By Abdul Razak Bawa
Work on the PRESEC Staff School road to the Madina–Melcom Shopping Mall, has resumed amid worrying revelations that the project, including gutters and concrete culverts, have been subcontracted to another construction company, which lacks experience and financial muscle to execute a major job of this kind.
The main contractor, this paper has learnt is busy constructing the roads in President Akufo-Addo hometown of Kyebi in the Eastern Region.
Huge portions of the road remain unmotorable and vehicle owners dread using it, because of the danger it poses to their vehicles and their pockets. Indeed, from what has been witnessed so far, the road might take years to be completed.
Aside the main Madina–Melcom Shopping Mall road, other access routes, have also been blocked by the contractor in a very unplanned manner.
The dust is not only entering peoples’ bedrooms and even changing colours of their houses, the dust is also entering their lungs posing health challenges.
Shop owner,s have not been spared either, as their stores and goods are filled with thick dust from the bad and dusty roads.
The return of the subcontractor, follows The Herald‘s story two weeks ago, revealing the stoppage of work on the road and huge piles of sand, stones and other materials left in different sections of the busy road to the inconvenience of the residents.
Workers of USEER Construction Company Ltd, were back to site last Friday and Saturday, to continue working on the gutters and cleared some of the sand and boulders, he had dumped in the middle of the road and some access routes.
Interesting information, available to this paper indicates that, USEER Construction, which was awarded the contract through sole-sourcing, has subcontracted it to another company with no experience. This paper’s sources, have said that, this is the first job the contractor is undertaking, hence the snail pace of work and the apparent lack of experience, is telling on the work he is doing.
Information, picked up by the is paper is that, USEER Construction Limited, is undertaking a road construction in Kyebi, in the Eastern Region, the hometown of President Nana Akufo-Addo, hence left the Madina-Road to a subcontractor.
According to the Member of Parliament of (MP) Madina and Minister at the office of the Vice-President, Alhaji Boniface Abubakar, when construction started on August 10, the quarters were to be done by the end of August, but the quarters are less than twenty percent complete.
Some of the workers who spoke to this paper on condition of anonymity said “the contractor has no money to rent equipment. The concrete mixer comes at a cost and so when he gets little money, he rents it for a day”.
They added that “their numbers (workers) is woefully inadequate, even the supervisor, has no experience, as this is his first job, after completing the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), last year.
Some of the stones, sand and wood, have been cleared from some sections of the road now but some residents are still yet to have access to their homes at the concrete culverts they are to drive on, are yet to be replaced. For this reason, cars are parked along the main road by their owners despite the risks.
Weeks after Alhaji Abubakar Saddique, tickled his constituents in Madina with media bliss by sending a contractor to work on the busy Madina-Melcom Road in the La-Nkwatanang Municipal Assembly, The Herald notice that road had been abandoned.
The development worsened the plight of residents, especially those who access the main road and connecting routes in the area to their homes. Busy Madina-Melcom Road, which leads to the Madina market, as well as the highly patronized, Madina Bus Terminal, was blocked by the contractor when he landed at the site, and this is making the daily life of the residents unbearable.
Some residents wished their MP, had not touched the road at all, since it was clear, he did so to douse the incessant complaints that he is not performing. The road which stretches from the PRESEC Staff School to the Madina–Melcom shopping mall area, is being constructed by Useer Construction Company Limited.
The construction works which was steadily progressing and started on August 10, 2018,was suddenly abandoned,with trenches dug in front of people’s homes left uncovered. The contractor, who started by peeling off existing coats and creating dugouts for culverts and drainage systems, has left the site in a dangerous state.
He has left the peeled coats and the dugouts culverts in the middle of the road, as well as access roads, along the stretch, making it difficult for residents to get to their homes.
A source close to the contractor told The Herald, that there are no funds for the contractor to continue with the project, as he was not given any. It is believed the contractor, will only return to site next year.
The speedy progression of work on the almost four-kilometer road, which raised hopes of residents that their one-time bumpy road, will soon be motorable, was dashed when works came to a standstill. However, the uncompleted gutters constructed have blocked all access roads to homes, thereby raising concern about safety to residents.
The most affected are school children, who have to struggle to scale the gutters to and fro schools such as the Madina–Hannah School Complex.
Speaking to a proprietor of Flower of Carmel School, Hanson Majitey Gizo, he said, the situation was affecting academic work.
According to him, “Children find it difficult to cross the uncovered gutters and so most of them prefer to stay home till the situation is rectified”. “I don’t understand why you have to dig trenches in front of people’s homes with no safety measures”
“You know, you will not be done with the road soon, so why pour sand, gravels and the dugout concrete slabs in the middle of the road, denying people access to the road”, he said
“Elsewhere, as part of health and safety measure, red tapes, have been used as sign of caution to road users’, he added.
Commercial drivers, who ply the stretch, have been complaining about the inconvenience the situation is causing to them.
According to them, the current state of the road, is making it difficult to go about their daily activities.
“The road is too bad. If the old road was left, we could have managed it until the government was ready to fund the construction,” one driver said.
Another one remarked, “The new gutter they are constructing is smaller than the old one, even with the old one, anytime it rains the road gets flooded”.
“We asked for it, but this is more than we bargained for, we are forced to park our cars in the middle of the road. I have bought three batteries in the space of one month, because thieves broke into my car”, said one motorist.
Meanwhile, The Minister for Roads and Highways, KwesiAmoako- Atta, during the tour of the road, disclosed that works on the roads form part of government’s decision to validate contracts already signed by the previous National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) administration.
He said, the roads from University for Professional Studies (UPSA) to the American House roundabout, have been upgraded and asphalted, while the Rawlings Roundabout road to the Old Asanka Local area, among others, are being worked on.
He further hinted that construction of roads will begin this year in the Zongo communities across the country, and that Madina would be the launch pad for such constructions.
The Minister and his team of directors, led by Dr. Abass Awal, the Director of Urban Roads, assessed the levels of roads in the Constituency and assured residents that the Constituency is about to see massive facelift.