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Myjoyonline Exclusive: Kasoa’s ‘monstrous’ traffic jams; Chaotic life in a chaotic town
From: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Dorcas Efe Menssah          Published On: October 3, 2012, 12:23 GMT
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Myjoyonline Exclusive: Kasoa’s ‘monstrous’ traffic jams; Chaotic life in a chaotic town

Around 6:09 Tuesday evening: Vehicles going to Kasoa Nyarnyano.

As the capital, Accra, increasingly becomes a commercial city with many residential facilities being converted into office space, numerous families are forced to move out of the city centre to seek accommodation in the outskirts.

Arguably, the most popular suburb is the fast-growing town of Kasoa, which links the Greater Accra Region with the Central Region.

About 40 families move there each week, according to the Ewutu-Senya Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Nuhu Adams who says the population increase is putting undue pressure on social amenities in the town.

The movement of such large numbers of people - many of whom work in the city centre - weekly to settle at Kasoa only means one thing - chaotic traffic jams. click here for photos

Commuters were, therefore, thrilled when government announced a new transportation system that promised to relieve the stress accompanied with travelling through the chaotic roads in the township.

The Bus Rapid Transport system (BRT) was expected to deliver fast, comfortable, and cost effective urban mobility through the provision of exclusive right-of-way lanes.

The project, which was to begin from Kasoa to Accra was intended to be operational this year.

However, with few months to the end of 2012, the project has yet to see the light of day. In fact there are no visible signs of any serious work going on at the project site in Kasoa.

Mr Nuhu Adams told Myjoyonline.com there are a few challenges with funding. The problem has been exacerbated, he said, by the need to pay some compensation to people whose businesses would be affected by the project.

Meanwhile work at the graphic road site for the BRT depot is still in progress. The Resident Engineer on site, Mr Michael Lear, said the work had delayed because there were lots of electricity cables underground to navigate in addition to the fact that the project site itself is waterlogged.

He said collaboration with the Electricity Company of Ghana was underway to help identify all cables and relocate them for work to go on smoothly.

He was sure the project would be completed by the first week of October this year.

Now that the project has stalled at Kasoa amidst the chaos on the major and only road linking the Central region to Accra, legitimate questions as to whether it would be completed as promised arise.
Commuters share their frustration
Myjoyonline Exclusive: Kasoa’s ‘monstrous’ traffic jams; Chaotic life in a chaotic town

A driver speaking to Myjoyonline.com's Dorcas Efe Mensah

Some commuters who were frustrated by the snaky-snail-paced traffic spoke to Myjoyonline.com.

Awudu from Amanfrom, sweating profusely in a rickety 207 bus under the heat of the setting sun, stated: “The traffic situation has been getting worse since the completion of the N1 Highway, especially at the toll booth. You can spend...an hour sometimes just to cross the toll and as if that is not enough you are met with another annoying one just before entering main Kasoa town. Government must do something about this.

“Because Kasoa links Accra to many areas in the Central region, the number of cars crossing that small town with only one major road and no access routes are overwhelming and they all end up stuck in traffic,” Naana, a mother of two who was driving home with her kids from school and lives along the Bawjiase road said.

Another mother who said she had left her three-month-old baby to purchase some items at the market added: “It has taken me four hours to go to the new market [Bawjiase road] and back.How can anyone spend such an amount of time going only to the market? What time will you spend in cooking, taking care of the kids and attending to other pressing duties? Why does it seem like the government doesn’t even know or care about our suffering? Something that should take some less than an hour to do takes almost half of the whole day, why”? the obviously irritated mother asked.

“If you live here, you have to plane your life around the traffic jams. It is very serious in the mornings so if you work in Accra and you don’t want to be late, you better wake up early so you can get to work on time and the same applies for the evenings. It is very chaotic and frustrating here,” Mr E.K. Aboagye, a resident of Peace Town added.

The Kasoa MCE says the suffering of the people will end soon, assuring that the BRT depot there will be constructed before the end of December irrespective of the challenges.

Blaming the erstwhile Kufuor administration for the traffic gridlock in the town, he said the Rawlings-led government in the late '90s had anticipated the situation and planned to reconstruct the Kasoa-Mallam road with a flyover at Kasoa.

However, after losing power to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2000 election, Mr Adams said “the Kufuor administration decided to kick out that element of the flyover…” due to “funding or whatever it [was].”

The MCE said petitions have been sent to the Roads and Highways Ministry for consideration and hoped that once the flyover is constructed and the BRT is in force, Kasoa will be a place everyone would like to live.

Attempts to reach the Roads and Highways Ministry, Transport Ministry and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly for comments have been futile.

Meanwhile President John Dramani Mahama, at a rally in the town Monday, October 01, 2012, asked residents to vote massively for the governing party, promising that an interchange will be constructed along with drains to make life more comfortable for them.

The question remains: Is the president’s assurance only to win votes or he is really committed to relieving the people of Kasoa of this burden of life.

Do you live at or around the Kasoa Township? Or do you travel through the town sometimes? Share your experiences below

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