Sunday, 8 January 2012

Will The Ga South District Assembly's Environmental Protection Agency Enforce All Its By-Laws?

When I finally found a place to rent in McCarthy Hill, alas, it turned out to be a quintessential Ghanaian middle-class domain - a street lined on each side by expensive homes, making up a typical dzi-wu-fia-asem neighbourhood.

Unfortunately, as is often the case in such places, this road to the environmental equivalent of hell on earth, paved with good intentions, and literally a stone's throw from Jayee University College, is totally bereft of any sense of community.

Indeed, it is an each-one-for-self-and-God-for-us-all oasis, of wealth-secured-behind-high-walls, which is actually turning out to be a tone-deaf irritant, whose unimaginable apathy really jars - which is why I spent most of last night awake, wondering how it came about, in this bastion of middle-class-correctness, that part of the back of my new home's fence-wall, ended up serving as the neighbourhood rubbish dump (and has apparently done for the nearly six or so years that the wealthy owners' have allowed their beautiful property to remain unoccupied).

Populated by very respectable and decent middle class people - the type that is so good they would rather keep to themselves: in order not to cause any offence to their neighbour - the area is a living example of the Ghanaian maxim, "When good people remain aloof from others, in the area they live, many untoward things are liable to happen there."

And the list of things going in the wrong direction in this oasis of wealth, is rather long. I have mentioned the back of my fence-wall serving as the local rubbish dump - where no one is ever seen actually dumping any rubbish, but rubbish nonetheless keeps piling up. It is apparently done surreptitiously deep into the night.

And to worsen matters, now there is even a smell of a decaying dead animal (a red-rag-to-a-bull sort of provocation to a strict-vegetarian like me!) of some kind, emanating from the piled-up rubbish - in an area served by a waste management company. Incredible.

Then there is the monstrosity of someone's household waste-water that suddenly emerges like underground spring water, from the buried pipe (through which it is supposed to be discharged into the main drainage system on our portion of the Accra-Cape Coast highway), flowing languidly bang past the front entrance of someone's gated-driveway, and is eroding that section of the untarred dirt road that leads to the houses at the end of the top part of the gradient of what is a sloping road.

On the opposite side of the part of the road, where that dreadful stream-of-shame flows, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has fenced off part of the back of the selfsame fence-wall - to protect a transformer serving our part of McCarthy Hill.

Perhaps infected by the virus-of-apathy, endemic in the neighbourhood, the ECG  also neglects to have the small area it has fenced off, weeded regularly. Only heaven knows what is harbouring in the overgrown area behind the chain-link fence the ECG has put up. And it doesn't bear thinking, what would transpire, if the stream-of-shame, were to flood the area, which the sodden transformer is located in.

So I have had enough. And starting from this Monday, I am springing into action - and will probably end up being referred to, by all my very nice and respectable new neighbours, as: "Saa akorkura tuu-know-yi". But I can live with that - as long as the people from the Weija sub-district of the Ga South District Assembly's Environmental Agency can put an end to the outrage that confront's one daily here.

A last example, dear reader: I am all for the live-and-let-live philosophy of peaceful co-existence between neighbours.

However, kiosk-owners, whom the uncharitable would probably describe as, veritable squatters-who- shouldn't-be-here-in-the-first-place, who behave unreasonably (littering the place with discarded empty sachet-water plastic waste and discarded black polythene bags - that are carried all over the place when the wind blows), by burning man-made hair and other discarded hairdressers' floatsam and jetsam, which give off acrid-smelling smoke that most probably is carcinogenic, really is the limit.

So, to maintain my sanity, and working through officials of the Ga South District Assembly's Environmental Agency, I intend to badger (on a one-step-removed basis!) those decent people in the neighbourhood, who keep to themselves, behind their high fence-walls - until the makings of a pro-active community that takes pride in its public spaces and makes an effort to ensure they are always kept clean, hopefully takes root.

The question is: Will the Ga South District Assembly's Environmental Agency ensure that its environmental by-laws are obeyed by all and sundry, in this typical Ghanaian middle class neighbourhood?

One certainly hopes so - and for their own good, they had better enforce all their sodden by-laws, in this particular instance: for the common good of all who live in this confounded dzi-wu-fia-asem neighbourhood of extremely nice folk who are loathe to upset others, and therefore mostly keep to themselves.

Tel: (Powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana, which actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.
Post a Comment