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Indiscipline, a worrying concern

BY: Daily Graphic

Yesterday, the Daily Graphic carried on its front page the story that some footbridges and overpasses in Accra have been turned into marketplaces, making it difficult for pedestrians to have easy access to the pavements.

The story brings to the fore the general lack of discipline in our society.

Indiscipline, for some time now, has become a worrying concern for many people in the country.

Just walk or drive around our cities and you will discover the level of indiscipline that has engulfed us as a nation.

Many aspects of our lives hinge on indiscipline, anti-human behaviour and disorder.

Our time consciousness, the way we relate to the elderly in society, our mannerisms on the road, sense of sanitation, waste collection, among others, all leave much to be desired.

Now that we are in the rainy season, with flooding in some parts of the country, we are going to see more effects of indiscipline.

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According to the story, apart from the N1 overpass, all the other overpasses and footbridges in Accra had become trading posts.

Traders, including car dealers, oblivious of the inherent dangers in their actions, have displayed their wares and vehicles on the footbridges and under the overpasses to attract clients.

At areas such as Caprice, where cars, bicycles and motorcycles are virtually strewn on the pavement, the practice by the vehicle vendors has compelled pedestrians to walk on the shoulders of the road.

The pedestrian walkways at Spanner Junction, Shiashie, near the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange; the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange; the Achimota Overhead and the Mall, Taifa Junction, Spot M and Ofankor Roundabout, all on the Accra-Nsawam Road, have also become marketplaces where everything, from cooked food, foodstuffs, footwear, clothing, cosmetics, herbal medicine, furniture to plastic products, is sold.

And at the Spot M Timber Market on the Achimota-Ofankor Road, wood dealers have turned the pavement into a parking lot where pick-up trucks have blocked pedestrian walkways.

The situation is no different at the Akweteyman and the Lapaz footbridges, where fruit sellers and second-hand goods vendors have turned the space under the footbridges into markets.

There is hardly any space for pedestrians there, who have resorted to walking on the shoulders of the road, a practice that has become infamous for pedestrian knock downs.

More depressing, according to our report, is how some of those areas have gained notoriety for heavy traffic following their proximity to bus stops, which commercial vehicle drivers have turned into lorry stations.

There are also food vendors close to some fuel stations and the naked fires used by the vendors pose a danger to running engines at the fuel stations.

Outside Accra, the Kasoa Interchange is another area where the local assembly is looking elsewhere while wares on pavements and the erection of structures for trading purposes keep going on.

These are very displeasing, to say the least, and definitely not the way to go for a country that is seeking to become the cleanest on the continent.

So far, attempts by the metropolitan and municipal assemblies to deal with this raging menace of indiscipline in our cities are yielding little or no fruits.

It is amazing how the local authorities look on while the invading traders continue to ply their trade at unapproved locations.

For us at the Daily Graphic, it is time for the local authorities in particular to step up their game to check this rising menace.

Decongesting the cities must be the priority of the local authorities if, as a nation, we are to achieve the President’s vision of making the national capital the cleanest in Africa.

The President’s vision, by extension, is to make the entire country one of the cleanest.

That is why we cannot leave anything to chance in our collective effort to attain this goal and our local authorities must lead the way by enacting and enforcing the needed rules and regulations to guide the proper running of the cities.