With an agenda to transform the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) into a first-class institution, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has embarked on massive infrastructural projects, in lieu of the Government of Ghana’s Military Housing Package (MHP) – which is also dubbed the Barracks Regeneration Program (BRP).


On Wednesday July 20, 2022, the MOD undertook a tour with the media, of projects of the MHP, in the 5 Garrison (Accra), at areas such as the new General Headquarters (GHQ), Army Headquarters (AHQ) buildings, new Airforce and BRP accommodations, new Warehouse buildings at Burma Camp, and the Ghana Military Academy (GMA) Infrastructure Project Upgrade at the Teshie Ridge.


The media tour, which had the Minister, MOD and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla – Mr Dominic Bingab Aduna Nitiwul, Deputy Minister and MP for Atwima-Kwanwoma – Mr Kofi Amankwa-Manu, and the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) – Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Frank Hanson, were guided by the Deputy Director, Engineering Services, GAF – Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Albert Tekyi.


Of the projects inspected, Mr Nitiwul stated that the MOD and GAF did not wait for the Ministry of Finance to provide funding before the commencement of such projects, but that the MOD and its Agency, have had to provide their own resources to undertake and complete all projects.


The Minister iterated that; 1) over 100 kilometers out of the 250 kilometers of asphalted work in all Garrisons of GAF were done in the last one-and-half years, 2) the Kumasi Military Hospital is expected to be commissioned in December, 2022, 3) a harbour is being constructed in the Sekondi-Takoradi, and 4) by September, 2022, sod will be cut for a bigger project for more building construction in the Burma Camp Land Bank area for Administration, School and Square for the Base Ordnance Depot and School.


He urged Ghanaians to adopt the “can-do spirit” that is found in Ghana’s military, which he opined would be very beneficial to the development of individual citizens and the country, as a whole.


The Commander-In-Chief (C-In-C) of the GAF – His Excellency (HE) Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on October 27, 2021, at a GMA graduation of Cadets ceremony, launched the USD100 million MHP/BRP project.


GHQ


At the GHQ, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) – Vice Admiral (V/Adm) Seth Amoama, the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) – Major General (Maj Gen) Thomas Oppong-Peprah, Chief of Staff (COS), GHQ – Maj Gen Nicholas Peter Andoh, Commandant, Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) – Rear Admiral Moses Beick-Baffour, received the team.


Lt Col Tekyi who revealed that the GHQ building is 95% complete, said the 3-floors building, would be 100% complete when fitted with a lift system and furnishings in August, and that demolition works of the old GHQ building was done in 2019, with construction works commencing in February 2020, and will host the CDS, COS and staff, with the contractor being GOLDKEY Ltd – a Ghanaian company.


ARMY HEADQUARTERS COMPLEX


The AHQ building complex, 60% constructed, is an 8-storey-buidling with a basement, which commenced in February 2020, and has the frame structure of a pistol, as the Air Force HQ building is in the form of a cape, and the Naval HQ is in the form of a ship.


The location used to house vertical old buildings inherited from the colonial regime, but has had to be replaced with the new structure due to increased size of the Ghana Army, with the project (which continued during the COVID-19 period, restrictions nonetheless), expected to be completed in December 2022.


GHANA MILITARY ACADEMY


GMA Infrastructure Project Upgrade of the MHP sighted during the tour are; Administration Block – 100% constructed and occupied as headquarters, 320-Classroom – 100% constructed and in use, Officer Cadets’ Mess – 100% complete and in use, Academy Square (largest military square in Ghana, can contain 5,000 persons) – 100% asphalt constructed and in use, and the fence wall around the GMA is almost complete.


Additionally, 65% of Phase I of a 246-room Cadets’ Hostel is constructed; it is intended to be one-cadet-one-room, with 4 wings – south, middle, north and rear wings, while Phase II would replicate same opposite Phase I, with an Appian way between the two, leading to the Square.


However, forecasting two Regular Career Course intakes and one Special Duties intake in a given period, which would amount to about 500 cadets, one-cadet-per-room may not be appropriate, thus the Commander of GMA proposed that 2/3 of the hostel may be installed with bunk beds to be able to accommodate over 600 cadets, when the need arises.


