Feature Article of Wednesday, 19 January 2011
My Trip To Ghana – By Akwele
When the jet plane landed at Kotoka International Airport, Accra on December 4th 2010, I was very excited. The last time I had been to the Motherland was five years ago. I went through the formalities and then, home. Having been away for a while, I did expect some changes. I realize things do not stay the same forever. Let me start with armed robbers. I was warned to be on the guard for them, also pick-pockets, and be prepared for anything. I was also told not to open my purse unnecessarily in public so people would not see what was in it and follow me around. I acted accordingly.
A lot of school children, especially those in the secondary schools have no dormitories to live in. Some live in Hostels off campus. So you can imagine. After school, a lot of them wander. I see them all the time and feel sad about it. How can they possibly concentrate and study? These are future leaders of the country. People that will be making decisions for the country! The other school children, especially a lot of them that live in Accra and the vicinity wake up very early in the morning in order to beat the traffic to be in school on time. Children need enough rest and sleep in order to develop well.
As for the traffic in Accra, the least said, the better. It is so congested it is not even funny. What prevents the highway authority from creating more roadways to divert traffic in order to ease the congestion and make life better for everybody? There is no valid excuse whatsoever for congestion in the Capital City. It is true some new roads have been constructed but they are not enough for twenty-something million Ghanaians! I hope the funds for the roads have not made their way into individual pockets. The population of Ghana has naturally increased over the years. Most of the plans, structures and amenities are from the colonial days. Will the state of affairs in Ghana improve? What are the people in office doing? Just “chopping Ghana small”.
Unemployment. It is a problem. What happens to the jobless youth? They are all over the place. How do they make a living without working? Hence armed robbery and other social evils. Others do everything they can to travel abroad to become wanderers just as I am. I now consider myself a perpetual wanderer.
I used to be quite upset when people talked about the filth in the Motherland. I saw it with my own eyes. Is there nobody to be paid to pull trash? You see, people sell food-stuff right where the trash is. Fruits, vegetables, fish meat. No wonder people get sick from unknown causes. In fact, in Takoradi, around the market to be precise, there are hills of trash, that particular area stinks so bad. What is the use of the Western Regional Minister, Assembly men MP and so forth and so on if they cannot organize to have trash removed? Is this the work of a rocket scientist? I don’t think so. How can you call yourselves the oil-city of Ghana and be infested with trash? 15th December, 2019, all big shots in Ghana came to Takoradi to witness the launching of oil. Tell me did they not see the filth and smell the garbage? I would be surprised.
Need I mention pot-holes and regular holes? I guess people are sort of used to them because they did not seem bothered. Anytime I went to town, I would walk with my head bowed, lest I fell into one.
Although there seems to be some improvement in light and water situation, nevertheless, there were times when the water and light were off. I was bitten mercilessly by mosquitoes. The bites were so prominent on my arms, especially my right arm. Though it is much improved now. I am just glad I took anti-malaria tablets. Everything over here is expensive from A to Z. The only thing that is affordable is pure water which is 5 Ghana pesewas.
I cannot end without mentioning Bribery and Corruption. It is the order of the day. Everybody does it. They say there is no place like home. I totally agree with that. Ghanaians remain hospitable and nice . I will always refer to Ghana as my Motherland. After all my Mom still lives there and so do some of my siblings. Just consider this piece as rantings from Akwele.