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Viral image purported to be Accra-Kumasi highway false

3 mins read

Claim: A Facebook user claims a highway in a photo is the Accra – Kumasi highway in Ghana.

Findings reveal that it is not the Accra- Kumasi highway but a highway in Brazil.

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The Akufo-Addo administration in its quest to address the poor road networks in major parts of the country declared this year as the Year of Roads.

As such, there has been high anticipation and look out for road constructions the government is undertaking. 

But a Facebook user, John Kwadwo Stephens, has shared a post that purportedly shows the construction and the completed stage of a highway as a part of the fleet of roads constructed by the government. 

In the post, he said “Kumasi-Accra road! Akufo Addo is doing well, I know the enemies of progress will come and be ranting here”

Image source: Facebook

Many Facebook users have questioned whether the supposed photograph is that of the Accra-Kumasi highway.

The photo has been used by pressreader.com and rhodesiatimes.com where it was said to be a highway in Zambia. Other extensive discussions on the road’s origin being Zambia was also held on the Facebook page, Patriotic Front Zambia where users claimed it was the Lusaka-Ndola dual carriage highway.

Dubawa therefore set out to determine the veracity and origin of the image. 

Verification

After conducting a Google reverse image search, Dubawa traced the origin of the photo to Flickr, an American image and video hosting online community where the image taken on February 28, 2015, was credited to a Brazilian, Edson Lopes Jnr, a photo and videographer.

Dubawa also found a licensed version of the photo under Wikimedia Commons. This copy of the image provided a clearer view, which enabled us to establish that the image in question was taken in South America. 

The signage seen on the right side of the photo reads “retorno”, and we found that retorno is a municipality and town of El Retorno in the Guaviare Department of Colombia.

Additionally, our search revealed that the photo was taken during the announcement of works done on the Rodovia Cezário José de Castilho highway (SP-321) in the São Paulo state of the Baura region in Brazil.

More evidently, prior to the announcement we found a news report dated 2013 by Globo, a Brazilian online news portal where commuters staged a protest calling on the authorities to expand the one lane highway due to the enormous road accidents it has recorded. 

Other organizations including Brazilian fact checking website Lupa and Comprova have verified the photo and affirmed the highway is that of Rodovia Cezário José de Castilho (SP-321) highway in Brazil.

According to the sites, the photo of the road still under construction can be found in the Tineye reverse search tool, which records that this image was present on the São Paulo government website in September 2014. But it no longer appears on the website .

Furthermore, the number plates seen in the photo are clear indications that this image was not taken in Ghana.

Checks from the Ministry of Roads and Highways website did not affirm the picture as purported in the claim. In addition, no major news organization has reported on the commissioning of this claimed highway.

A basic online search for pictures of the Accra to Kumasi highway did not also confirm the picture. 

Conclusion

The findings reveal that the alleged image of a highway is not the Accra- Kumasi highway in Ghana. 

Roselena Ahiable is a Senior Researcher with Dubawa Ghana. Roselena has years of demonstrated work experience in advertising, sales and marketing, having worked with some of the leading brands in Ghana. She has completed a Master of Philosophy programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, with specialisation in Public Relations and Advertising. She has also received advanced training in print and broadcast journalism. Roselena also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Theatre Arts from the University of Ghana. As a trained journalist with interest in research, Roselena provides the team insight in news and media trend analysis.

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