Maintenance is the process of protecting or preserving something or the process of keeping something in good condition. Culture, on the other hand, is a way of life, that is, lifestyle, customs, traditions and habits of a people.
Unfortunately, the culture of maintenance is lacking in Ghanaian homes, offices, schools, factories and workplaces. Public properties are the hard hit when it comes to maintenance, and has become a major problem for the government at various levels.
Neglect of maintenance has often resulted in the deterioration of public properties, particularly, buildings and structures which form a greater portion of the nation’s wealth.
Last Monday (March 4), we carried a story which said the Kumasi Children’s Park, where the Afia Kobi Library Complex, built by the taxpayers’ money, is situated, had been abandoned and the infrastructure therein left to decay.
The library, which was built by the then Ashanti Regional Administration (now Regional Co-ordinating Council-RCC) during the tenure of office of Col. E.M. Osei Owusu (rtd), then Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) Regional Secretary, with funds from the Regional Development Levy and commissioned by the late Asantehene, Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, on December 27, 1990.
It was formally handed over to the Ghana Library Board by the Ghana National Commission on Children in November 1994, but it is almost neglected, as if it is nobody’s business. Not only is the place a waste of public resources, but an eyesore.
The case of the Kumasi Children’s Park and the Afia Kobi Library is only the tip of an iceberg when it comes to public-owned properties.
Not quite long ago, the Rattray Park came into existence, but four years on, the park is gradually deteriorating.
Also, the one-time vibrant Kumasi Jute Factory is slowly dying with three big production lines standing idle for years, while the buildings, rusty equipment and other rotten equipment cover spaces.
Since 1991, the jute factory, established in 1960 as part of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) government’s industrialisation drive for Ghana, and a source of employment for the people of Kumasi, has been dormant.
Political parties had, since the inception of the Fourth Republic, been making promises during electioneering campaigns to revive the defunct factory when they win the elections, but these turn out to be empty promises.
The situation at the Jute factory has caught the attention of the Assembly Member for Asem Electoral Area in Kumasi, Thomas Ekow Sackey, also known as Ogede, and who has appealed to President Akufo-Addo to consider revamping the defunct Kumasi Jute factory to create employment for the teeming unemployed youth.
As he said, the retooling of the factory with new machines would create employment for the unemployed in Asokwa Municipality and Kumasi as whole, and reduce the crime wave among the youth. Is the government listening to Ogede?
Now, the Kejetia project is completed and handed over to the city authorities for occupation by traders soon. Recently, the Local Government Minister inaugurated a seven-member Management Board to ensure the smooth and efficient management of the facility. We need not stress the importance of maintenance of such an edifice provided at a huge estimated cost of US$259,451,000.
While congratulating the Mayor of Kumasi on his appointment as the Chairman of the Board of the Kumasi City Markets Company, we wish to remind the managers to prioritise maintenance to ensure a long lifespan and public safety.
The Board has the onerous task to protect the Kejetia project.