Using wire mesh to control Aburi road rocks cannot forestall disaster – Geological Survey Authority warns

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The Ghana Geological Survey Authority (GGSA) has warned of a looming danger on the Peduase – Ayi Mensah stretch of the Aburi road in the absence of a proper measure to forestall landslides and the falling of rocks on that part of the stretch, ABC News can report.

According to the authority, that part of the Aburi road is landslide and earthquake-prone, adding that the current use of wire mesh as a preventive measure is out of place as the material is not strong enough to prevent any disaster.

“Being in mountainous region and the rocks there being highly deformed, because it is an earthquake-prone zone as well; that place has been shaking in the past several years back so the rocks there are highly fractured.

“So whenever it rains, the cracks store a lot of water. When the water table rises, it has an effect on the frictional forces holding the rocks together, and the rocks slide down,” the Principal Seismologist at GGSA, Mr Nicholas Opoku explained in an interview monitored by ABC News.

His concerns follow recent landslides which rendered the affected portions of the road unmotorable due to heavy downpours which caused portions of the rocks to splinter onto the road.

Part of the problem, Mr Opoku observed, is as a result of human activities such as building and farming practices which have robbed the slope of its vegetation and has exposed it to all forms of climate condition.

Mr Opoku therefore, called for a more appropriate measure such as the establishment of a retaining wall [if possible] to protect the slope despite its capital intensive nature.

“We have to do what we call the stability works to make sure that if we can even cut the slope in such a way that it will reduce so that it becomes much more stable – that can also reduce it.

“Another point could have been maybe putting up a retaining wall but because that part of the mountain is very tall, then putting up a retaining wall too is going to be very expensive. But for this wire mesh I doubt,” he opined.

In the meantime, the Ghana Highway Authority has announced the closure of the Accra-bound carriageway of the Accra-Aburi road to vehicular traffic until further notice.

The Authority however, noted that the Aburi-bound road has been converted into a single carriageway to accommodate motorists heading towards Accra.

The action by the Highway Authority has been necessitated by slope failures and rock falls from the nearby mountains putting the lives of motorists at risk.

This is the second time in about 2 weeks that the road has been closed for similar reasons.

Motorists heading towards Accra are, therefore, advised to use the Dome-Kitase-Berekusu road to avoid the heavy traffic that may build up along the Accra-Aburi stretch of road.





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