The George Walker Bush Highway in Accra, popularly referred to as the N1, has claimed more than 300 lives and injured over 1,800 people in six years, TV3’s latest documentary has revealed.
Titled ‘Dangerous Highway’, the 30-minute documentary by award-winning journalist Portia Gabor looks at how the road, commissioned six years ago, is claiming the lives of Ghanaians.
The 14.1 km six-lane highway that links the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange to Mallam Junction was constructed at a cost of 175 million dollars from the US government as part of the 500-million dollar Millennium Challenge Account
The project was initiated in 2008 by President John Agyekum Kufuor and completed in 2012 under the late President John Evans Atta Mills.
Pedestrians who use the highway complain the few footbridges on the highway are far apart, making crossing difficult. Thus, they will rather risk their lives crossing the road at unauthorized points.
Kwame Asamoah tells Portia “majority of us cross the N1 from where the traffic light is, which is very dangerous…so I think if they could probably bring it a little closer. A lot of people died on the N1 because with the traffic, you just have to run”.
The highway does not make provisions for people with special needs. They always have to cross the road either at the pelican crossing or use the pedestrian footbridges, which are not disability friendly.
‘Hmmm…me talking about the difficulty is like when I’m climbing the staircase I have to get support from the metal guard that they have used before I climb the staircase. So when I finish climbing it and I get to the top, I feel very, very tired and my body feels very painful”, Timothy Hayford, a person with disability narrated his ordeal to Portia.
In July 2017, the Member of Parliament for Okaikoi Central, Patrick Yaw Boamah petitioned the Ministry of Roads and Highways for more footbridges on the highway.
“I reminded the new minister for highways that his predecessor came to parliament, made lots of promises to the extent that they attributed their inability to fix those infrastructure on the highway as a result of the World Bank or IMF Programme which I have my doubts because you cannot have this carnage on your highway and attribute it to the IMF. They will rather come to your aid because it is a humanitarian issue,” he told Portia.
Director of Communications at the National Road Safety Commission , Kwame Kodua Atuahene, admits that the major challenge of the highway have to do with “safety audit concerns” and that they have since 2012 taken the pain to engage all stakeholders in mitigating the menace.
Watch the full documentary
By P.D Wedam|3news.com|Ghana