Meet Michael – the man who has lost three friends, not to the highly fatal Ebola outbreak. No. A much quicker death – a road with a 100km/h sign but no sign of pedestrian crossings.
The Madina-Adentan highway has traffic lights that hardly light up the red for vehicles to stop and the green for pedestrians to cross. And without the benefit of a footbridge, the road is Accra’s most deadilest.
He told Joy News, he has lost three friends in the last two months to this road.
Michael said, “the first two people – Julius and Richmond - I lost were like my brothers, we grew up together and did almost everything together.”
In Julius, he had a most dependable friend. The same can not be said of authorities in charge of fixing the road that competes with blood spillage at abattoirs.
And then, there is Richmond whom he described as a selfless guy. Richmond needed to cross three huge road carriages that carry six-lanes. You whisk past the first three lanes in this cross-Madina-road challenge.
Take a deep breath on the concrete space and contemplate your strategy to cross another three carrying oftentimes merciless drivers who take the speed limit seriously.
Crossing this second set has proved a popular point of death.
”Richmond, Richmond, Richmond”, he repeated his name as the agony replayed on his mind.
The latest fried-turned-victim is an apprentice learning makeup, manicure and pedicure – Ataa.
On Friday, November 2, the terrified young lady could not make up her mind on how to beat the cars that move with ‘Formula One’ speed.
She was hit on a stretch of the road and while she lay there helpless, one other car removed every chance of a miracle by running her over.
”She called me to say she was going to buy food and never came back, the lovely sister of ours never returned,” he told Daniel Dadzie of Joy news.
He described the late Ataa as “a mother to the boys in the neighbourhood.”
And then there is the story of survivors like David who was knocked down in 2016 when he was returning from work.
“The traffic light was not working when I got there. I checked both sides of the roads and saw no car coming so I decided to cross but a car knocked me down and I woke up in the hospital the next day,” he stated.
He explained that he was hit closer to the outer lane of the road, escaping the fate of Ataa and another young man whose limbs were torn from his body after being knocked in the middle of the road.
David stated, “I lost consciousness when I was knocked and it was by divine intervention that a police officer saw me and took me to the hospital.”
“I see convoys of politicians use this route every Saturday to Peduase...it is surprising that they have not done anything to fix these roads,” he added
In 2018 alone, 194 people have died on this highway. One day – one death – one highway.
There are 57 more days to end the year. There are 35 more deaths to happen if nothing drastic is done to stop the daily carnage.
On the Super Morning Show on November 5, the Director of Bridges at the Ghana Highways Authority, Yaqub Koray , revealed that the footbridges on parts of the Madina-Adentan highway, will be fixed by end of 2019.
However, residents like Michael, who have already lost three people to the road accidents, expressed displeasure at the timeline given by the authority.
“Just a day ago, a young boy was knocked down by a car on this road so should we keep on dying till 2019?”
Michael added: “Every day we wake up to hear the death of another person who has been knocked down on the road but we never hear that there are road marks or our footbridges have been completed.”
“This road has become a death trap or for pedestrians, kids from two to five years cross the road every day to school and no one cares that these kids are the future of the country and thus should be protected,” David stated.