The Madina-Adenta-Aburi highway in Accra is ‘stubbornly’ gaining notoriety among Ghana roads for claiming over 200 lives under a decade.
Most of these deaths and several maimed others have been attributed to the absence of pedestrian footbridges on that stretch of the highway, making crossing a nightmare for pedestrians.
As if that is not enough a bad situation, the over 200 streetlights on the same stretch have only a few functional ones – less than 10% of them function, making the road a dangerous place to use, especially at night.
The over 200 lives that have been claimed over the years can be graphically translated as about the staff of an average factory.
They can easily be imagined as 40 saloon cars each full of passengers.
If the June 3 Disaster was a catastrophe as we often say, then the situation on the Adenta-Madina highway is more lives lost than what happened at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle on that fateful day.
We have always wished that, never in this country should we witness a tragedy like the May 9 Accra Sports Stadium disaster, but the numbers involved in the Madina- Adenta highway are far more – yet we care less or so it seems.
In terms of human resource, the number of lost lives on that stretch is 90 persons more than the number of ministers currently serving in the Nana Akufo-Addo’s government.
We are talking about a number that is a little under the total number of Members of Parliament in the country, who have perished.
The mayhem on the road could get as graphic as we relate it to the value we place on human live using the President’s life as a standard.
Six footbridges are needed
From all obvious indications, it does not seem the deaths will end anytime soon as the leaders continue to play a blame game regardless of the human lives at stake.
All this while, citizens of this country, the Democratic Republic of Ghana, dangerously risk their lives on this highway.
Meanwhile, all it takes to at least partly curb this carnage is six footbridges. Just six of them – one, two, three, four, five, six! But no, we can only continue to demonstrate, protest, rant and rave, the governments will only play chess.
A projection on the looming danger on that highway is even scarier.Over 300 light poles between Atomic junction and Pantang which has less than 30 lights working at night, coupled with reckless driving, non-functional traffic lights and callous pedestrians, the mix is perfect for one to comfortably predict more deaths.
But, who could be next? No one is safe under the circumstances.
Streetlights could help the situation
The SDA-WASS stretch of the road which has recorded the most deaths has over 30 poles with an average of two lights but none works – that is how bad the situation is.
And it does not look like these non-functioning streetlights will be fixed soon.
Strangely, the Member of Parliament for the Adenta Constituency, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah says the road which has been in use for almost a decade has not been handed over to government. So the road has been in use illegally all this while?
The reason? The road which was constructed by a Chinese firm has not been fully paid for.
Enough is enough!
While the timelines for the completion of the abandoned footbridges which seems the most immediate solution to the deaths, is not known, a lit road at night might very much also help save lives.
A vigil on November 9 may not get the bridges fixed.
A demonstration on November 12 will certainly not bring back the dead.
But it may be a little enough to tell those that matter that enough is enough!!
That even one life lost should have been enough to take action.
Now the spirits of the over 200 lives lost are also crying for a solution to save more lives.
By Cyril Dogbe
The writer is a broadcast journalist and a resident of Adenta.