The old colonial buildings, which are in use now, have 52 rooms; each containing 4 Cadets, totaling 208 persons, to which Officers of GAF have built 16-rooms more, to mark the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of GMA.


Construction of the 3-floor GMA auditorium has commenced, after the Academy used its own resources for demolition works of the Armed Forces Catering School, since the project was delaying, as the project is to be completed by the end of 2022.


There are also two blocks of 4-units 2-bedroom half-compounds (a fraction of 160 blocks under construction in all Garrisons) for eight Instructors and their families, 26-meter² Area size 2-bedrooms in 4-storey with 16 flats Platoon Commanders’ accommodation, are both 100% complete.


All the projects are being constructed by Polychanda Group, with the consultant being CAAD & CAD Consult Ltd.


There is however, the need for Officers’ Mess – for Officers in the enclave which hosts GMA, all the schools under the Military Academy Training Schools (MATS), Army Combat Training School (ACTS), Army Training Command (ATRAC), and equally needed are proper sporting facilities for the entire Teshie Ridge.


NEW BOD WAREHOUSES


Five huge warehouses – occupying 3,000 M² of Area, 10-meters high having 3 level offices, with about 30 offices per one – are being installed according to state-of-the-art designs, near the new Military Cemetery, Burma Camp, for the relocation of the Base Ordnance Depot and School, to replace old warehouses, which are small and aged, having issues with flooding, and negative room level height etc.


There also is a 78 meters long two-bay twin warehouse in the middle of the location, with two smaller ones supporting, with the overall agenda of keeping equipment, spare parts, weapons, uniforms, accoutrements, according to military standards, with racking systems, forklifts and all needed equipment available on-site in containers, projecting the needs of GAF for the next ten to fifteen years.


The location of the warehouse was an issue of protestation when the La Youth Association, supposing that the site had been sold to a private person, protested vehemently to the GAF, however after the issues were explained, tensions subsided. The new warehouses, which are about 60% should be done by March 2023.


ACCOMMODATION – AIR FORCE


Through self-help, the Ghana Air Force, have constructed twelve 2-bedroom units, twelve single-room units and 4 dormitories, for 24 families and 120 Young Soldiers to live comfortably in one huge 3-storey structure, which was started in August 2021, and is about 75% complete, at Burma Camp.


In Takoradi, at the Air Force Base, same concept has been built and commissioned, and another is to be replicated in Tamale, coming August, 2022, together with eight more, in the Northern Regions for the new military installations constructed or under construction.


DRAKE AVENUE – AIRPORT WEST


At Drake Avenue, the Airport Residential Area, is a stretch of land from the Diplomatic Shop at the Accra Airport Residential Area, belonging to GAF, on which together with the MOD, ten 2-bedroom houses on plots measuring 110 by 80 feet on 10 plots, have been turned into 48 units 4-bedrooms with 2-bedrooms outhouse buildings, in partnership with GOLDKEY.


Phase I was started in 2020 and is completed, with Phase II starting in 2021, and has been occupied, with Phase III to start from August 2022, for 12 buildings on 2 plots, as 8 units of these buildings are to be constructed at Burma Camp, in place of ten 2-bedroom houses, for use by Generals of GAF.


LAND BANK, BURMA CAMP


At the Land Bank area, Burma Camp, near Major Mahama Roundabout, there is the construction of 40 2-bedroom 4-units per block half-compounds ongoing, with some completed and others at various levels of construction, as there is a total of 80 such at Burma Camp, with one 4-storey 2-bedroom 16-units.


There are other buildings in Ho, Sekondi, Sunyani, Tamale, Tema and two locations in Takoradi, in addition to the ones in Accra.


Overall, the Military Housing Project Phase I has 832 units, with Phase II having 432 units of houses, totaling over 1,262 units of accommodation for troops, which started from 2019 and would be handed over to troops from August 2022.


Other dignitaries with the Minister were the Deputy Chief of Staff, Administration, GHQ – AVM Michael Appiah-Agyekum, Director General, Logistics, GHQ – Brigadier General Prince Osei-Owusu, Director, Public Affairs, MOD – Colonel Ernestina Assan, amongst many.


By Kofi Ampeah-Woode

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here