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General News
Is Independence Square Rotting? 1/11/2011

The lack of maintenance culture is gradually catching up with the Independence Square in Accra. The roof and walls of the square, which is the venue for the nation’s Independence Day celebrations, and other national social events, are being covered by algae and spirogyra.

The monument, as well as the parade ground which accommodates over 30,000 people on major occasions, have been affected and the yellow paints of the roofs and the walls are turning green and brown, with some parts peeling off.

Many see the deteriorating condition of the square as an affront to the pride of the nation which attaches so much sentimental value to its independence.

In addition, one could also talk of the disadvantages this could have on tourism as the Independence Square, especially its National Arch, has over the ears become a major attraction for tourists.

Speaking with the Times newspaper, a military guard at post at the square explained that the discolouration was caused by the breeze from the sea which is only a few meters away from the monument.
A caretaker who gave his name as Edmund, however, told the Times that a major renovation was in the offing and would be undertaken before March 6 when the Independence Day would be celebrated.

He said it was the responsibility of the Office of the president, Castle to do the maintenance and renovation works and they were waiting for instructions from the seat of government.He confirmed the corrosive effect of the sea breeze on the structures, saying that it was to be expected, given their closeness to the sea.

Edmund explained that those in charge of the maintenance of the Square usually waited until the approach of Independence Day before tackling it, because “if it is done earlier, it may have to be done again on Independence Day”.

The Times saw some personnel of KWIK Silver Construction Company at Tema, working on the tomb and surroundings of the statue of the Unknown Soldier, confirming the caretaker’s observation. One of the workers said they were giving the monument’s platform a face-lift with a terrazzo surface ahead of March 6.

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