Source: Government of Ghana
Ghana’s dream of enjoying a bus Rapid Transit (BRT) transportation system has been renewed as the Department of Urban Roads (DUR) gets two more years from the World Bank to execute the project.
The BRT is being implemented under the Urban Transport Project (UTP) to deliver fast and affordable transportation for commuters in Accra and Kumasi.
It is expected to provide regulatory and institutional reforms in urban transportation in the two cities.
Information available on the official website of the World Bank, a key funding partner in the implementation of the UTP, under which the BRT will be introduced to the country, indicates that the new date for the completion of the project is December 2014.
The Director of the DUR, Dr Daniel Darku, who confirmed the extension, said the department had received an official letter from the World Bank extending the completion date of the project to December 2014.
Implementers of the UTP were expected to complete the project in December 2012 but that date had to be reviewed following delays in its execution. They are, however, optimistic of completing the project within the extended period.
That optimism is premised on an agreement reached with the World Bank, which has spelt out some steps to be taken towards completing the project. “The June 2012 Bank mission agreed with the government on an action plan to right track the implementation,” the bank stated.
The UTP is being jointly funded by the World Bank, Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), the Government of Ghana, and the Global Environment Facility trust Fund at the cost of $95 million.
The Implementation Status Report released by the bank described the progress towards the achievement of the Project Development Objective (PDO) and he overall implementation progress as ‘moderately satisfactory’ at a time the project was expected to be heading toward completion.
According to the World Bank’s report, $25.2 million was disbursed from the International Development Agency (IDA) credit, representing 54.5 per cent of the credit and an additional $5.75 million, representing 82.1 per cent, from the Global Environment Facility of the grant had been utilized by the DUR.
The DUR agreed with the World Bank in June last year to establish a pre-Greater Accra passenger Transport Executive (GAPTE) Unit within the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development as a condition for the extension of the project and implementation of the lots one and two of the infrastructural works.
A functional pre-GAPTE unit headed by Mr Sampson Gyamena has since been established.
While work has been completed on lot one, which is the construction of a flyover on the railway line on the Graphic road, that of lot two, which involves the construction of bus lanes from the Graphic Road to the Obtsebi-Lamptey Circle through to the First Light, and lot three, involving the construction of deports, terminals and bus stops, are yet to begin.
The design and cost of the remaining works on the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) way are being updated and the Resettlement Action Plans (RAPS) and Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) for the works components have been completed, the World Bank report stated.
Accra, Kumasi and other urban centres in the country face severe vehicular congestion with dire socio-economic impacts. The project, therefore, seeks to, among other things, improve mobility in areas of the participating metropolitan, municipal or district assemblies (MMDAs) through a combination of traffic engineering measures and improvements, regulation of the public transport industry, and the implementation of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.