involved is also absent. Work, however, on that route started before the 2016 elections and indeed it continued a couple of months after the elections after which the contractor unceremoniously stopped work. And till date, many in that 400-meter catchment area have been left to their fate. These days the rains have started so the challenge is not too glaring.
But when there are hardly any rains, and the sun is hot and cars ply on that route, the dust rises and only settles on the beds, chairs, bowls, clothes, delicate equipment and rooms of the surrounding houses. People with asthmatic conditions cannot reside there as this goes on24/7, and I have seen babies struggling for breath. Various health complications keep emerging and nobody can be held responsible as the contractor left unceremoniously.
This situation, like many others across the country, is unique and only those who have experienced it know what I am talking about. The contractor, the Member of Parliament, the District Chief Executive or even the assemblyman for the area can’t be bothered because they don’t reside in that 400 meter stretch. And besides, the entire route has been tarred with only about 400 metres undone. So for many, its even work done and acceptable.
But this is an instance where useful intentions have become a health hazard for many. And small communities with no one to highlight their concerns bear the brunt of a contractor’s sudden disappearance.
In an interview with a pensioned woman in the community, she said “this is a case in point where adequate budget for the tarring of the road was made available but why the contractor chose to tar some sections and leave the rest is something we all need to know”.