Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


After several months of waiting, the Asafo-UTC interchange, which is to help ease vehicular traffic in the Kumasi metropolis is nearing completion.
Residents of Kumasi have been waiting ansciously for the completion of the project. It has been gathered that President J. A. Kufuor would formally commission the project to enable motorists to start using the new interchange in a few weeks time. The opening of the interchange for traffic would go a long way to help ease traffic congestion on other roads in the metropolis.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Traffic congestion on Kumasi roads is becoming an ever-present nightmare for road users, negatively affecting productivity and the environment.

The road transport infrastructure in the metropolis has not kept pace with the increased number of vehicles that have been bought as a result of the city’s significant economic growth in recent years, itself uderpinned by a boom in consumer spending.

The city of Kumasi has spread out over the past years. Being the second largest city in Ghana it is experiencing rapid urbanisation and accelerated population growth and an exploded traffic on the road. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Central Business District (CBD) and on other arterial roads.

One result of this phenomenon is the severe traffic congestion as witnessed on the Lake Road, 24th February Road and the Sunyani Road which results in loss of working time, affecting productivity, higher vehicle running cost and negative environmental impact.

Information at the Driver and Vehicular Licensing Authority (DVLA) indicate that the number of vehicles imported into Kumasi keep increasing year after year.

Owing to inadequate public transport options in the metropolis, private cars are more a necessity than a choice.

An upwardly mobile middle class, coupled with increased access to car finance, and the entry of a greater range of less-expensive vehicle models (second hand) into the market have all contributed to the rise in vehicles on the roads.

Because there is too much private cars than the public transport, people are running away from public transport, because it is not that much good, reliable and enough, as they want it to be.

Hitherto, bumper to bumper traffic was uncommon in Kumasi but it has become prevalent nowadays on many arterial roads in the metropolis.

Surprisingly however, it has been observed that at certain intersections in the metropolis, where traffic lights are located, vehicular movement becomes slow and traffic normally jams when the traffic lights are operating normally.

But when the lights go off, or was put only on amber, traffic flow is fast and smooth. The question then is - what is the essence of the traffic lights at those areas, if its presence impede on traffic flow.

Areas where this is prevalent is the traffic lights at the Kumasi Club, the one in front of the offices of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Krofrom and Abrepo Junction.

Some residents interviewed expressed worry about the traffic situation and called on the city authorities to institute measures to help curb the situation.

Mr Kofi Abebrese, a resident of Ashtown on his part said he reckon that, vehicular traffic congestion was one of the characteristics of a developing city and Kumasi was no exception.

“But city authorities also need to develop our road networks in tandem with the development of the city”, he said and maintained that the situation of the current traffic congestion was bad since it affects businesses and appointments.

He called for the speedy completion of the Asafo interchange and said the government also needed to construct more interchanges in the metropolis at various intersections so as to help curtail the traffic situation.

Mr George Frimpong, a taxi driver said the traffic situation was affecting the commercial taxi business, since taxi drivers now spend more fuel to transport passengers to their destinations by spending more time in traffic.

It is essential to augment existing transport infrastructure through the construction of more roads and interchanges to help ease the road. But that is also a very complex, slow-moving and capital-intensive process.

For instance, the Asafo-UTC interchange project, which was commenced two years ago and was to be completed in 18 months, is well over 24 months and even not yet completed yet.

Because of the closure of the Asafo Roundabout to make way for the construction of the interchange, traffic on alternative routes have intensified and have been “bumper to bumper” all this while.

Passengers form queues at bus stops, especially in the rush hour as vehicles jam the roads. The hassle is very evident, especially during rush hours in the mornings and evenings and sometimes in the afternoon at the central business district.

Information from the Urban Roads Department in Kumasi indicates that government has secured funds from donor partners to implement various road projects in the metropolis as a way of helping to reduce the traffic congestion and its related problems.

And indeed, the President, Mr J. A. Kufuor himself has cut sod for the commencement of those projects but the contractors are yet to be seen on site working. The projects include the road from the Komfo Anokye roundabout through Bekwai roundabout, Sofoline roundabout to Abuakwa Road with interchanges at various intersections and the Oforikrom -Asokwa by - pass also with an interchange at Timber Gardens intersection. All these roads are expected to be made dual carriage ones.

It would be appreciated if the implementing agencies would speed up the projects so as to help ameliorate the traffic congestion and its related problems on residents of the Kumasi metropolis.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Authorities of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) have outlined a number of measures to ensure that Kumasi was well positioned to host the various visitors who would be coming to Kumasi during next year’s Cup of African Nations Tournament (CAN 2008).

Like the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, the KMA has sent a request to all taxi drivers to put on uniforms for neat appearance and easy identification. They are also to be provided with identification cards.

