Disaster in waiting

Source The Ghana Report

In September 2020, Patrick Reynolds Yeboah’s death sparked outrage on social media in Ghana due to the circumstances surrounding his death.

Until his passing, the second-year student had suffered four years of excruciating pain and paralysis after a billboard fell on him in 2016 in Accra.

The late Patrick Reynolds Yeboah and family

In May 2022, a motor rider was also left critically injured in Koforidua after a huge billboard collapsed and crushed him during a rainstorm.

Although the cases may not be numerous, others could be lurking to aggravate such incidents around the city. As heavy rainfalls continue to wreak havoc in Accra, giant billboards, electrical pylons and poles, telephone lines, and other structures erected in the open space are affected.

Structures living their last days. It looks like a ticking timebomb because these are common in many of the city’s suburbs including Darkuman, Kaneshie First Light, Odorkor Traffic Light, the Circle-Pokuase stretch, and others.

In recent times when rainfall has been continuous, the fear and anxiety of being carried away by floods is real, as much as the danger posed by collapsing electricity poles.

In most parts of Accra, electric poles can be seen leaning to one side, almost fallen, or their cables dangerously exposed and dangling.

These pose a serious threat to the lives of people in the vicinity.

Pictured below is a slanted electric pole likely to make a fall into an erosion gully in the ground. When matters come to a head, the compromised amenity would have effects cascading beyond the Anyaa community where it is located.  Obvious consequences are powercuts and electrocution.

These pose serious risks.

Also, a dangling billboard can vividly be seen at the Kaneshie First Light junction, and this doesn’t bode well for passersby.

Deep potholes result in traffic jams on a daily basis, all motorists are possible victims should the defective advertising billboard displaying a product called Permatix come down tumbling.

A billboard with a dangling advertisement can be seen on the overpass curve from Achimota towards Dzowulu, obviously a simmering disaster.

Dangling advertisement on a billboard on the Achimota-Dzowulu stretch

Billboards and mini billboards are among the most conspicuous structures in the city of Accra, usually sited within short intervals along roads or in the median of dual carriageways.

This has become a fashionable means for advertisers to reach the public but it will be of relevance if the companies that own the billboards can speedily fix them when they are damaged.

Must the city encounter anything similar to Reynold’s story before action is taken to repair and replace these billboards and electric poles?

Considering the intensity of the rains, billboards and electric poles that stood unsteady have become life-threatening, hence the need to urgently attend to all faulty billboards in the city before disaster strikes.

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