The Black Star Square, one of Ghana’s major monuments, which play host to numerous national events, has become a ticking time bomb.
After five decades of being in existence, the Square, popularly referred to as the Independence Square in Accra, is currently in a deteriorated state, posing danger to the hundreds of people who use the grounds for various events.
It was last given a major facelift 11 years ago when Ghana celebrated 50 years of independence and has now developed serious cracks in the public stands as well as the VIP area, which hosts the presidential dais.
Iron rods used in the construction of the buildings at the square have been exposed to the vagaries of the weather, particularly the salty breeze from the sea, while some doors and seats at the grounds have been destroyed.
The Square has also become a temporary home especially for the homeless. A situation which most people have described as the major cause of damage to the chairs in the stands.
Speaking in an interview with the caretaker of the square (Name withheld), he blamed the phenomenon on the poor maintenance of the square by the appropriate authorities; citing that,”until a major national event is held, the square is left unattended to”.
The current state of the monument leaves much to be desired and it gives credence to the culture of poor maintenance plaguing the country. It is expected that actions would be expedited to attend to the defects to avert any form of fatality that may hit the country sooner than later.
The Square, called the Black Star Square, was built in 1961 by Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, to honour the visit of Queen Elizabeth II. It is famous in the history of Ghana as it is the site for Ghana’s annual Independence Day Parade every 6th of March and other national events.
The square boasts of two monuments; the Independence Arch and the Black Star Monument also known as the Black Star Gate.