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Regional News Fri, 18 Jul 2014

Footbridge poses danger

A footbridge linking the community of Freetown in Kasoa to the rest of the Kasoa town has become a death trap. The bridge, constructed by residents with wood, has become weak with time and is now posing a serious threat to people who use it.

According to residents of the area, the community was often cut off from other parts of Kasoa whenever it rained heavily, thus prevented residents from going about their daily activities without difficulties. With the rainy season still ongoing, residents fear the situation could get worse and wreak havoc like it did some years ago.

The residents indicated that the yawning trench over which the bridge was laid usually got full and overflowed during downpours, at times sweeping the wooden bridge along with it. Although there are alternative routes to the Kasoa town, residents told the Daily Graphic that using the other paths required walking long distances.

Under the prevailing conditions, residents noted that schoolchildren were the most affected, as they were compelled to absent themselves from school whenever the bridge was swept away. They explained that the bridge served as a link to many schools in the central parts of Kasoa.

The Headmistress of Glorious Generation Academy, a private basic school close to the foot bridge, Ms Henrietta Gyekye, said the situation was quite worrying as it affected the school’s academic calendar very often. She noted that on a number of occasions, the school had contributed financially towards the replacement of the bridge. However, it had become too expensive for the school to bear, since the problem keeps recurring.

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“What we need is for a permanent structure to be built,” she added. According to her, the school had instructed all its students to use alternative routes to get to school even if it entailed having to walk long distances. According to the residents of Kasoa Freetown, the unavailability of a well-structured footbridge and a proper drainage system among other things posed a problem to them.

A resident, Mr Chris Afadzinu, maintained that all attempts to get authorities to attend to the situation had proven futile. “We are not able to go out of this community when it rains and this is affecting us so much”.

He said the community had become a breeding ground for mosquitoes because gutters in the area were filled with stangnant water, a situation that was posing a great health hazard to the people. But when we speak “the authorities at the municipal assembly do not pay attention,” he said worriedly.

Mr Afadzinu urged the municipal assembly to come to the aid of the community by constructing a covered concrete drain to draw water away from the community and a proper bridge to save residents from the present helpless situation in which they found themselves. Other residents told the Daily Graphic that the problem had reached a critical stage that required immediate solution.

The assembly member for the area, Mr Nicholas Sowah, said the Awutu Senya East Municipal Assembly had plans to construct a bridge for the community. He said the plans had, however, been stalled because of the rains. He said as soon as the rainy season was over work on the bridge would begin in earnest. Under the circumstances, Mr Sowah advised residents to use alternative routes to the town to avoid any inconveniences.

Source: graphic.com
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