As part of preparations towards the inauguration of Ghana's next President, Zoomlion Ghana Limited has deployed more than 1,000 personnel to clean up the Black Star Square and other ceremonial streets in Accra.
Among those deployed are 800 personnel of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) drawn from various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies in the Greater Accra Region.
The personnel are giving the selected areas a facelift with activities such as painting pavement and pedestrian walkways, while traffic lights and trees along the streets are being decorated in the national colours, red, gold and green.
They are also weeding road medians (or road islands), sweeping the streets and clearing drains in Accra and Tema.
During a tour by journalists from selected media houses, workers in the blue overall gears and orange overcoats were seen busily cleaning and decorating the Independence Square, where the inauguration of the President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will take place on Saturday, January 7, 2017.
Zoomlion officials also conducted journalists round places such as the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, the Kaneshie Market Complex, the Tema Station, the Graphic Road, Kawukudi and Kanda high streets, and other principal streets of Accra where work was proceeding in earnest.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic after the tour, the Communication Manager of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Mr Robert Coleman, said the move was part of the company’s quest to keep the country clean and attractive ahead of Saturday’s event.
According to him, the programme was part of the company’s social responsibility and, therefore, came at no cost.
He said the presidential ceremony would host many high-profile personalities including diplomats, some African heads of state and investors who would be visiting and it was important to give them a good impression about the country.
Mr Coleman said the first phase of the beautification programme was to replace all party colours along the streets of Accra with the national colours.
The second phase was to white-wash all curves, clear all silts along the roads and clear the waste in town.
Work, he said, began over a week ago, adding that similar works were done in 2009 and 2013 when late President John Evans Attah Mills and President Mahama were sworn into office, respectively.
An Operations Manager of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Mr Ken Moses, told the paper that massive white-washing, painting and tree wrapping had already started at the Independence Square, Osu and Madina Zongo areas.
In addition, he said, a lot of work had also been done in the Ashiedu Keteke sub-metro, in Ayawaso East, Ayawaso West and Okaikoi North.
The major ceremonial roads to be touched up include the Adenta, Tetteh Quarshie Roundabout through the Airport, 37 Military Hospital, the Flagstaff House, Roman Ridge, Kanda and Kwame Nkrumah circle.
There are others working from Mallam through the N1, Achimota, Kawokudi, Kanda, Nima highway, Circle Dansoman and most of the sub-metropolitan areas of the city of Accra. Additionally, similar exercises are taking place in Tema and its environs as well as some major markets and lorry parks in the city.
Nana Akufo-Addo will be officially sworn in as Ghana’s President on January 7, 2017, as the fifth President of the Fourth Republic after winning convincingly in the country’s just ended presidential election.
More than 6,000 guests are expected at the inauguration ceremony.