Election year is a much anticipated time when it comes down to Ghana as a country. The 4 years interval comes with high hopes, dreams and newer visions from aspirants, new candidates and citizens with the believe of change and new opportunity.
The beginning of the new decade has not been rosy and all smiles as expected but bumpy with sequels of disasters. The myth of election years been bloody years is speculated and none of those years can be compared to the year 2020. In just the month of January, the country has witnessed countless fire outbreaks, road accidents and other incidents with dozens of lives lost and and properties destroyed.Moreover, The Ghana National Fire Service is said to have recorded 247 fire cases in 2020 alone, with 71 cases coming from the Ashanti region.
The recent ones came from the burning of parts of 37 military hospital, 17 stores ravaged in kumasi market, 2 dormitories of Accra Academy, Buipe SHS girls dormitory in Gonja, St Charles SHS dormitory in Tamale, Oppong Memorial Senior High School dormitory in the ashanti region, and a cylinder gas explosion at a home killing a mother and three children The causes are yet to be known and being vigilant with explosive materials is the key.
Takoradi-Cape Coast road. 34 dead
It’s only the begining of a new year, and these countless disasters is to alert us to be extra vigilant, in terms of our activities concerning safety. Driving of commercial vehicles is a important duty. The safety measures to ensure a safer journey should never be downplayed. Nonetheless, commercial drivers are to take extra precautions since they transport dozens of people everyday. For decades, campaigns against unacceptable driving cultures have been publicised.
Also, the strapping of sealt belt, No Drink Driving, Over-speeding/Over Taking, Don’t drive tired, Over loading and others have been thoroughly advertised but merely taken any precedence. Also, the bad roads is a factor but with extra precautions, road accidents can be avoided. The Accra- Cape coast high way alone has recorded over 20 road accidents in january with over 50 lives perishing and scores injured. Apparently, this cannot be blamed on the condition of the road since its in a good condition but on the attitude of drivers who ply the road. The Ghana road safety commision recorded 326 people killed by commercial vehicles and 1,980 people injured in the first quarter of 2019 with 696 in total deaths. It looks like this year will have a rise.
Morever, since most of these accidents are drivers error, including the recent Takoradi- Cape Coast highway accident killing 34 people and dozens injured. The Ghana police is to take further precautions in their operation to ensure road worthy cars, drivers in seat belts and enough equipment to check over speeding cars and drunk drivers to reduce all road incidents as such. Road accidents injuries and death causes the country $230m annually.
Life is the most important asset anyone can posses. But the value we put on our lives as Ghanaians do not depict the importance of our lives to us. In terms of our attitude towards safety and emergency in the country. Both the government and citizens are lackadaisical toward emergency and safety and without a change of mind towards safety lives and properties will continue to perish in the least possible way.
By: Nii Okai Tagoe
Editor: Roland Annor Botchway