Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Accra is Huge, and Priorities Remain!
Yesterday afternoon, some of us went to visit my colleague, who has just delivered a beautiful baby, in Dansoman (some thirty minutes drive from East Legon). Ordinarily, we should have spent a good forty minutes getting there, but due to Ghana's indefatigable and legendary traffic, it took us a good one and a half hours!
Suffice to say, the vastness of Accra can become seriously illusory when you work in a place like East Legon, where there is more plushness than dirty drains.
In one scene, which I regrettably failed to capture, we saw some guys emptying themselves into a small stream, that was, apparently, going straight into the sea. Yes, you read right: emptying themselves. One man wiped his backside with his left, pulled his trousers up, and...just left.
"What about soap?!?!" I exclaimed.
"What soap!!" my colleagues exclaimed. Some of them sucked their teeth in collective disgust at the extreme disparities in the country [and we want to celebrate 50years of independence in style?????] and suggested implicitly that I have been very much cushioned from such scenes. It was suggested I should visit places, known as "Old Accra", where there is scant room to breathe and live salubriously, as a way of educating myself...
Against this backdrop, when one reads stories about the imminent Accra Shopping mall (to be finished in 2007); Kufuor cutting the sod for roads, as he did this afternoon, you begin to think very seriously about priorities!!
The National Communications Authority of the Ghana government slapping a 2.5bn dollar fine on Areeba is always a good start!!