BBC News: In pictures: Follow Ghana’s ‘yellow-brick road’

I saw this on the BBC and thought you should see it:

In pictures: Follow Ghana’s ‘yellow-brick road’ –


How Wired Are We As A People?

Ghana is a beautiful country with beautiful people, and we love our country just like how other citizens  love their countries. But it seems the Ghanaian is wired differently from the others. We do things differently, in fact sometimes these same things are done without any fuss in the other countries but we choose to attach some level of pomposity and opulence to it. I then start to ask myself this question, “How wired are we as a people?”

In most developed or developing countries their governments have taken several measures to deal with sanitation. Some of these countries have proper sewerage systems, waste disposal systems, and recycling plants that help them to manage the waste. But here we are as a people, we don’t help ourselves when it comes to managing waste and keeping our environment clean. We seem to have a penchant for blaming government for everything. We dump waste into drains and when it rains and floods happen and lives are lost and properties are destroyed, we appeal to the government to come to our aid. We connive with Town and Country Planning officials who look the other way for us to build in water ways and unauthorized areas, when demolition exercises are to be carried out by the relevant authorities we have the nerve to demand for compensation.

We solve all our problems on radio and at workshops and seminars. We take delight in talking more and taking less action. We also take delight in hailing corrupt politicians without investigating their source of wealth. Most of our churches and their leaders woo their congregants with prosperity messages instead of  salvation and repentance messages. The churches also hail these corrupt politicians and give them prominent positions.

We also show so much interest in sensational issues but the funny and interesting fact is that, after hyping the issues in the media for one or two weeks, we quickly forget about them. Every week an issue comes up and we discuss it with all manner of so called serial callers and social commentators and experts voicing their opinions. Simply put, the system is seriously messed up and we as a people in particular and the country in general needs total rewiring, retooling and recalibration

loving Ghana, You Need a Good Heart

My love for my country has no limit and I hope to continue loving her. But, you will all agree with me that if you don’t have a good heart, you can easily give up on Ghana. In this post I will tell you why you need a good heart before you love Ghana with all your heart.
Sometimes you wonder why we still elect our leaders every four years. These leaders always have good policies whiles they are moving around canvassing for the votes of the citizens. They entice the citizens with sugar coated words and honey sweetened promises, but once they are elected and assume the mantle of authority, they start developing cold feet and that’s where they show their true colors. Whenever they are reminded of their campaign promises, they deny making those promises. Don’t be heartbroken after reading this post. The following issues should motivate you to do more for your country and not break your heart.
It should not come to you as a surprise when you see our contractors still constructing open drains in this country. Whoever gives out the contract should have insisted on covered drains. It seems due diligence has eluded us in the award of contracts. We still construct school buildings with poor ventilation in this modern era. Also most of these schools are constructed without toilet facilities.
Why do we also wait for several infrastructure to deteriorate before we take action? Our stadia, hospitals, tourist centers, roads etc etc are all crying for maintenance but it seems no one cares. Our police service is corrupt and most of our security services’ recruitment leaves much to be desired. They sell more than a hundred thousand forms to potential recruits who are eager to be employed by these agencies, but they end up picking just a minute number of the applicants. This process is even fraught with corruption and the so called protocol list. It will shock you to know that before the forms are sold for recruitment, they have already selected their recruits. Some of these applicants have to part with various sums of money through middlemen with the promise of being assured of getting picked.
Why do we always pile rubbish on our roads, streets, market centers and wait for the government to mobilize people to clear them? You walk through most of our market centers and you realize that vehicles can’t go through them. Most of the vehicle lanes in our markets have been taken over by the traders. Its always annoying and heartbreaking to listen to these same traders lamenting about the inability of the Ghana National Fire and Rescue Service to quench market fires when they arrive at the scene. These same market women forget that they are the same people who have encroached on the vehicle lanes in the markets thereby blocking access to the market by the fire tenders. With this attitude, more market fires will happen unless we change for the better.
We live in a country where everything is given a political color. Someone commits a crime and once the person is about to be punished he is given a political color. What even annoys me is that, anytime a politician embezzles state funds and he is found guilty, the person is dealt with leniently but when a normal citizen commits a crime, he is punished severely. Every government that comes will always abandon the projects of the previous government. With this attitude, how will we develop as a nation? When will we support each other in terms of innovations? Enough of my rantings. I have a good heart so I will not be heartbroken by what I see in this country. If you have a good heart, you can love Ghana to the max. Yen ara ya asase ni (This is our land).

