Correspondence from Eastern Region
The Dadematseme and people of various communities along the Odumase-Asesewa road in the Eastern Region live in fear of speeding vehicles which ply the road on a daily basis.
A visit by GhanaWeb to the stretch revealed that the vehicles sped even through the communities without paying heed to community dwellers who crossed from one side of the road to the other for various needs.
The ugly competition for passengers worsen an already bad situation as drivers, in an indecent challenge for passengers along the road, try to outdo each other, paying very little attention to the lives of residents.
The residents have therefore devised ingenious ways to safeguard themselves from speeding drivers by constructing ramps out of laterite and concrete.
At Onumaku, the traditional leader and his elders recounted to GhanaWeb how the community lost two children to speeding vehicles which ran them over.
To avoid further accidents and loss of lives, GhanaWeb observed that sand was the main material used by the residents to lay the ramps in the absence of professional ramps.
Portions of the ramps have however eroded with drivers meandering their way through the eroded areas.
Dadematse of Onumaku, Nene Padi Keteku expressed concern at the development and called on the GHA to a matter of urgency attend to their concerns.
“The vehicles are speeding on this road and killing our children so we are appealing to them to come and assist us by erecting speed ramps on the roads to force the vehicles to slow down when they reach the community so they’ll stop killing our children,” said the Dadematse questioning why authorities did not want the community from laying their own ramps when they are failing to provide same.
“When we construct these ramps ourselves, the government tell us that we’re not mandated to do this ourselves and they’re not doing it too.”
He added: “Whenever we complain, they only assure us of returning to solve the problem and they never do.”
Another community along the road also at the mercy of the speeding vehicles is Bukunor Junction.
Here, concrete ramps have been laid to slow down vehicles from Oterkporlu and Asesewa which the Dadematse of the area, Jacob Teye Kofi says has maimed about four young people in the community.
A KG teacher at the Bukunor Junction M/A Basic School, Gladys Matey was observed shepherding her pupils across the road after school had closed.
“In fact when the cars are coming, they come at top speed so if we don’t help them, maybe, they’ll be knocked down by these vehicles,” she told GhanaWeb.
Though she couldn’t immediately recall any close shaves of being ran over by these vehicles, she said “we want them [GHA] to come and do the ramps for us.
At otrokper, this Correspondent within five minutes witnessed two of suhc unhealthy competitions where these vehicles raced along in a frightening manner, even ignoring curves in the process.
Dadematse of Otrokper, David Narh Kaizer said despite efforts to get the problem fixed within the past eight years, the community has been unsuccessful.
“The speed with which the drivers go past this community has become a very big problem for us. This has been a source of concern for us even during the tenure of Honourable Jeff [former MP],” said the Dadematse.
Despite several assurances however, the problem is yet to be fixed.
“We wrote to the Ghana Highways Authority, the Police Commander at the time and the DCE. They brought an engineer from Koforidua where they empathised with us and assured us that works would be done immediately but that was the end.”
The residents are thus appealing to the Ghana Highways Authority to provide speed ramps on the road to slow down vehicles for elderly people and children to cross the highways which passes through their communities.
The worried residents who fear for themselves and their children cautioned drivers to avoid speeding and unnecessary overtaking to prevent the carnage on the road.
According to them, the loss of lives and injuries to their kinsmen through road accidents were becoming alarming and therefore there was the need for drivers to exercise restraint, while on the wheel and ensure that they observed the road signs.
Meanwhile, Maintenance Manager at the Ghana Highway Authority, Ernest Osei Bonsu when contacted by GhanaWeb, said the Authority, upon a directive from its head office in Accra last year assessed all roads without markings in the Eastern Region and the report forwarded to Accra for the necessary action.
“Our head office in Accra asked us to go on all our roads without markings and speed measures so we’ve taken the inventory to submit it so we are waiting for them to work on it, approve and award it,” he said.