General News of Sunday, 21 June 2015
Statistics reveal that 40 percent of accidents happen during the night and 80 percent of those killed occurred on road sections that do not have street lights, according to Mr Victor Owusu, Director of Road Safety and Environment of the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA).
The Ministry of Roads and Highways and the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA) for this reason has installed 1,207 solar-based street lights along 10 trunk road sections and five major junctions in eight regions.
The regions are Accra, Volta, Central, Western, Eastern, Western, Ashanti and Brong- Ahafo, while the five are Bunso, Anyinam and Juaso Junction on the Accra to Kumasi road and at Mankranso and Tepa junctions on the Kumasi to Sunyani road.
The 10 road sections covered by the project include Madina to Pantang, Fiesta Royale to GIMPA Junction, Tema to Sogakope, Sogakope to Ho, Kasoa to Winneba, Winneba to Cape Coast, Cape Coast to Takoradi, Accra to Kumasi, Kumasi to Techiman and Kumasi to Sunyani.
The initiative is to improve night-time visibility in dangerous road sections and during adverse weather conditions, improve night-time security and enhance socio-economic activities.
The project cost is 7.66 million Euros and is being funded by the Austria through an Austrian soft loan scheme for a duration of 18 months.
Mr Owusu said the project began on March 4, 2012 and was supposed to be completed on August 10, 2014, but a new date for completion was extended to April 11, 2015.
Mr Owusu said the installation of the street lights is critical due to the high rate of vehicular accidents on the trunk roads, adding that on the average about 1,800 people are killed annually in road accidents.
Mr Owusu said the Authority had put in place road safety awareness programmes to educate the public and train 12 engineers to help in the maintenance of the facilities.
Mrs Hannah Okine, Food Vendor at the Bujumbura Junction in the Central Region expressed satisfaction for the installation of the street lights, adding that it has helped improve visibility in the night especially when there is power outage.
She said the street lights has helped her to extend her night business from 6 pm to 10 pm and thanked the authorities for initiating the project.
Mr Ebenezer Arhin, a Vulcanizer at the Gomoa Junction also in the Central Region commended government for the project since it has help him to operate his business in the night and have reduced the spate of accidents on the stretch.
At the Sogakope road, most of the food vendors could not hide their excitement as they engage in businesses in the night due to the presence of the solar street lights.
They said the initiative has boosted economic activities in the night and expressed their appreciation to government for the installation of the lights.