Proliferation of kiosks along streets of Accra

BY: Maame Pomaah Jennifer Addo

I have observed with much concern how “container” kiosks have sprung up and continue to spring up along all the major and minor streets of the city.

This is a very worrisome trend which must be curtailed and eventually properly regulated and not taken for granted as it poses serious threats, as well as affects the beauty of the city.

Haphazard location

Some of these kiosks are correctly sited whereas the majority are sited haphazardly. I am not against building or using a “container” kiosk for one’s business activities, but my problem lies with the ones sited anyhow.

Most of these kiosks are either so close to the road or in some cases have taken over parts of the roads, thus posing a serious threat to both the occupants and motorists.

Some of these kiosks have even been erected to block road signs, an example is the chain of container kiosks blocking road signs from the Odorkor lorry station to Baah Yard.

Again, every safe distance left along the streets of Accra seems to have been purposely left for these “container” kiosks. Property or house owners along the roads are also a contributory factor as they rent out the small spaces serving as safe distance zones from the road to their homes to people to erect the containers.

For such landlords, it is an opportunity to make money, but they seem to forget about the looming danger if a driver loses control of a vehicle. But then also, where are the people in the offices vested with the power and given the authority to oversee how kiosks or for that matter any temporary structures are sited along the roads of Accra?

The most appalling ones to me are the ones sited or erected under the very noses of some of the offices of these authorities. A typical example is the Anyaa Zonal Council office of the Ga Central Municipal Assembly.

Ever since traders were evicted from the Anyaa market lorry station to pave the way for the construction of a new lorry station, there has been a spontaneous spring up and a takeover by “container” kiosks of the road right in front of the Anyaa Zonal Council’s office. The officers in there have overlooked this trend and it’s such a worry.

Effects

Apart from the danger posed by these kiosks, the aesthetic needs of the people and the city have been affected. The kiosks are built in various sizes, heights and colours and roofed anyhow.

Where there is a chain of these kiosks, one will see an improper alignment. They are painted with different colours and have various roofing styles making the whole place look cluttered and ugly. Examples are those erected opposite the Nyaho Clinic along the railway.

However, if these kiosks must still remain along the roads, can’t we adopt some rules that will bring about some uniformity and make it a bit appealing to the eye?

For instance, where there is a chain of kiosks, they must all be uniformly placed.

Then again, all must have the same height, roof plan and preferably the same roofing material. For the colours, there can be two or three that owners of these kiosks can choose from and be used all over the city. This I believe can change the environment a little bit.
I call on the city authorities to step up efforts and bring some order into the proliferation of “container” kiosks in Accra.

I make this call humbly to the authorities for I personally wield no power and have no authority over these matters.

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