Our Christmas Past

Many years gone past, Christmas in Ghana was a festive occasion where we had a feeling of belongingness, good neighborliness, spirit of sharing and giving to the extent that we saw each other as one people irrespective of tribe, creed, race or gender. Can we go back and talk about how we celebrated the festive occasion? Several of these local stories will just fascinate and amaze you. Below are some of the stories shared with me by friends who have nostalgic feelings about how they celebrated Christmas some years ago.

Children in the localities will build Christmas houses using palm fronds, which are well decorated with flowers and these huts are well built with a chamber and a hall. We also had bamboo with explosives in them and we blasted till midnight, we light bonfires, children visit their friends in their numbers. The children sleep in these huts till the New Year and the huts are then destroyed. They enjoy having their meals in these huts.

“Also children walk through the communities with some “Bronya” (Christmas) tunes, they sing around the neighborhoods beating some “konkos” (empty tins, Milo or Milk tins etc) and stop by homes and get some foods and drinks as well. Anything goes.”-Naomi Kokuro

“I travel to my hometown and all the towns in that area have picnics with brass band. All the youth from these towns dance through all the other surrounding towns till New year. Each day a different town’s youth will pass through all the other towns singing and dancing. My gradma cooks chicken light soup with fufu and after we’re done eating she gives us soft drinks and bronya biscuits.”-Marian Clara Adeaba

”During Christmas, we will buy firecrackers and engage our friends across the street in a firecracker battle to find out who has the most powerful firecrackers.”-Yao Kumadoh

“We called ours Knockout, every child will cry to their parents to give them coins to buy firecrackers aka knockout so they can light them. It was fun.” “My dad will sew three different dresses for us every Bronya, one each for 24th night, Christmas and New Year. With my new “three sisters socks.”- Marian Clara Adeaba

“Every 24th night we will go to church and sing Christmas songs and pray to welcome Christmas and the birth of Christ.”-Naomi Kokuro

“Every Christmas we will start cooking the special food in the morning and eat it as supper.”-Marian Clara Adeaba

“Our parents prepare food and share with our neighbours. My grandma always buy biscuits, drinks and goat meat and share with the tenants in our house, and ever since it has become the norm.”

“New dresses were sewn for us to be worn on Christmas Sunday. This time, from now till Christmas day, children who are stubborn become obedient. If you like send them to the moon, they will go because they fear you will not buy  bronya atade3 (Christmas dresses) for them.”-Naomi Kokuro

You can also share your stories with me. Tell me how you celebrated Christmas some years ago in your localities.


The Great Shapers From Koforidua 3: Edmund Duodu Atweri of the Divine Mother and Child Foundation (DMAC Foundation)


About Edmund Duodu Atweri (DMAC Foundation): Edmund Duodu Atweri is a 29 year old, born at Teacher Mante, a town in the Ayensuano District, the Eastern region of Ghana and a Registered nurse. Edmund is the founder of Divine Mother and Child Foundation, a maternal and child health non governmental organization based in Koforidua. Maternal health issues has been his passion from childhood when  he saw mothers dying during child birth,  and also seeing single mother’s and widows suffering to cater for their children. His mum lost her mother during child birth which made life difficult for them forcing his mum to marry at a tender age without any formal education. Such stories inspired and encouraged him to be an advocate for maternal health issues.

