Mr. Kwasi Amoako-Atta, the Minister of Roads and Highways, has asked drivers who ply the Ofankor-Nsawam road to exercise some level of patience and caution to ensure the safety of all.
The Minister’s call follows an accident that occurred on Monday, February 5, 2024, around China Mall, which claimed more than seven lives.
Speaking to the media after inspecting work on the road, on Friday, Mr Amoako-Atta described the accident as a “needless” one, which could have been averted had the drivers of the vehicles involved exercised a little bit of patience.
“I’m saddened by the accident that happened on Monday, about a week ago, on this stretch of the road that led to the loss of I think seven or more lives,” he said.
“When I visited the accident scene, well, accident is an accident, but on my own and as a layman and from what I saw, the accident was perhaps needless in the sense that it happened on even asphaltic section of the road, a straight road and there is so much clearance that under normal circumstance, and knowing that this stretch of road is under construction, that everybody should be a bit cautious and reduce speed, I couldn’t understand why that reported accident should happen,” he added.
The Minister urged motorists to value their lives and that of others and take extreme caution to help protect life and property.
“I think all of us should take our destiny into our hands and we should be careful so that we don’t die unnecessarily,” Mr Amoako-Atta urged.
The Ofankor-Nsawam section of the National Route Six (N6) serves as a major arterial road for communities in the Ga West Municipal Assembly, Pokuase, Amasaman, Medie, and Sarpeiman, among others.
It also serves as a vital link for trade between Ghana and its neighbouring landlocked countries – Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, and for transit cargo to move from the country’s ports to those destinations.
Rehabilitation work on the 33.4km stretch, which also forms part of the Accra-Kumasi road network, commenced in 2022, and expected to last for two years, ending in July 2024.
It is funded by the Government at a cost of GH¢342.48 and being constructed by Maripoma Enterprise Limited, a local construction firm.
The Minister was accompanied by some engineers from the Ministry and the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA), including Mr Stephen Jalulah, Deputy Minister of Roads; Mr Abass Awolu, Chief Director of the Ministry; Mr Collins Donkor, Acting Chief Executive, GHA; Mr Samuel Akuaku, Acting Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Administration, GHA; Mr Lawrence Lamptey, a Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Maintenance, GHA.
Mr Amoako-Atta, while extending the Government’s condolences to affected families, he assured that, it would ensure that all construction sites adhered to standard safety to prevent such occurrences.
Mr Kwabena Bempong, Chief Resident Engineer for the Ofankor-Nsawam Road Project, said the Contractor had put in place a number of safety measures, including regular watering of the road to reduce the dust and enhance visibility.
To ensure that, he said it had increased its water tankers from the previous 10 to 16 to fast-track the process.
Mr Bempong called on the Road Safety Authority to move in and help tow all broken down long vehicles by the sides of the road, which were impeding free vehicular movements to avert any unforeseen circumstances.
He also assured motorists who plied the stretch and residents of the area that the project would be completed as scheduled to alleviate their plights.
Currently, a two-lane dual carriageway road, the Ofankor-Nsawam Road Project, when completed would be three lanes, service roads, one interchange and two overpasses and one underpass.
Mr Bempong said, “presently, our progress is about 50 per cent and we are hoping that by the end of the year, we would have gone substantially complete.”
The Minister also toured some road projects in the Greater Accra Region such as the Flowerpot Flyover and the yet to commence Adentan-Dodowa Road Project.