Again all taxis are going to be embossed with certain unique numbers for easy identification.

Miss Patricia Appiagyei, Metropolitan Chief Executive who made this known at the official launch of the Kumasi Venue of CAN 2008 said any visiting taxi to the Kumasi metropolis would be made to register with the KMA for an entry permit to be in the city for a required period of time.

These and many other measures are to help ensure that the city was well positioned for the tournament to be able to attract tourists.

The football tournament of African Nations to be held in Ghana from January 20 is the 26th Edition and out of the 16 participating teams, four would be hosted in Kumasi.

About half of the estimated one million visitors to Ghana during the tournament are expected to be in Kumasi.

Looking at the importance being attached to the tournament, the KMA has already started a series of activities towards ensuring a cleaner, more beautiful and befitting city for the tournament.

These include the decongestion and beautification exercise currently underway.

Many measures have also been discussed and are to be instituted to ensure that service providers deliver excellently, according to Miss Appiagyei.

Again, to help ease traffic congestion at about a 2-kilometre radius around the Baba Yara Stadium, which would be the centre of attraction when the tournament kicks off, the KMA in conjunction with the Kumasi CAN 2008 Venue Organising Committee (KVOC), as well as the Metro Mass Transit (MMT), is to introduce the park and ride system.

This system would require motorists to park their vehicles at designated points in the city, where security would be provided, pay a fee and join a bus, which would convey them to and from the stadium before and after the match.

To help make the system workable, certain areas have been identified. These areas include the Central Post Office, KMA Parking lots, Prempeh Assembly Hall, Asem School Park, all the training pitches, the premises of the Centre for National Culture (CNC) and certain spaces at the sub metros.

The KMA Chief Executive also said that the security agencies were planning to ensure that matters of security were treated with the utmost urgency it deserves adding that there is a comprehensive plan to give maximum protection to both the citizenry and visitors.

With respect to accommodation, apart from the about 222 hotels that are already in existence in the metropolis, 120 more including the City Hotel, which are under construction would be completed for usage during the tournament.

Accommodation facility in the tertiary institutions including the one at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is to support the accommodation plan.

As a result discussions are underway with the university authorities in an attempt to alter the university’s calendar on re-opening for the second semester to enable the organising committee have access to the students’ accommodation on campus. The idea of creating tented villages to support the accommodation plan is also seriously being considered. PICTURE SHOWS A SOCCER FAN IN KUMASI


Traditional adowa dance by the Amamereso fie Cultural Group from the Centre for National Culture and “Jama” songs from various football supporters union were some of the side attractions that heralded the official local launch of the Kumasi Venue of CAN 2008 at the Prempeh Assembly Hall yesterday.

It signified the official information for the people of Kumasi and the Ashanti region about the impending CAN 2008 tournament and the benefits of the tournament.

An excited Ashanti Regional Minister, E. A. Owusu Ansah, who lauched the programme said, “from today let us all think, eat, drink and toast CAN 2008, of which the Black Stars of Ghana will be crowned champions for the 5th time”.

The Kumasi local launch of the competition marks a turning point in whipping up public interest in the tournament. This is premised on the fact that the tournament would bring a lot of advantages, such as attracting tourists, fostering business partnerships and friendships as well as good neighbourliness with other nations.

CAN 2008 kicks off on January 20, 2008 with an opening ceremony at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra. Other local venues — Accra, Sekondi and Tamale — are also expected to do their launches in the coming weeks.

The Kumasi official launch was followed by a street float which attracted cheers from members of the public.

Dressed in the Ghana national colours, the various supporters union stormed the Prempeh Assembly Hall amidst the singing of the Ghana Black Star Cheer Song which sent the entire hall into a frenzy.

“I have just been made conscious of the excitement that would go with the hosting of the tournament” was what Miss Eno Akua Brantuo, a patron at the official launch, was overheard saying as the hall went into a frenzy.

The Ashanti Regional Minister called for an unflinching public support and cooperation in the quest to get Kumasi prepared for the tournament.

He explained that Ghana was chosen to host the tournament for a number of reasons, such as previous experiences in hosting it in 1963, 1978 and co-hosting it in 2000 with Nigeria.

“The peaceful political climate, the exploits of the Black Stars in recent international tournaments and the reputable standing of the country among the comity of nations are all significant factors.

“With such an impressive background, it is important that we strive to ensure another successful tournament”, the Minister said.

He maintained that the decongestion exercise currently being embarked upon by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) was laudable and stressed that every nook and cranny of the city needed to be kept clean since visitors would take advantage to tour the city.

He also called for a warm welcome from residents to all visitors to the city during the period of the tournament.

