A Stitch in Time


This sign post is on the bridge of the White Volta, the main entry point into the northern part of Ghana at Yapei.

In a country where we have a nonexistent maintenance culture we let things deteriorate to a deplorable state before we take action. What’s pretty wrong with this country?

Ghana my motherland has become a nation where every time we have to hold our heads in shame because of the decisions of our leaders? But do we really blame our leaders when we are the causes of most of our problems as individuals?

What haven’t we heard of people dumping refuse in gutters even human excreta and then these same people turning round and saying that the metropolitan organizations are defunct in not cleaning the waste and filth in the system? This is very prevalent in the fast growing urban centres but that’s not my focus for today.

After my relocation to the savanna every time I traveled by road I noticed the deterioration on the bridge on the white Volta at Yapei and how potholes on the bridge could be seen from Mars (as a traveling colleague described it one time). Meanwhile it happens to be the one major entry point to the whole of the north and tolls are being collected everyday on the bridge and I wonder what that money is used for. 

The government has done well in doing the roads from the south to the north and to let that small portion go this bad is an indictment on development in the nation especially as we want to connect the heavily hitherto marginalized north to the south and also accelerate development to the north.

Yet the one piece of infrastructure that connects all the dots and makes this possible has been neglected.

Unfortunately we all have to bear the consequences of that action of closing the bridge. Lemme give a typical example of one such major inconvenience as happened to my friend and brother over the weekend.

So since it was a holiday David Aglah decided to spend time with me and my family in Tamale so excitedly got his tickets for Friday morning. Bus was scheduled to leave at 7.30am but they inadvertently left at 9.30am.  With 2 hours delay already it meant that the bus had less than 5 hours to make it to the bridge before I closed down for repairs till the next morning (as per the sign post).

Unfortunately the bus was very slow and it got to the bridge at almost 4pm by which time the bridge had been closed for the past 2 hours meaning that the bus had to wait in line with the other cars and buses till 6am to get across the bridge and continue into Tamale.

What this means is that David having left home in Kumasi at 6am will take over 24 hours to get to Tamale for what could just have been a simple 6 hour journey. Which serious minded person will want to do that, especially when it’s only for a short visit and you have to be at your desk at work on Monday morning?

Let’s not forget it also means you get to sleep in your seat on the bus. Wow!

This is the same savanna we’re claiming we want accelerated development for and how do we develop the north when we can’t even go there or it’s pretty inconvenient to go there? This happenstance gives loads on food for thought especially when it comes to why we let the road deteriorate to this state. But I know this will not come as a surprise to some people in this country who are so used to such stuff by now.

After all this is Ghana our motherland.

It always depends on us as individuals not to wait for the government to take action on our inaction and therefore not waiting for a situation to get so bad before we move in to try to solve it. This is one of those moments when a cliche such as “a stitch in time saves nine” becomes very poignant.

Like I always say it begins with YOU!!


One Response to “A Stitch in Time”

  1. A stitch in time does save nine. Ghana!

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