The Rattray Park, a popular leisure park in the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi, is gradually losing its glory.
The Park, since its inception, has suffered some challenges including the non-payment of Value Added Tax (VAT) and poor maintenance culture.
The facility, the cost of which had divided Assembly Members at the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) under the leadership of the former Chief Executive, Kojo Bonsu is fast deteriorating.
The Rattray Park has been in the news for the bad reasons after its inauguration.
Aside the political wrangling over its cost at the time, officers from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on 23rdÂ September, 2016, locked up the place for non-payment of tax.
On 30thÂ August, 2017, a USB drive containing operating software for the facilityâ€™s dancing fountain was also stolen, an incident that took a toll on its operations.
Patrons spend their weekend for relaxation at the facility.Â At the entrance, they pay a fee ofÂ Ghc10 cedis.
But the deteriorating structures inside the facility, usually welcome these patrons.
The huge number of people who throng the facility each weekend had dropped. A handful of patrons were seen whenÂ Citi NewsÂ visited the facility.
The painting on the walls was peeling off, the waste bins were filled to the brim with refuse scattered all over.
The overgrown grass in and around the compound confirmed the level of neglect.
The facilities at the childrenâ€™s playground were no different. As if that was not enough, the water on which the dancing fountain sits had developed algae.
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The fountain has turned into a white elephant after the USB drive containing its operating software was stolen.
Walls around the fountain are falling off. Although the washrooms are kept clean, there is no soap for patrons to wash their hands after using them. The canteen has also been deserted.
Mrs. Zainab Fofona, who came with about eight kids and her sister who just returned from the United Kingdom(UK), said she was surprised to see the facility which was inaugurated three years ago dying slowly.
â€œActually, I was here about two yes ago. We came with a group of parents with fifteen kids. We had fun and we enjoyed ourselves. Today, one of my sisters came from UK and she wanted us to go out so I decided to bring them around here so that the kids could play.â€
â€œI was surprised to see a lot of the playing facilities being destroyed with holes in them. Some of the exercising facilities are all rusty, the grass are not really kept well and coming down there I saw a lot of plastic and refuse all over and I was not so happy with itâ€ she lamented.
Another patron, Anita Amoah, said she fears the facility could soon die like the defunct and abandoned Kumasi childrenâ€™s Park.
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â€œWhen I was coming in I almost thought that maybe they closed the place down because it is quiet, itâ€™s dirty. There is no place to eat and there is nothing to buy because all the people who were owning the restaurants here have moved. The slide is now completely dangerous for the kids and it is even dirtyâ€, she said.
Fortune Dodoye, who just came out from one of the washroom said â€œAfter using the washroom, there was no soap to wash my handsâ€.
For some of these patrons, the collection of monies at the facility is not worth it since management of the facility have failed to properly make good use of the tax-payerâ€™s money.
Rahma Sahad, who is equally not happy about the state of the facility, questioned what the Ghc10 charged for adults and the Ghc5.00 for kids are used for.
â€œIf they were putting the monies being collected to good use, I mean just maintaining the place, I think it would have been better than the current stateâ€.
Parents and guardians who take their kids to the Childrenâ€™s playground at the Park, are not happy about the deteriorating facilities there.
An example is a slide that has started developing holes â€“ a development that threatens the safety of kids.
Ten-year-old Faris Ahmed Mutawakil, has just descended from the slide which is developing holes and he said â€œThere is only one facility for the children and itâ€™s not fair, and the Gym place is old and rusty so they need to buy new stuffsâ€.
His eight-year-old sibling, Aisha Fofona, wants management of the facility to pay more attention in fixing the deteriorating structure.
â€œThe facilities are very poor and children wonâ€™t be able to play a lot. They should try and make the playground bigger with more stuffs to play, especially the Gym is all rusty and all of them are not functioningâ€.
The facility, which was inaugurated by former President John Dramani Mahama andÂ Asantehene Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II inÂ June 2015, was christened Rattray in honour of Captain Robert Sutherland Rattray, a Scottish who was the Assistant Colonial Secretary in the Gold Coast, and a clerk to the Legislative Assembly of Accra in 1919.
Three years on, Residents in Kumasi fear the Rattray Park is on the verge of collapse if not given the needed attention.