“Kumasi has always been a pacesetter when it comes to participating and organising national events of this sort”, the Minister said.

Professor K. K. Adarkwa, Chairman of the Kumasi Venue Organising Committee (KVOC) said his outfit was doing its best to ensure that all the infrastructure for the tournament - stadia, training pitches and the city hotel project - were completed on schedule for the competition.

The Chief Operating Officer of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Mr Rex Danquah, mentioned that a number of activities had been scheduled prior to the competition to help whip up public interest in the competition.

Miss Patricia Appiagyei, KMA Chief Executive mentioned that the KMA would ensure that enough buses were made available to transport supporters to the stadium. She said private vehicles would not be allowed entry into a two-kilometre radius of the stadium to help curtail traffic congestion at the stadium area, Rather, the KMA would provide buses for patrons to park and ride.

One significant hiccup of the official launch which the KVOC may have to rectify in future activities was the usual Ghanaian attitude of lateness to functions.

The official launch programme was advertised to start at 8:30am at 10:00am the organisers were not ready for the start of the programme.


An ultra modern Accident and Emergency Centre being constructed by the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) is to be ready by December 2007, making it available for usage during next year’s Cup of African Nations (CAN 2008) in Ghana.

The project is about76 percent complete and currently being equipped with modern gadgets.

It is to help put KATH in a position to be able to handle ordinary and mass casualty cases, in case any should occur during the tournament period.

Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, Chief Executive of the hospital, who made this known at a mid-year performance review meeting of the hospital in Kumasi mentioned that, a number of staff in the hospital have also undergone training in mass casualty and the hospital was in the process of training more.

He said the hospital has positioned itself to be able to handle medical cases during the tournament period and added that, the move was not only for CAN 2008 but formed part of an overall strategy to turn the hospital into a modern “centre of excellence” in the provision of clinical and non clinical services comparable to international standards.

The Accident and Emergency Centre has been equipped with a helipad on top of the building where helicopters could easily land to drop and pick patients.

Consar Limited is the contractor working on the project.

Dr Asare said so far eight nurses have received training in Israel to support the Accident and Emergency Centre and three more have been sent to South Africa to also train in handling casualty cases. These nurses are expected to serve as trainer of trainees on their return to the country.

He noted that many patients die in trauma cases because of the lack of proper handling and requisite equipment to help take care of them; hence the construction of the modern facility at the hospital was welcome news.

He said hospital has been receiving support from the Israeli government and that it was currently collaborating with it to use the Accident and Emergency Centre as a training centre in mass casualty not only for Ghana but the entire West African region.
The Israeli government in 2002 helped to set up a trauma centre at KATH and subsequently helped to train six staff to help man the place.


The Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment (MLGRDE) is liaising with Attorney General and the Judicial Service to adequately equip the district courts to deal expeditiously with sanitation cases.

This followed moves by the ministry to enforce sanitation laws through education and the courts.

This came to light at a two-day meeting in Kumasi to discuss the report of an environmental sanitation tour undertaken by a delegation of the ministry to Bangladesh and Ethiopia recently.

The tour was to help develop a sustainable rural sanitation module in the country, with the aim of finding a lasting solution to environmental problems confronting the nation.

Participants of the tour were sponsored by MLGRDE to undertake a study tour of Ethiopia and Bangladesh, where sanitary conditions are far better off than Ghana.

It enabled them to acquaint themselves with the sanitation situation in those countries and replicate them in Ghana.

Among the participants were Mr Osei Asibey Antwi, Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Amin-Adams Anta, Tamale Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Kweku Quansah, Programme Officer at MLGRDE and other experts in sanitation from various district assemblies across the country.

Environmental sanitation had been identified as a powerful driver of the nation’s development as it affects the quality of life and productivity of the population.

A greater number of diseases reported to the hospitals and other health institutions in Ghana are sanitation related among which, includes malaria, typhoid, diarrhea diseases, worm infestations and bilharzias.

These diseases are said to account for over 70 percent of outpatient department attendance in hospitals and are responsible for most infant mortality.

According to the participants their study tour revealed a greater political and community commitment to sanitation issues in those countries.

“There are no open defecations there”, Mr Quansah, Programme Officer at MLGRDE said and added that it came to light that it required a lot of political commitment in Ghana to develop feasible strategies and coherent programmes to address the sanitation challenges facing the country.

“As a nation, we have not placed priority on sanitation”, he said.

Sanitation in Ghana is poor and as one goes round the cities and towns, what one sees is filth.

Drains are choked with garbage and human excreta, open spaces and beaches which, should serve as recreational grounds have become defecating and dumping sites for all kinds of waste.

