One area in which we lag behind other countries is our uncovered gutters. This glaring feature of our nation's capital is not commensurate with its status and the earlier we reverse the better for us.
It is worrying that so many years after independence we have not thought it wise to consider having our gutters covered. Our asphalting efforts would be meaningless when on the side of shining streets gaping gutters, sometimes with heaps of night soil, behold us.
Besides being an eyesore, open gutters create an important opportunity for the many residents, especially the slums of Accra, to dump their household garbage into them. As for the accompanying nuisance, such as flooding and others, we are not oblivious to them.
Last week, the subject cropped up when Works and Housing Minister Samuel Tawiah Atta-Akyea told Parliament that covered gutters have the potential of addressing Accra's drainage challenge. When he did, we said bingo and simultaneously heaved a sigh of relief that at last and perhaps something positive was in the pipeline for this ugly picture of the façade of our country, Accra.
The issue of uncovered gutters has hardly come up in national conversations which we usually do as a country in the aftermath of rainy season floods in the nation's capital. During such conversations, all manner of suggestions are put forth but none of which is implemented.
It is our hope and prayer that the minister will attract a lot of following in this direction.
Being her pet subject, Her Excellency Gina Ama Blay before taking up her appointment as Ghana's envoy to Germany continued to stress the importance of covering gutters in Accra.
She must be exhilarated by the possibility that the covering of our gutters is gradually being dragged to the front burners.
As we continue to tout our wonderful country's tourist attractions to foreigners and considering how much goes into the state kitty through tourism-generated foreign exchange, it makes sense to invest so money into the covering of our gutters.
Amazingly, as we pointed out sometime ago, the Francophone countries have covered gutters; Ghana has a contrary feature.
We inherited uncovered gutters from independence. We can hardly conjecture why the colonial authorities did not find it necessary to have the gutters they ordered to be constructed covered.
There certainly cannot be any good reason why the status quo has remained besides perhaps ignorance about the importance of having covered gutters.
We wish to encourage the Works and Housing Minister to start the process of having gutters in Accra covered because the nation's capital for its age deserves a better picture than uncovered drainage which provides a safe place for household garbage, disease-bearing rodents and mosquitoes.