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03.04.2019 Editorial

Primitiveness Of Uncovered Gutters

By Daily Guide
Kwasi Amoako Attah – Minister of Roads and Highways
Kwasi Amoako Attah – Minister of Roads and Highways

We hereby ask the Department of Urban Roads and others relevant to roads infrastructure to factor the covering of gutters and the construction of pedestrian walkways in their projects.

When contracts are being prepared, these two missing elements should henceforth be included so that the faces of our cities will change.

These omissions do not only make us unwise, they also present us, as a people, not enthusiastic with keeping pace with modern trends, put alternatively, primitive.

The signals being emitted suggest that all is set for the release of funds for the improvement of road infrastructure in some urban centres in the country, of course, Accra included.

We have been consistent with our call for the covering of gutters in the urban centres and the provision of pedestrian walkways across the country – the case of the nation's capital being of utmost priority.

The modern world has no room for uncovered gutters as featuring in Accra and beyond. We cannot be seeking to rub shoulders with our colleagues in the sub-region such as Francophone countries yet; they have gutters laden with domestic waste and more because they are gaping and begging to swallow plastic wastes et al.

Urban gutters in their current state serve as alternative garbage holds as many households and pedestrians drop domestic wastes into the openings. These are breeding spots for mosquitoes outside the raining season and sometimes provide the impetus for the cholera outbreaks, not forgetting typhoid fever.

The quantity of domestic wastes which find their way into gutters is alarming and it appears we are behind the rest of the modern world where the subject is being tackled at the highest level of government. Our gutters are uncovered so we are nowhere near dealing a decisive blow to the plastic menace.

The picture of gutters in Accra is a horrible spectacle, with the contents waiting to be pushed eventually into the Atlantic Ocean and add to the destruction of marine life – a major protein source for most homes.

A typical Accra gutter especially in Accra Central is a haven for rodents, stray crabs and large collections of plastic wastes – the spectacle itself not commensurate with the kind of image we seek to create for ourselves in the international scene.

Managers of urban roads should consider including pedestrian walkways in the projects as a matter of urgency. When these are done, pedestrians should not only be encouraged to patronize these in their own interest but also, if possible, compelled to do so.

We have come a long way from independence, 62 years; such eyesore in our urban architecture is worrisome.

Our representatives in the comity of civilized nations do so well in articulating important matters of international importance. Unfortunately though back home our gutters remain uncovered with daily scenes of pedestrians competing for the right of way with motorists. In such competitions, however, the motorists win leaving pedestrians dead or permanently maimed in some instances. We shall return.

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