Parks are great places for children to make important connections with their parents, peers, and the environment. And playing outside, in the sands and sun, has been shown by countless studies to improve and benefit every aspect of a child’s growth and development.
Sadly, many parks around Ghana are in a rather deplorable state, denying the teens and toddlers of the country the benefits they deserve from the parks. Indeed, it is known that too few of Ghana’s 10 million or more children go to these parks, because they are nothing to write home about.
For a vivid illustration, Adom TV’s Kodwo Mensah Aboroampa and his team bring you the state of what is supposed to be Ghana’s best kids’ playground – the Efua Sutherland Park.
To show the challenge is not with just one facility, the Team also brings you vivid audiovisuals from the Teshie, Tema and Dansoman children’s parks – all in the capital region.
The family of the late Efua Sutherland has threatened to withdraw the name of their illustrious relative from the children’s park – in protest to the manner the nation has neglected the facility for decades.
The proverbial Ghanaian maintenance culture makes one wonder whether the nation’s duty-bearers have never heard the word maintenance. A ride through Accra, the national capital, so much reaffirms this dilemma till one reaches the once-elegant Efua Sutherland Children’s Park.
The 12-acre amusement park, which used to be the hub of all entertainment activities for children and adults in Accra and from beyond, is in distasteful state.
On reaching there, our News Team wondered whether wild bushes there were meant for excursion. If the weeds were a nuisance, the Team was further to come to the shocking realization that the amenities built as playthings for the kids were all out of working order.
The sheds at the facility were equally in disrepair, with a ceiling dangerously hanging low. Metals used to build trains, lovers’ benches and see-saws had so much been denied repairs and painting that they had corroded and deteriorated simply into a mess.
Coincidentally, at the time of the Crew’s visit, kids were innocently endangering their lives by tossing themselves up and down the death-trap see-saw devices.
But, the kids were not completely naïve: they had a word or two for those who had neglected their responsibility to keep Efua Sutherland Park better….
The Efua Sutherland Park story was not different from that of the Teshie Children’s Playing Ground, which is sited right in front of the municipal assembly.
The Teshie Park which was supposed to be a recreational ground for kids in and around the municipality has long been left at the mercy of the weather. And, the limited facilities have all gone rusty, with weeds booming everywhere.
At Tonga Children’s Park, which had been a popular leisure place in the heydays of the Provisional National Defence Council government of the 1980s, deterioration is seen everywhere – just like it is at the Sutherland and Teshie parks.
Tonga has, additionally, peculiar challenges. In place of where beautiful lawns stood during the Jerry Rawlings era, you now have bare ground exuding dust in the dry season and turning muddy during the raining season. Equipment there have either developed holes or turned rusty.
When the News Team contacted him, the Municipal Chief Executive of Ablekuma West, George Cyril Bray, said the park was about to receive a major facelift through a Public-Private-Partnership.
From Dansoman the News Team continued to Tema; there, the children’s park looked like the deteriorated Tunga Park.
Lawns had withered, leaving bare ground, while most of the facilities were in disrepair. The roof of a building in the middle of the park had been ripped off, while squatters had besieged part of the ground, with sheep having lunch on another part.
Meanwhile, speaking to Adom Kaseɛ, a granddaughter of late Efua Sutherland, who secured the land for the children’s park, Dede Aba Sutherland Addy, said the family was disappointed over the neglect of the facility.
She added that the family is planning to get the name of the former educationist off the children’s park.
Eventually, failure by the government to renovate the children’s park has resulted in the opening of a ‘Mmofra Place’ by the Sutherland family to serve the purpose for which the late Efua Sutherland fought to get the land in Accra.
The Children’s Act, 1998 Section 2—Welfare Principle (1) says the best interest of the child shall be paramount in any matter concerning a child.
Looking at the state of the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park and other children’s parks across the country, one may ask: Where do parents take their children to?
Source: Adomonline.com | Adom News |