We’re disturbed — Alogboshie, surrounding communities cry out


Schoolchildren in Alogboshie, Christian Village and Kissieman all in Accra are in a dilemma because a weak and wobbly footbridge serving as a link between their homes and schools get washed away whenever it rains leaving them stranded.
Under the circumstances, schoolchildren in the Achimota Basic School, the Alogboshie Cluster of schools and the St Theresa of Avila Preparatory School cover long distances to get to school when a mere walk on the footbridge could get them there in a short time.
Residents of the communities have, therefore, made a passionate appeal to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and philanthropists to come to their aid by constructing a secure footbridge across the stream to ease the difficulties the children faced daily.
The situation has become so bad that when it rains, both children and adults alike have to be carried at the back to cross the stream.
When the Daily Graphic visited the community last Tuesday, the bridge had been washed away compelling a Good Samaritan, Mr Alex Duah, to walk knee-deep in the water to ferry both the young and old across.
“It has been like this for the last 10 years, whenever it rains, the water carries the wooden bridge away,” he said.
According to him, there was a volunteer who remounted the bridge by constructing an improvised bridgework of wood cutaway which was wobbly and lacked strength.
Mr Dua said an old concrete bridge that was built over the stream was damaged in 2005 by a heavy downpour. Since then, he said there had not been any attempt by the AMA to replace it despite several appeals made to it by the communities concerned.
“The government would have to do something about the situation because there are schools and hospitals around here. Without the bridge connecting our communities, life becomes very difficult,” he said.
A pupil of the Alogboshie Basic School, Michael Gawu, who wrote the Basic Education Certificate Examination last week said he was twice turned away and not made to use the makeshift bridge because he could not pay a fee of 20 pesewas demanded by the builder.
“I had to walk on the railway line to the Achimota New Station before I was able to join my colleagues to write the BECE. That is a long walk compared to just a few minutes across the bridge,” he said.
However, in response to the assertions, a man who only gave his name as Alhassan said, he had always insisted that users of the bridge paid a token towards its maintenance, considering its weak state and the fact that it got washed away perennially when it rained.
“Wood is expensive these days and extra wood would have to be bought always to replace parts of the bridge that gets damaged or carried away by flood waters,” he said.
A resident, Mr Francis Agbeve, said following flooding in the area on October 2011 which killed three people and broke down walls, the President John Dramani Mahama tasked the Member of Parliament for the area, Ms Elizabeth Sackey and the Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Alfred Okoe Vandepuije, to ensure that a bridge was constructed across the stream, but nothing had been done.
A parent, Mrs Nancy Tawiah, said she felt worried and uneasy because she was in constant fear that her children in Achimota Basic School might drown because they walked through the stream to school at times.

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