Saturday, 26 March 2011

Is life fair at all?

My work has taken me to parts of Ghana I would never have ordinarily gone to. I'm presently in Yeji in the Brong Ahafo region. But yesterday, I went to places like Buom, Baaya, Adaprase, Beposo,....forgotten the names of the remaining four.
Being in those villages just made me realise I've got to be more grateful to God for where He has placed me. As I carried out a baseline survey on issues of water and sanitation with my team mates, I kept asking myself questions like: What did these people do to find themselves in such a situation in the 21st century? People still drink water directly from rivers, and only after they walk for about 5miles or more to access it. People defecate (excuse my choice of words here but I dont know any other synonyms for this) in the open, because they cannot afford to put a simple superstructure over the holes they dig to use as toilets.
Those of us living in much better conditions have to be grateful each and every time we press a handle to flush the toilet before using it just because someone peed (this word looks wrong here, but you know what I mean.) in it before us.
As one of the opninion leaders in one of the villages we went to took us to the communal latrine (which by the way was just a dug out with logs serving as footstools) I was wondering where was the dignity that each and everyone of us as human beings are entitled to. I tried imagining what happens if the Chief of the community has to use the place. I know he also uses that facility because we were made aware there were no household toilets in the whole community.
Indeed, life is not fair, and I believe it never would be fair.
The next time you're tempted to complain about the taps in your home not flowing for a week, remember that someone walks for close to 5km just to get a bucket of water for use. (i'm in no way condoning the poor services offered by our utilities though).


  1. I’m very happy you encountered these problems at firsthand. And don’t be deceived to think people don’t live under these conditions in the capital. I’ve be to some suburbs of the Ga East districts a lot this past month and I was amazed at the conditions under which people where living in the capital city. Open defecation is rampant. Even when they seem to have pit latrines with slabs (dangerous looking structures); they are too close to eating and cooking areas virtually in front of the house.
    With the water sector the problem in Accra is continuity in supply. According to one estimate, only one quarter of the residents in Accra receive a continuous water supply, whereas approximately 30% are provided for 12 hours each day, five days a week. Another 35% are supplied for two days each week. The remaining 10% who mainly live on the outskirts of the capital are completely without access to piped water. Even though this is the case people are able to afford some gallons of water from tanker trucks some times of the week…but same can’t be said of the sanitation situation. It’s very appalling considering this is the capital; not to talk about those places you visited.
    In general I can see there is continuous increase in the percentage of the population that uses improved drinking water but the increase for improved sanitation is however not substantial.
    I believe Ghana is gradually on track to meeting the millennium development goal target for use of improved drinking water (mostly urban areas) which is 78%, but the same cannot be said about improved sanitation, which will be difficult to achieve by 2015 at the current rate of use.
    The lack of clean drinking water and sanitation systems is a severe public health concern in Ghana but we fail to realize, contributing to 70% of diseases in the country. Consequently, households without access to clean water in the GA East districts are forced to use less reliable and hygienic sources, and often pay more. life can never be fair.

    We all have a part to play – you already are, but you and your people need to do more!!!

  2. conclusion:LIFE IS NOT AND CAN NEVER BE FAIR! Quite sad.

  3. I just hope as individuals we can do the little we can to contribute to improving these situations. Just as you're playing your part through your work. I hope the rest of us can make a difference in some way.