Travelling by Road in Ghana
AN OFTEN DANGEROUS JOURNEY
Photo : Kirsty Telfer
Many years ago, there were no proper roads in Ghana and people had to travel everywhere on foot along dusty and bumpy paths and tracks. This was the only way people could get from one village to the other. Such journeys were often very tiring and could be quite dangerous if you had to walk alone, especially at night. The paths usually had lots of potholes and were not easy to walk on for a long time. Such paths still exist in Ghana today and are still in bad condition.
Eventually the Government built roads. Some were duty red while others were proper tarred roads making it easy to travel by car and mini bus. But the roads which were not tarred were very dusty during the dry season and were muddy and slippery during the rainy season. Through communal labour some villages built roads that linked them with others. These roads are known as Feeder Roads and they are mostly rough.
These days, there are many good roads linking cities, towns and villages. Some of them are first class roads while others are feeder roads. First class roads link cities and major towns. These roads make it possible for people to travel from one place to another in cars, buses, lorries and vans. Today there are many vehicles on our roads. In the cities there are too many and you will always see very long queues of traffic.
But do you know the first vehicles that were brought to Ghana? The first cars and lorries that were brought into Ghana were different from those we see today. There were very few cars; only top government officials and a few wealthy people had them. Some rich men also had lorries and trucks.
Children were very excited to see cars on the roads. They also felt very important when they travelled by lorry.
People who had vehicles were very important in their communities and they often carried passengers as well as goats!
Even today it is sometimes difficult to travel by road. A lot of Ghana’s roads are in bad condition and there are so many vehicles on the roads. There are a lot of accidents and these are sometimes due to the bad condition of the road. The government needs to ensure all roads are safe so people can travel freely and without fear of an accident.