At nursing college and during practice, he also experienced and saw mothers especially pregnant women in rural areas walk far distances to access health care which included ultrasounds and laboratory services.

Activities of the Divine Mother and Child Foundation (DMAC Foundation)

Ultrasound scan and laboratory investigations are a necessity during pregnancy but it is sad to note that such services are found only in a few health facilities across the country and also not affordable due to the pricing. Most women are disadvantaged hence his dream of establishing an NGO came as a reality. Edmund’s free ultrasound scan services has benefited over 4000 pregnant women who can’t afford in over 40 communities and still counting. This ultrasound scan service is a mobile one where the DMAC Foundation team visit women in their own communities.

DMAC Foundation also offer free laboratory examinations and free health screening which has benefited thousands of women. Through the DMAC Foundation, Edmund has facilitated and sponsored about 15 women to undergo free surgery and other medical conditions.

Through the poverty alleviation project, 50 women have been sponsored to have skills training and capital to start an investment in Koforidua. Edmund is married to Linda Serwaa Tuffour with one kid. You can support this noble cause by getting in touch with Edmund through the details below:

Edmund Duodu Atweri
Executive Director
Divine Mother and Child Foundation

Common Sense

The year is October 2017 and once again another disaster rocked the nation when a gas tanker exploded at one of the gas stations at Atomic Junction, a suburb of Accra. As tragic as the incident was, methinks it could have been prevented if people responsible had applied common sense and performed their respective duties with due diligence. Seven lives were lost with hundreds of people injured, some very critical and life threatening. As we express our condolences and sympathies to the bereaved and the injured, we have to start a serious common sense awareness in this country. Because it seems common sense has eluded us in this country. One will ask why I am ranting and wasting my time to write this? Let me give you my reasons.

Common sense should tell us that we have to rethink our safety standards. Institutions tasked with ensuring safety standards should not just issue directives, but follow up with action. It seems in Ghana, it is more talk, less action when it comes to the enforcement of laws.

Common sense should also tell us that, we should not wait for disasters to happen for people to lose their lives so that our leaders turn the disaster zones into tourist centers and wax lyrically expressing fake sympathies and condolences to the families of the bereaved and injured. I hate to see politicians visiting disaster zones behaving as if their visits would assuage the pains of those affected.

Common sense should tell us that, the government should resource our rescue agencies, and also train them properly for them to be ready to respond to any disaster that might occur. Those at the helm of affairs should also recruit the right people into these rescue agencies and not because of political affiliation to the party in power.

Common sense should tell us that most of the disasters that happen in Ghana are purely man-made and could be avoided if we adhere to rules and regulations governing the siting of fuel stations, gas stations, markets, recreational centers, schools etc etc.

Our journalists or media houses should also apply some common sense when reporting on disasters. They should not conclude when even the relevant investigative agencies have not yet started their investigations. They should also be decorous in their reportage of such issues and contact experts for clarifications concerning the disasters.

Common sense should also tell us that disaster zones are disaster zones and not tourist sites. Anytime crowds of people gather at disaster zones they prevent the rescue and investigative agencies from doing their work well.

Common sense should also tell us that we should not have sympathy for people who flout the laws and we should allow the laws of the land to deal with them to the letter to serve as a deterrent to others. Common sense should also be applied by the relevant authorities when granting permits for the siting of buildings. Due diligence and complete risk assessments should be done before permits are granted.

Our pavements in our towns and cities have been taken over by traders, everyone is trying to sell one thing or the other to eke out a living but the relevant authorities must apply the laws with precision and with no favour. Any time you walk around you should know that a disaster can happen anytime and the rippling effect can be very devastating. When lives are lost during disasters, the visits by politicians, government officials and those who could have prevented those disasters cannot bring the dead back to life.

Ghana is sitting on a time bomb and if we don’t change our attitudes and applied common sense in our daily activities, there will be more gas/fuel station explosions, floods, fire outbreaks etc.