Major roads and streets including lorry parks are all littered with garbage. The situation in low income communities especially those in the cities and major towns is a sorry sight.

In some cases inadequacy of resources have been accused of aggravating the problem but in other cases indiscipline seem to be a major contributory factor.

People throw out waste and urinate anyhow and in some cases defecate in public places with careless abandon.

Contributing, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Emmanuel A. Owusu Ansah said over the years, so much resource had been committed by government, metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies and their development partners into sanitation yet there seemed to be no breakthrough for to the problem.

He also added his voice to the need to enforce laws on sanitation adding, “if the courts are properly resourced it should not take more than three days to deal with a sanitation case”.

The Minister observed that the problem of sanitation should not be left on the shoulders of government and its agencies alone since it was a national problem and everybody should be part of its solution.

Accordingly, he called for the need for the private sector to be encouraged to build their capacities to meet the challenges in waste management.

“We have reached a stage in the country’s development when sanitation services can no more be free. At present less than 15percent of the population pay for sanitation services.

“The assemblies therefore find themselves in a dilemma when they have to spend their development budget on sanitation to the detriment of other projects”, he said.

Mr Owusu Ansah challenged the MMDAs and the technocrats to come up with appropriate technologies of waste collection, transportation, treatment and final disposal.

“It is about time we move away from the traditional ways of waste management and rather see to as a resource which can be used to create wealth and generate employment opportunities”.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Construction work on a Wood Village at Sokoban for wood workers in the Kumasi metropolis is progressing steadily.

The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has acquired land at the area and is developing it into an industrial estate for wood workers.

The project would have facilities such as access roads and internal roads, sheds and stores, an administrative block and a modern car park. These facilities would be used by the wood workers at a fee to be paid to the KMA.

It is financed with funding secured by the Ghana Government from the French Government, through Agence Francaise de Development (AFD).

The chiefs and people in the Sokoban area have lauded the idea of siting the wood village there, saying the project opened job opportunities to residents operating in the wood industry.

They said land owners could also take advantage to provide other facilities that may be needed such as warehousing, show rooms, as well as provide commercial and residential accommodation.

Speaker after speaker from the surrounding communities at a sensitisation durbar organised by the KMA on the relocation of wood workers to the area lauded the idea.

The durbar was aimed at conscientising the community members to receive the wood workers and also to enable them voice out their concerns.

Madam Patricia Appiagyei, KMA Chief Executive, recommended to the project contractors to enhance the use of the facility by providing access to modern systems like automated gates and ticketing facilities and called on community members to support the project to enhance its successful implementation.

“Let us all, as partners in development pledge to support this project and contribute our individual and collective efforts to ensure its successful implementation”, she said.

She pointed out that “It is my hope that the activities of the wood workers would be mutually beneficial to both the host community and the wood workers”.

Other projects being financed with funds from AFD in the Kumasi metropolis under the Urban Development Project include construction of Oforikrom –Asokwa by-pass, improvement of the Lake Road, an interchange at Timber Gardens and landscaping of the Aboabo River bank.

The concept of a wood village at Sokoban, which is to serve as an industrial hub for wood workers was envisaged by wood workers in Kumasi themselves in times past but had remained on paper until now.

It was the Ghana Furniture Producers Association, now Federation of Wood Workers Association of Ghana (FAWAG), which conceived the idea in the late 1980s.

While some, especially those operating on large scale, have been keen about relocating there, the small scale operators were reluctant to relocate. There are presently 12 large scale operators located in the area.

It became necessary to construct a Wood Village as a result of the construction of the Oforikrom –Asokwa by-pass, which is likely to displace close to 5,000 wood workers at Anloga.

The displaced workers, are therefore, to be relocated to the Sokoban Wood Village.

Kumasi being the second largest city in Ghana is experiencing rapid urbanisation and accelerated population growth.

One result of this phenomenon is the severe traffic congestion as witnessed on the Lake Road, 24th February Road and the Sunyani Road which results in loss of working time, affecting productivity, higher vehicle running cost and negative environmental impact.

In an attempt to reduce the traffic congestion and its related problems, the government has secured funds from the donor partners to implement the projects.

The execution of the projects is expected to displace nearly 8,000 persons engaged in various businesses, as well as affect 141 permanent structures, according to the KMA.

The KMA Chief Executive , therefore, called on wood workers at Anloga and other areas in the metropolis to relocate to the wood village upon completion since it would enable them have expanded markets and easy access to wood, as well improvement in transport and utility services.

She said the KMA was also considering a move to create a hub for the numerous garages being used by car sellers in the metropolis and appealed to chiefs to help release lands for the project.

She explained that the move was to help prevent car sellers men from parking their vehicles on pavements to do business.