Accra-Kumasi Highway, A Death Trap?

Linking two major cities, the Accra-Kumasi highway is one of the busiest and most important transportation routes in the country. Connecting the capital with the second-largest city, facilitating trade, and travel, between these two urban areas and neighboring countries. This highway is known for its heavy traffic and occasional road hazards, which nowadays is becoming a constant thing.

A Toyota Hiace mini-bus crashed on the Accra-Kumasi highway.

This year alone, there has been a series of highway incidents that raise questions about the safety of this road. In March, a head-on collision between two vehicles claimed the lives of 21 people. The accident, which occurred on the Breku stretch, was reportedly caused by one of the drivers attempting a wrongful overtaking.

In June recently there was another event of a tanker truck collision near Konongo. With a life lost in that tragedy, the community members were still siphoning diesel from the collided vehicle. Forgetting there’s been a similar incident where a fuel tanker exploded and killed almost half of a village years back.

A large group of community members surrounded an accident scene near Konongo, forcedly opened the tanker truck compartments, and began siphoning diesel.
People surrounded an accident scene near Konongo, forced open the tanker truck compartments, and began siphoning diesel

Aside from wrecks and collisions, there have been reports of robbery on this same highway. Earlier in the year, passengers of a 2M Express bus were attacked by armed robbers, in the video posted online, gunshots were heard in the footage. The bus driver narrowly escaped that attack by reversing away from robbers and was able to save his life and that of the passengers.

Photo footage from the driver of a 2M bus reversing to escape the robbers.
Photo footage from the 2M bus driver reversing to escape the robbers.

With the Osino, Konongo, and Eyiresi by-passes under construction, we don’t know when it’s going to be done. How is the government planning on making this highway safe for motorists till the roads are all set and done? Well, maybe you’re thinking just like I am, “by air”, right? Given these considerations, with the Kumasi airport improved, one might want to opt for a flight to Kumasi, provided the means (finance) are available.

A photo of Africa World Airlines' aircraft
A photo of Africa World Airlines’ aircraft

When considering travel safety, it’s important to weigh all options. While road travel remains the most accessible form of transportation for many, the safety of flights cannot be overlooked. Ghana has been working to improve aviation safety, and significant improvements have been made in recent years. The country’s efforts have resulted in a provisional Effective Implementation grade of 89.89% in aviation safety oversight, surpassing the global average.

While air travel is not without its risks, the advancements in aviation safety in Ghana suggest that it could be a viable alternative for those seeking a safer journey. In light of the numerous incidents on the Accra-Kumasi highway, it’s worth asking: Is it safe to travel by road, or is it sensible to consider flying to Kumasi if one can afford it?