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Editor's Lens: Rotten state of Efua Sutherland Park is a shame
Rotten state of Efua Sutherland Park is a shame

Editor's Lens: Rotten state of Efua Sutherland Park is a shame

It was certainly a brilliant idea to build a children’s park in all the regional capitals and other major cities to serve as both amusement parks and centres of learning many decades ago.

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The 14.83 acres of land opposite the National Theatre, Accra, was named the Accra Children’s Park and later renamed the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park after Efua Sutherland, a poet and dramatist who was a founder member and chairperson of the Ghana National Commission on Children (GNCC) and who devoted most of her literary works and life to the development of children.

In the early and late 90s, the Efua Sutherland Park was probably the favourite family park in the capital city. In its glorious days, the facility was a centre of attraction for many families who sent their children there, especially on public holidays and weekends, to have fun.

The opposite is, however, the current state and there seems to be no end in sight to the deterioration at the state-owned Efua Sutherland Children’s Park, which is on its knees.

Apart from overgrown grass which has covered many parts of the 14.83-acre park, it has bared its teeth with deteriorating playground equipment, such as swings, children’s train, merry-go-round and slides, which has been left to the mercy of the weather, with some already rusty.

It was expected that the creation of the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MWCA) in 2001 by the Kufuor Administration, facilities such as the children’s parks would be fully developed, maintained and utilised to serve the recreational and educational needs of children. That never happened. 

In June 2016, the Daily Graphic reported that Nana Oye Lithur who was then Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection had disclosed that her ministry was partnering with the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Arts to renovate the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park in Accra.

At the time, Nana Oye disclosed that the ministry had been able to address some legal issues with some private companies which had been an impediment and also entered into a memorandum of understanding with UT Life.

The two ministries, she said, were at the time in the process of preparing the redesigning works so that the Efua Sutherland Park would be developed along the lines of the Rattray Park in Kumasi. That never happened and eight years down the lane, the once vibrant Efua Sutherland Park has become a cycle tale of uncertainty. 

The current state of the Efua Sutherland Park is an affront to the memory of an art luminary such as Efua Theodora Sutherland. It’s a shame. We can do better!

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