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Opinions of Friday, 28 May 2021

Columnist: Joel Savage

Ministers for Tourism, do you see filthy-stinky environments overseas?

Ghana's Tourism Minister, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal Ghana's Tourism Minister, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal

On the observation of cleanliness, concerning the throwing and littering of all kinds of rubbish on the streets, Ghana remains one of the dirtiest countries on the planet.

Based on this fact, I am obliged to ask Catherine Afeku, the former Minister for Tourism, Culture, and Arts, and the current Minister, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, that if they travel to any part of Europe or the United States of America, do they see filthy and stinky environments like what is in Ghana?

Under Afeku as Tourism Minister, Ghana was a dirty country with opened sewages, debris-choked gutters, and dirty pavements, with mountains of waste on both sides of the streets.

Surprisingly, many parts of the Ghanaian cities, including Accra and Kumasi, still remain the same under the new minister, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal.

Poor waste disposal, the continuous littering of rubbish around indiscriminately, and the pollution of the environments and streams, annually emit tons of waste into rivers, gutters, and the sea.

While Ghana has made progress in reducing malaria in the country, the disease still remains a threat throughout the country, due to stagnant ponds, debris, and unhygienic environments.

In an interview which appeared in ‘The Business Year,’ online news – 2018, on “priorities as the new Minister for Tourism, Culture, and Arts in Ghana,” Miss/Mrs. Catherine Afeku said:

“The tourism sector is what we call the rough diamond of Ghana. We are blessed with the new administration's vision to promote tourism as one of the economic pillars for growth, job creation, and diplomacy.”

It is always easier said than done, can the former Minister for Tourism, Culture, and Arts, tell Ghanaians how many jobs the tourism sector has created to take in the thousands of qualified unemployed in the country since she became minister?

How can Catherine Afeku promote tourism without first cleaning the dirty cities and environments in Ghana?

In the same interview, the former Minister for Tourism, Culture, and Arts said that “The manifesto of the New Patriotic Party had specifically stated that we will build a state-of-the-art hospitality training school with five satellite campuses modelled on international best practices.”

This interview was made in 2018, can Catherine Afeku or the current Minister for Tourism, Culture, and Arts, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, tell me or Ghanaians where the state-of-the-art hospitality training school, with five satellite campuses, has been sited? You, politicians, think Ghanaians are undiscerning!

Even though the corruption and lies we write against are for the benefit of the country or the suffering Ghanaians, there are always certain people in or living outside the country that are ready to attack and crucify you for speaking the truth. That’s why there is no progress in Ghana.

Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, your roads are death traps, killing hundreds of Ghanaians every year, yet nothing has been done. Don’t you know the same accidents killing Ghanaians can also happen to tourists traveling to other regions or tourism sites by road?

Your environments have been degraded by illegal mining, yet, I haven’t heard your voice to save the tourism industry. There are many places throughout Ghana that can’t boast of regular electricity supply or clean water. What are you doing about that since they affect the tourism industry?

For decades after independence, many parts of Ghana remain undeveloped, despite how rich the country is. Nobody knows where the money goes after the exportation of our natural resources, yet politicians get angry if people speak against them.

The country is now under heavy debt which will be a burden to the next generation. When you are sick you go to the advanced countries to seek medical treatment, yet it hasn’t occurred to any of you that the same thing can be done in Ghana to make our hospitals better for the people.

It’s a shame, all Ghanaian politicians causing suffering to the common people in that rich gold country, must go back to school to learn about efficiency, job creation, and productivity.