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Sat, 22 Jun 2024 Feature Article

Poor minds stink to the heavens

Poor minds stink to the heavens
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"Why, are you so stupid? The water bottle is empty, dump it right here anyhow," as the black Ghanaian girl her white friend at Kotoka International Airport. The white girl replied: "I will not do this but dispose of it in a proper waste bin. I am trained like that. We recycle plastic and do not litter the environment." The black girl asked: " Do you see any waste bin here around?"

2015 is still 2024, nothing learnt. From March 2012 until December 2017, I witnessed that Ghana had no litter boxes in public spaces while in Hamburg each 400-meter litter box is available to dispose of the litter in your hand. To use litter boxes is not rocket science but the mindset, not exploitation by the white man or the consequences of old and modern colonialism but the responsibility of leaders and citizens alike. Litter boxes can be used to advertise products and services for which reason come for free for Ghanaian local authorities. To argue people would destroy or steal them for which reason this idea would not work exposes the poor mindset of citizens.

Compared to Singapore Hamburg is a dirty place. Tough fines and strict law enforcement made Singapore hysterically clean. To employ the same mechanism in Ghana means voters will threaten politicians not to vote for them again, keep my city clean but don't dare to touch me is their slogan which kills any serious efforts to keep Accra clean. Democracy does not work for a clean Ghana.

In 2013 when the street naming program started (56 years after independence, why did it take so long? White man's exploitation?) Ghana asked the IMF for $ 3 Mio. financial support. Selling e.g. 10% of street names under certain established conditions to ex-pats, corporates, organizations, and individuals could have raised the funds for the program and even made extra cash. To stop launching massive and unnecessary project-launching ceremonies brings further cash into the public purse to clean up Ghana and use underground sewage systems to avoid pollution of lagoons and places like Lavenda Hill where human sewage is discharged into the ocean for fish to eat and humans to eat such fish.

Open gutters 67 years after independence are still state-of-the-art in Ghana so are manholes for private houses. Open gutters are not only used by pedestrians and car drivers, mostly men but also by businesswomen, an unpleasant scenery but a health hazard. Often plants grow in them or waste blocks the free flow of laundry and washing up water giving mosquitos a perfect breeding ground while the stink of the open gutters is unbearable to inhale by any sensible nose.

Singapore and South Korea started their independence on similar grounds and challenges. Arab countries like Dubai, Katar, Bahrain, etc. 67 years ago had the same problems as Ghana still faces today when it comes to the issue of easing oneself while out and about. Public toilets in Ghana are hard to find and if mostly dirty a health risk.

Politicians from all parties proclaim loud and clear they are determined to bring an end to the dirtiness of Mother Ghana, Accra to be the cleanest city in Africa even, but the truth is obvious by seeing the reality of 2024 on the ground, men using open gutters as a place to pee into. The bush is not far but the mind of the bush is close to their mindset.

Which team do you think has the higher chance of winning the 2024 elections?

Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024

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