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22 September 2019
PLATFORM2013: The cost of overloading freight vehicles on Ghana’s transit corridors Print
Thursday, 09 January 2014 12:44

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)’s article in PLATFORM2013 discusses how the opening of Ghana’s transport corridors to landlocked West African States has prompted a study of the economic impact of the overloading of freight vehicles.

Researcher: Prof. Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa | Immediate Past Vice-Chancellor | Department of Planning, College of Architecture and Planning | Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) | Ghana

[Portrait: Vice-Chancellor Prof. William Otoo Ellis]

Research Uptake as University policy
In line with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology’s vision and mission to enhance socio-economic development, as a part of our draft Research Policy paper we have prioritised dissemination of research findings to ensure uptake by policy-makers, the community and other stakeholders,” said Vice-Chancellor Prof. William Otoo Ellis when discussing Research Uptake at KNUST.

“An assessment of the economic impacts of overloading on Ghana’s major transit corridors is intended to inform decision-makers and stakeholders by capturing the benefits and costs accruing to Ghana’s citizens as a result of controlling axle loads as well as of over- loading of freight vehicles on Ghana’s major transit corridors. In line with KNUST’s strategic mandate and vision to disseminate and foster relationships with outside persons and bodies, and to enhance socio-economic development in Ghana and Africa, the objective, outcome and purpose of this research allows the university to engage with policy- makers, truck drivers and owners as well as other stakeholders on axle-load control and its impact on the economy. Congruent with the University’s Research Uptake strategy of disseminating research and impacting socio-economic development, it could serve as the basis of future policy and subsequent implication rationale. The researcher, Prof. Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa, plays an advisory role to Ghana’s Ministry of Roads and Highways, as well as the Ministry of Transportation.”

Research in Context
Under a special protocol between all members of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) in 2009, Ghana has had to open its transit corridors to land-locked countries such as Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Mali to facilitate their import and export trade. The distance by road between Ghana’s two seaports of Tema and Takoradi and the landlocked countries is substantial, and hence there is a tendency for truck drivers to overload their vehicles. In addition, some freight vehicles with both origins and destinations in Ghana have also been observed to overload their vehicles irrespective of their trip lengths.

One implication of the foregoing is that road surfaces designed for a 15-year lifespan begin to show signs of deterioration after only 5 years. An obvious implication of this is that more funds will need to be secured for rehabilitation and subsequent maintenance of these roads. In spite of this, to date, very little is known about the economic impacts of overloading on Ghana’s transit road corridors leading to its neighbouring countries.

The objective of the research paper, based on research that began in January 2011 and ended in June 2012 is, therefore, to assess the economic impacts of overloading on Ghana’s major transit corridors. In addition, considering that initial efforts at axle-load controls on these corridors yielded limited success, efforts will also be made to understand these initiatives and why these did not achieve the desired impact.

The study was to a very large extent based on a review of published secondary materials, but the research paper includes limited interviews of major stakeholders to ascertain the extent of the impacts as well as their perceptions of these impacts, and makes recommendations for subsequent interventions to be more effective and successful. In addition, other consultations and key informant interviews of weigh-bridge station operation were also undertaken.

The output of this study will include a detailed assessment of the overloading situation in Ghana as well as modelling of the economic impact on the national government’s budget, using the HDM 4 software. It is also anticipated that there will be an assessment of the economic impacts on other stakeholders including the truckers and selected industrial establishments.

The intention of this paper is for its results to be used as a platform to inform decision-makers and stakeholders by capturing the benefits and costs accruing to Ghanaians as a result of controlling axle loads as well as overloading by freight vehicles on Ghana’s major transit corridors. Once completed, this paper could therefore serve as the basis of future policy and subsequent implication rationale.

Research into use
Decision-makers and stakeholders that this research would be of benefit to in terms of making policy decisions include:
Ministry of Roads and Highways; Ministry of Transport; Ghana Highway Authority; Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority; Cocoa Marketing Board/Produce Buying Company; Ghana Shippers Authority; Ghana Police Service/Motor Traffic and Transport Unit; Customs, Excise and Preventive Service; Ghana Haulage Transport Drivers Association (GHTDA); Ghana Haulage Transport Owners Association (GHTOA); Ghana Private Road Transport Union (Haulage Section – Flat Bed Station) and Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders; Ghana Institute of Planners; Ghana Institution of Engineers and the Building and Road Research Institute.

Join the Research Uptake Conversation

If this piece of evidence-based development research from SSA is of use to you, please continue the Research Uptake Conversation by contacting Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology [KNUST].

Website: www.knust.edu.gh

DRUSSA Research Uptake Leader at KNUST
Prof. Kwasi Obiri-Danso
Dean
International Programmes Office; Department of Theoretical & Applied Biology
obirid@yahoo.com

DRUSSA Research Uptake Champion at KNUST
Mr. Vincent Anum Ankamah-Lomotey
Deputy Registrar
vaalomotey@yahoo.com; vaalomotey@gmail.com; vaankamah-lomotey@knust.edu.gh

Researcher / Writer
Researcher: Prof. Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa
Immediate Past Vice-Chancellor
Department of Planning, College of Architecture and Planning
kwasiadarkwa@yahoo.com

Read this article on pages 8 and 9 of PLATFORM2013 – a print and digital publication from the DRUSSA Universities in Sub-Saharan Africa [SSA] – aimed at accessibly communicating evidence-based development research with the goal of deepening its reach and impact in the region. 

Follow the PLATFORM2013 blog campaign daily until 16 January 2014. You’ll find the blog schedule on PLATFORM2013 articles from the DRUSSA Universities here

Twitter @DRUSSAfrica #PLATFORM2013 #ResearchUptake

 

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