Amid increasing political tension leading up to next year’s election, the Ghanaian Bureau of Public Safety released their half-year safety report on Monday. The report examined several public safety issues, ranging from police brutality to wildfires. Transportation, Natural Disasters, and Crime highlighted the top three causes of death in Ghana in 2019 so far, with outlined measures to address these issues for the rest of the year.
Transportation Hazards Plague Ghanaian Citizens
Transportation accounted for a staggering 45% of deaths in Ghana in the first half of this year. Road conditions in Ghana can often be subpar, leading to this danger. Pedestrians often further complicate road conditions by crossing the street outside of approved intersections. This creates hazardous situations for drivers and the pedestrians themselves. Basic steps such as carpooling and talking public transport can help this issue by lowering the amount of cars on the road. This helps to better regulate traffic laws in a safe way. The report concludes with an acknowledgement of this, calling for “…sustained institutional campaign to enforce basic road laws across Ghana.”
Natural Disaster Death Higher Than Normal
Natural disasters have only accounted for 28 deaths so far in 2019, accounting for 7% of all deaths in the report. Although this is a low number, it is a 100% increase from the amount of natural disaster-related deaths from the beginning of the year. Events such as the floods in Accra have contributed to this number. When it comes to natural disasters, preparedness before and after a disaster strikes is crucial. Being prepared beforehand can help prevent deaths from the disaster itself, and getting help in recovery and cleanup can ensure that people are safe from the after-effects of a disaster.
Violent Crime At Troubling Levels
Violent Crime and Civil Disturbances were a main highlight of the report, with incidents of crime representing 28% of all deaths in 2019. Murder and manslaughter were by far the top two most common cases of crime, with assault as a close third. Crime also was the most common reported case of public safety, with 60% of all reported incidents related to crime. Perhaps most disturbing is the centralized nature of these crimes. The report states that “Greater Accra, Eastern and Ashanti regions reported a cumulative of 56% of all violent crimes committed within the period.”
What the BPS suggests is a multi-organizational effort, stating that “It is crucial and indeed urgent that Law Enforcement Agencies, Intelligence Agencies, and the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) deploy deliberate programs and plans to stem the tide of lawlessness and its attendant perception of insecurity.”
Where Does Ghana Go From Here?
Ultimately, the Bureau of Public Safety concludes with the acknowledgement that the real power and responsibility lies with “citizens first, rather than…appointing authorities” and that together, this effort can “…usher our society into a more civilized era.” Hopefully this can prove to be true, as these numbers continue to be monitored for the remainder of 2019.
Written by Katlyn Eriksen