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18.03.2009 Regional News

Cape Coast Ministries, Court Complex, Low Cost Houses need rehabilitation

By David Alan Painstil Cape Coast - Ghanaian Chronicle

Three government buildings in the Cape Coast Metropolis need urgent rehabilitation as they are now in deplorable conditions. These buildings are the Cape Coast Court Complex and Low Cost Housing Units meant for civil servants at Ayikooayikoo, a suburb of Cape Coast.

Ministries Block
The ministries block, which consists of various offices for government agencies, such as Immigration, Audit Service, Ghana News Agency, Statistical Service, Ghana Education Service (GES) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) among others, is currently an eyesore to the general public.

The state of the five-story building is so frightening that it portrays the lack of maintenance culture among Ghanaians. The building is totally worn out with some iron bars used in its construction exposed to both rain and sunshine. Occasionally, some particles of materials fall to the ground and this poses a threat to people who flock the place daily to transact various businesses.

The sorry state of the building makes many of the people wonder if it was a state property at all, where important transactions take place. The elevator has been out of order for more than 15 years while the stair case is gradually developing cracks.

The Chronicle had filed two news stories about this same building over the past two years, but nothing has been done to salvage the situation. It is only the Controller and Accountant General's Department that has seen some renovation at the ground floor.

The former Central Regional Minister, Stephen Nana Ato Arthur, at one time told the paper that government was making efforts to renovate the building but it was not done before it was kicked out of office. He again said it was up to those occupying the place to renovate the building.

But nothing was done by those agencies occupying the building to restore the beautiful edifice built by Colonel Frank George Bernasko during the National Supreme Military Council reign, led by General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong in 1972.

Some residents in Cape Coast have been praying to the God for a long time to avert any unfortunate incident, and are they are calling on government to rehabilitate the place and give it a new face.

Court Complex Deteriorate Further
The Cape Coast Court Complex has further deteriorated as the condition of the building has reached an alarming state. In spite of the promise by Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Woode, to renovate it since last year March, the building, which was then in a deplorable state, has worsened and is near collapse.

This is so because some portions of the place have been closed down to human usage, owing to the risky state of the building.

The Chief Justice visited Cape Coast after media publications that exposed the bad state of the law court with architects from the AESL to evaluate the state of the building.

The workers, court users and lawyers were very pleased, hoping to see a facelift, only to realize a year later that the building could easily pass for a totally dilapidated one.

Adjoa Akroma, a litigant, told Central File that it is an insult for government to be collecting taxes from people and yet find it difficult to renovate the building.

Again, she said, no one can claim that there is no money to renovate the court and that it is a disgrace for the ancient colonial capital to have such a big 'rotten' court complex.

Now, it is up to the government to solve this problem once and for all, by rehabilitating the building for use, to give comfort to the workers, lawyers, judges, litigants and other users of the courts.

Low Cost Housing Units
The Low Cost Housing Units in Cape Coast have been crying for help. This is because renovation of the buildings allocated to civil servants was virtually absent. Some of these houses leak profusely when it rains.

Central File learnt that it is difficult for some occupants to sleep in peace while it rained. Some of them have to flee from work to keep their personal effects safe during heavy downpour in the day, a situation which has the tendency to affect productivity among such government workers.

The buildings allocation and maintenance is supervised by the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC).