Lorry parks in Accra and Kumasi are generally characterised by vehicular and human congestion, filth and bearing resemblance to markets.
At the Achimota Terminal, however, the story is different. There are no polythene bags and water sachet bags lying around, no stench and no unauthorised structures competing for space with vehicles and humans.
The general filth that engulfs many lorry parks in the country is absent; cleaners and drivers are seen picking up pure water sachet and other materials dropped by passengers.
Food vendors and hawkers are however, present in their numbers just a few metres away from the entrance of the park. Here the chaos is obvious as both hawkers and traders alike jostle for space to sell their wares.
The decision by Koajay, managers of the Achimota Transport Lorry Terminal, not to allow traders and hawkers to operate at Accra’s first modern lorry park has paid off, as the place has remained the neatest in the city, three years after it was opened.
The 800-capacity terminal constructed at the cost of GHc4.5 million and being managed by the private business company is operating in sharp contrast to that of Tema Station, which is constantly engulfed in filth, congested, and without proper management.
Few weeks after the terminal was opened in December 2009, some traders and hawkers besieged the periphery but they were quickly cleared by a taskforce from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
Both traders and passengers are full of praise for the way the park is being managed.
A driver who only gave his name as Kodjo told the Daily Graphic that work at the station was very smooth.
“I’m very impressed with the canteen, because the food is affordable and the environment very hygienic, unlike at the old station, where food was prepared and sold in the filth,” he added.
A passenger, Mr Sam Okyere, expressed satisfaction with the park, saying he was very impressed with the clean environment and the general discipline prevailing, a clear departure from the noisy and rowdy nature of the old lorry park.
Another passenger, Ms Akua Afriyie , said her only difficulty with the park was its location, because she had to walk a long distance to get there, since the drivers were prevented from picking up passengers at the old lorry park.
She, however, expressed satisfaction with the atmosphere stating that ”if all other lorry parks in the country could be like this, then our lorry parks would be places to enjoy and not places engulfed in filth.”
“The only secret we have in maintaining this place is keeping the hawkers and traders at bay. The Managing Director of Koajay Company Limited, Mr Kwame Owusu-Antwi, told the Daily Graphic in a telephone interview.
Currently, the terminal is grossly under-utilised as between 150 and 200 vehicles are currently operating there.
According to Mr Owusu-Antwi, the way forward was for the AMA to compel the drivers, who now load and unload in front of the terminal to do so in the yard.
Story by Naa Lamiley Bentil