The average electricity consumer who uses up to 50 units of a kilowatt-hour (kWh) of power is taxed an amount of GHp42 for street lights. Non-residential customers are also taxed GH¢1.02p on the same unit of power consumed.However, most streets and major highways connecting cities have remained dark, leading to questions over the justification of taxes collected for street lights that are non-existent.
Checks by www.ghanaweb.com draw attention to the dire state of street lights and traffic lights in certain parts of Accra.
Apart from those visibly broken down, all of such lights at more than five road intersections, including the Ablekuma-Olebu stretch and the main Awoshie-Pokuase highway, have not been functioning for over three years; a situation which has led to several road accidents and pedestrian knockdowns.
Construction of the Awoshie-Pokuase high street within the Ga-Central Municipal Assembly of the Greater Accra Region started in 2009. It was opened to traffic in 2015.
However, street lights along that particular stretch have been rendered “white elephants”.
This makes the three-lane dual carriage road one of the most dangerous to travel on during dark hours because the visibility of motorists is limited to how far their vehicle lights can reach.
Residents, who have no option but to pass through such stretches, take each step with the constant fear of danger lurking in some corner. At times, their guiding light is the torch on their mobile phones or the headlights of vehicles passing by.
According to residents in the vicinity, the lights have not been working for more than two years, making it difficult to navigate their way in the area at night.
“Just about three days ago, a child was hit by a vehicle. It’s been three years since the street poles were built but have never worked since.”
Another commercial driver said one can easily be attacked unknowingly if a car develops a fault on the highway.
“Accidents happen a lot on this stretch, especially with the motor riders and drivers. Also, because of how dark the streets are drivers can hardly notice when pedestrians are crossing.”