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Disaster Stares At Drivers And Pedestrians   
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Barely nine years after the completion of the Accra- Aburi highway, the road is posing as a danger to its users as rocks on one stretch of the mountainous road are beginning to fall.

Currently, the sedimentary rock that was blasted to give way for the construction of the highway has become unstable and could be dangerous to motorists and pedestrians.

The most dangerous part of the hilly highway is the stretch between Ayi Mensa and Peduase in the Akuapem South Municipality of the Eastern Region. Motorist as well as pedestrians are warned to be extra careful when they get there.

The current condition of the road and the threat it poses to motorists has been attributed to inappropriately engineered road construction and could be dicey if proper measures are not put in place to stop the rocks from further sliding onto the road.

According to experts, such a situation usually results from a combination of a whole range of natural and human factors. It has been frequently assumed that one of the underlying causes of the increase in landslides in mountainous areas is road construction and other earth-moving activities.

When Public Agenda visited the area last Tuesday, this paper's investigative team discovered that some layers of sedimentary rocks that slid onto the road early this month and some rubbles were yet to be collected.

The situation has triggered officials of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), to visit the site a fortnight ago and warned motorist plying the road to be extremely careful.

According to the organisation, larger rocks on that part of the mountain had become very unstable and could fall at any time.

“We are warning oncoming drivers. It is a tricky situation and it is important to warn oncoming drivers to be careful because of that hanging rock.” But NADMO and the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) have not put in place conspicuous, reflective warning signs before one gets to the risky part of the road.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show of Citi fm in Accra recently, the Head of Geological Disasters at NADMO, Mr Joseph Ankrah, said “We went to the site and noticed that a rock not very big though, had fallen on the side of the road. Since the smaller rocks support bigger rocks, immediate actions need to be taken to avoid casualties and unpleasant consequences.”

Asked whether there were actions being taken to prevent the bigger rocks from falling, Mr Ankrah responded that his outfit had contacted the GHA to visit the site and take the needed precautionary actions. He said that NADMO was also considering the possibility of using earth-moving equipment to bring the rocks down as measures to avert any likely disaster. Meanwhile, the GHA has indicated that it is taking immediate steps to clear the part of the road on the Aburi- Accra stretch where the rocks fell.

According to the Public Relations Officer of the GHA, Mr Norbert Quamar, the authority had begun processes to secure the roads from the falling rocks. Mr Quarmar noted: “We conducted studies on the topography of the area and we are yet to get the funding and the necessary logistics to undertake the necessary remedial measures.” In an interview with Public Agenda, a resident of the area, Mr Kofi Krah, said he was very terrified when he saw the rocks tumble down. He told the paper that the incident occurred when nobody was around, and hence no casualty was recorded.

He opined that “we don't have to wait for the situation to get worse before we act. The authorities should act now to save lives”.
Source: Public Agenda

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