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Traffic Jams Drain On Economy   
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On May 9, 2013, we carried a report on the traffic situation on the Mallam-Kasoa road.

The situation is worrying, particularly on the approaches to the Tuba toll booths, Kasoa and the Buduburam refugee camp.

Just before the government secured funding to asphalt the Mallam-Kasoa-Yamoransa portion of the trans-West Africa highway, a trip on that stretch was a nightmare. Not only was the road riddled with potholes; its bad nature also slowed down vehicular traffic, resulting in long traffic hold-ups.

The problem was more pronounced at Kasoa where human activities resulting from business transactions by traders at a market near the road caused traffic jams.

When the road was fixed a few years ago, vehicular traffic eased, making road travel to Kasoa and beyond once again a pleasurable endeavour.

However, the sigh of relief heaved by the motoring public was shortlived. Perhaps the growing number of vehicles on our roads and the attraction of Kasoa as a growth pole have facilitated the slow movement of traffic.

Are there any lessons for us, especially our government, landowners and planners? Certainly there must be, as the trend demonstrates that our economy is growing, which requires an expansion in infrastructure to meet the demands of an emerging economy like ours.

Statistics support the claim that Ghana is the fastest growing economy in the world, although majority of or people are still poor.

A cursory look at the vehicles on our roads, including the most luxurious; the boom in the housing industry and other business endeavours confirms the belief that the economy is on the threshold for a take-off.

What is likely to act as a hindrance to all these bright indices is the slow nature of government’s plans to provide the necessary interventions to fix the challenges confronting our efforts at building the infrastructure base of the economy.

Right now, there are many places that are either under-served or not served at all by infrastructural facilities such as water, electricity, roads and dump sites.

In the meantime, Accra is expanding in all directions — east, west and north — except the south because of the sea.
Physical development in Accra has almost reached Tema to the east, while Tema expands towards Afienya and Prampram. To the north, Accra and Nsawam have become twin cities, while to the west, no one can determine the difference between Accra and Kasoa.

Luckily, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has managed to serve almost every resident in these areas, except for few places, but water is yet to reach many places, while access to these communities can hardly be described as roads.

Except for commendations from a few readers about the May 9 article headlined, “Kasoa traffic jam, a toll on road users”, we are yet to see signs of actions to deal with the growing traffic jams on all roads leading to Accra.

Traffic jams are common spectacles on our roads on Saturdays when people have the time to attend to social events such as funerals, wedding and birthday parties. The increasing traffic jams are a wake-up call on the government to plan ahead to meet the demands of the expansion in the economy.

The Dodowa road from Adenta, the Afienya road from Tema and the Dawhenya road from Tema are all single lanes, despite the increasing construction activities going on in those areas.

If there is a traffic build-up on the Nsawam dual carriageway, with long queues from the bypass to the toll booth at Dobro; the same on the Aburi road, not to talk about Kasoa, then if those lying supine cannot see God, then those along the single lanes who could be said to be lying prostrate face nightmarish experiences.

The Daily Graphic appeals to the government to initiate the necessary interventions to expand the country’s infrastructural base to meet the needs of the public.

We know the ends are competing for the limited means, but this requires that the authorities manage our resources in such a way that the country shall have value for money.

Presently, there are numerous complaints about the shoddy nature of road works and other public works executed by especially local contractors. Everybody sees potholes on our roads just after three months of handing over such projects and we think this demonstrates the lack of supervision by the executing agencies.

We need to do more to extend infrastructural facilities to all corners of the country to enable our people to enjoy better standards of living.

It is against this backdrop that the Daily Graphic appeals to Parliament, the elected representatives of the people who are mandated by law to hold the purse strings of the government, to demand that we get value for the use of state resources.

We, as part of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, shall uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people of Ghana.
Source: Daily Graphic

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