These are Koforidua Technical University Students giving directions to places they are doing their industrial attachment/internship, read below some sample data
“From Nungua Barrier to first traffic light in Tema. Without taking a turn,you drive straight to the next traffic light without a turn as well. As soon as you by pass the traffic light, u take a left turn. As soon as you turn, the road you take will take y”
“On the Nungua-Ashaiman road, branch to your right at Shalom spot junction and go straight till u meet a round about and take another right turn and go straight till you get to a washing bay. The office is around the washing bay.”
“From Tema motorway round about, then you take the route going to Dewanye, immediately after ECL then take the juction on your right which will lead you to the school”
“From koforidua main station to somanya round-about you take right to Akuse – junction road to Akuse junction, then you branch left ten(10) minutes drive after the junction you will see University of Ghana sign post on your right to the site.”
“Pick a car to Agona Swedru township and drop at texaco. You then pick a taxi to Swedru School Of Business”
“Pick a car to texaco and pick a taxi to Government Hospital”
“Accra,dansoman then you pick a car to 1st top ,and ask for dansoman poly clinic its on the left side on the road when coming”
“From Koforidua to Hohoe, from Hohoe through to Lolobi to New Baika, from New Baika to Likpe Abrani through to Likpe Kukurantumi to New Ayoma.”
“When you enter agona swedru, ask anybody of government hospital. Its on the left side of the road when you going to bojuase.”
“Drive through to Kumasi Anloga Junction route to Abuakwa, on reaching Sofoline, drive straight towards up, The hospital is few metres away from Sofoline. There is a total filling station at the junction of the hospital which takes the right route.”
“board a car from madina heading to kasoa and alight at McCarthy junction.”
“When coming from Accra And Hohoe Side The Hospital Is At The Left But When Coming From Northern Region Side The Hospital Is At The Right Hand Side (That area is call Nsana zongo).”
“Alight at Amasaman bus stop when coming from Accra. Take the junction to your right. Move straight and ask of Amasaman Hospital. It’s on your left.”
“pick Medina car. Then you will alight at dzorwulu junction. You then cross the street there you find the hotel”
“From Koforidua to Akim Oda straight car then you alight at Government Hospital. On your right side of the road is the government hospital.”
“if u get to teshi fisrt junction please just call this number 054XXXXX55”
“Ogbojo pick a car from madina zongo junction where the big station is in which they pick the American house car and ask of the ogbojo car pick it and alight at the police station the clinic is behind or ask anyone around”
“FROM KOFORIDUA MAIN STATION TO SOMANYA ROUND-ABOUT, TO AKUSE JUNCTION (OKWENYA)THROUGH TO ASUTSUARE JUNCTION THEN TAKE 64 MILITARY OSUWEM ROAD, STRAIGHT TO ASUTSUARE AFTER OSUDOKU SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, ASK OF GOLDEN EXOTICS LIMITED (BANANA FARMS)”
“From koforidua when you get to Ritz junction turn right when you come forweard a little you will see total filling station then you come forward again small you will see a shop on your left opposite revival chapple”
“when you get to Winneba junction, take a car to Winneba town and alight at Winneba municipal hospital”
“Nkawkaw- Kumasi Road When you reach nkawkaw you will come straight, going to Kumasi you will see Fodoa sign board and then come forward to Fodoa Junction and turn to your left you will see the school sign board.”
“4 Kilometres from the Accra International Airport. located in Accra, on the main road between Kotoka International Airport and central Accra”
“From spintex through to Airport Hills East gate, use the roundabout in front of the gate heading towards TSAADO (after Bruma camp new cemetery). You meet a second round about keep heading forward till you meet a third round about but before the third roundabout”
In random sampling, data taken from the Assumption of Duty form filled (with exception of supervisors visiting them at their places of work). It did seem odd to me that these students, who spent most of their time on their cellphone didn’t know how to use Google Maps on their phones. But apparently, they are not the only ones. I have seen people, holding smartphones capable of doing dozens of computations and services, still struggle to find their way around the city despite having GPS, GhanaPostGps and Google Maps on their phones.
How is this possible??!
If you’ve ever lived in Ghana, you know that we have a major problem with directions and locations. Asking a pedestrian for directions sometimes feels like asking someone on the street how to launch a spaceship to Mars. You sometimes never get good directions and you end up getting more lost eventually. Landmarks such as buildings and trees eventually become your best friend for finding businesses and pathways.
Landmarks > Street Signs
For me, without street signs, I could still use Google Map to get around. But for others, it’s almost like they’re invisible. When I’m giving someone directions on how to find where I’m situated, I just give them the street name. That never goes so well and I eventually just start giving them the typical Ghanaian directions:
“Take the rough road and take a right turn when you get the house with the brown wall”
You would think more experienced people like taxi drivers, who travel to and fro in the city, would adapt and use a map application on their phones to get better routes to a passenger’s destination. If they’re not on Uber, they’re probably using past journeys to remember routes to take. There have been a couple of times where I’ve seen taxis pull over and ask a passer-by for directions when dropping off a passenger. And yes, that taxi driver likely had a smartphone in his car.
I even wonder if Firemen and Police use map applications to get to a particular destination. I kid you not, the other day I saw a firetruck parked and one of the firemen was asking a pedestrian for directions…. *face palm*
Everybody just seems lost. It’s really surprising given the fact that the street naming project seems to have been completed and almost all lanes and roads now have street signs and the introduction of GhanaPost GPS. That should have helped make finding places easier right? But that doesn’t seem to have happened. It’s like the general public can’t be bothered with street signs. Businesses don’t seem to be taking advantage of street signs and GhanaPost Code when listing contact information on their websites or even business cards.
Hard To Change Habits
There’s still work to be done as far as digitally mapping the whole country but major cities in Ghana seems to have all destinations on a digital map. So it’s interesting how the average Ghanaian, who has access to a smartphone, still can’t use a Map application.
I think it’s even worse that we finally got street signs and people still can’t switch habits and get accustomed to them. Maybe we all need some sort of awareness program to help with the use of street signs and maps for directions and locations.
Whatever the case is, I hope we all adapt to either using more street signs or mapping applications because the next time someone asks me for directions in the street, I might as well just open up my GhanaPostGps App on my phone and give him/her my digital address.
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