By: Azietrogah Freeman Yaovi Awlesu/ www.africanakua.com, Ghana.
Aggrieved residents of Santa-Maria Last Stop in the Ga Central Municipality of the Greater Accra Region have raised a red flag about what they described as serious shoddy works with the ongoing construction of the footbridge on the River Lafa which poses a grave danger to lives of residents in the area and its adjoining environs.
According to the residents, their protest against the shoddy work by the contractor stems from the fact that the level of the new footbridge, which would shorten routes to communities such as Anyaa-Awoshie, A-Lang, Sowutuom, Mallam-Gbawe, Bortianor, Tabora-Israel and vice-versa in the Weija-Gbawe Constituency, is very low.
They argue that they foresee the flood prone area flooding dangerously whenever there is a heavy down pour because of the low nature of the new bridge.
To prevent the unfortunate from happening in the future, the residents drew the attention of the Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwesi Amoako Atta, as well as the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Roads and Highways, Transport and Interior to the situation to impress upon the Ga Central Municipal Assembly to advise the contractor to take a second look at the low level of the footbridge.
According to them, there was an already existing standard footbridge constructed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Anyaa-Sowutuom Constituency, Mrs Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, for the residents but the contractor demolished it with the purpose of expanding it.
The residents pointed out that they realised the ongoing footbridge project when completed would not meet the standard of previous one which was demolished.
They stressed that the new footbridge when completed could not at any point mitigate the severe rainstorms in the area, hence their call on the state authorities to ask the contractor to do the needful to save the situation.
Failure to impress upon the contractor to raise the footbridge to a higher level would be serious disaster should there be heavy rains; and that implies that there is no value for money for using the tax payers money to construct the footbridge.
Aside the shoddy work detected by the residents, they also complained bitterly about the period of the construction of the bridge. According to them, the time set for the project had elapsed and for over seven months work on the bridge is still ongoing.
This worrying situation, they noted follows the inability of the contractor working on the footbridge to create an alternative way for the residents, before the demolishing of the already existing footbridge.
When AFRICA NAKUA made a recent visit to the construction site it observed that although the concrete was already cast on the bridge, the project was at a standstill.
The residents could not control their anger as they were quick to disclose the shoddy works done by the contractor.
They revealed to AFRICA NAKUA that the steel materials being used on the works of the project before the concrete was cast on the bridge were not standard materials.
They lamented that the delay of the project was constantly putting lives of residents at risk.
Sadly, they mentioned that the economic activities of the people in the area, have also taken a nosedive, with the worst-hit including stores, shops and kiosks near the site of the project.
The residents bemoaned that they have to walk long distances from the Santa-Maria Last Stop to A-Lang Taxi Station before getting an access road to their houses to prevent them from falling into the gutter which is filled with garbage.
Indeed, they stated that the gutter also posed a health risk to residents as it had become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other harmful insects.
The distraught residents expressed their utter disappointment in the management of Ga Central Municipal Assembly.
“We are saying that we are not happy with this development because we cannot go to work any time it starts to rain,” they said.
They stated that the Assembly was not concerned about the problem and “so we are appealing to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to impress upon the Assembly to ensure that the project was completed as early as possible.”