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18.10.2005 Regional News

Tribute to Aba Nunya Ampiah

By JOyce Bensah
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Aba, although I did not know you personally, I have been deeply affected by your passing. Ever since, I wake up every morning with your mother on my mind. You see, as a once-bereaved mother, I have a very vivid idea of what she must be going through.

I know the circumstances of your passing differ from those of many other children who have made the transition. However, if the authorities had our well-being at heart, yours should not have been.

I remember once reading in one of our national dailies that a top government Minister, who lived in your part of Accra, used to wade knee-deep to clear his premises of water whenever there was flooding in that area. This is the more reason why something should have been done about this problem long ago.

This should not have happened in Ghana in the 21st century. The problems associated with flooding and the many senseless deaths it has entailed in this country, which is very often touted as the gateway to West Africa, are age-old. It is understandable when drowning occurs in a river, but to drown in a gutter after only a few inches of rain because there are no proper drainage systems, is preposterous. Are Ghanaians proud that this is happening in the motherland?

One might say that this occurs even in more civilized parts of the world, but this happens, rarely, only during extremely torrential and tempestuous rains. What can one expect when there are no proper drains befitting the first sub-Saharan country to attain independence? The few drains available are uncovered and are often used as depositories for rubbish, which also cause malaria, another killer. We should not be complacent in priding ourselves on the fact that our countrymen are in high-level positions in international institutions world-wide. What about the more fundamental aspects of our development such as sanitation and health?

Aba, if either of your parents had been a top government official, I wonder whether it would have taken two days after your passing for the news to appear. Where do we go from here?

Do Ghanaian parents - yours and other voiceless parents - deserve this after paying taxes year in, year out?

To the top men, should this ever happen again? Please wake up!

Sleep well, sweet child, we hope your passing will not be in vain.

To your family, my deepest condolences and May the Almighty comfort you in these dark times and give you succour!

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JOyce Bensah 19452 AN

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