- Posted May 16, 2012 by
A DAY IN A SLUM - INVESTIGATING INSIDE GHANA'S BIGGEST SLUM AS CHOLERA OUTBREAKS HITS GHANA
I was urged by the recent outbreaks of cholera in Accra and its surroundings to report and tell the untold stories and the plight of people living in slums coupled with the brutal dirty conditions of the area as one of the places where the cholera outbreak is coming from.
Cholera is one of the unpleasant diseases Ghanaians, wouldn’t want to come across, yet our surroundings still remains dirty. No one would want to be infected by this dreadful disease that has become a pandemic in this country in 2011 and most recently with some recorded deaths.
Following the cholera outbreak with an eagle’s eyes, just to try to figure out something right. Especially to investigate exactly where the pandemic came from, its causes as well as places it is making waves in the country and possibly ways to manage and prevent further outbreaks of cholera in Ghana.
According to the Ghana Health Service, more than 5,000 cases of cholera outbreak have been recorded so far in the various health facilities in the country, with close to 69 deaths already recorded and may be still counting if swift measures are not taken to remedy the situation.
Extra urgent attentions must be must be given to the cholera outbreak by the Government and the various stakeholders in the health sector including non-governmental organizations. (NGO). Though the Government has done immensely well and has so far committed GHC 5,000,000 (million) into the fight and management of the pandemic.
One may be sitting in the cleanest place of the city and still may be knocked down by cholera. Because flies and other flying insects may carry the cholera bacterium or diseases from one place to another, thereby spreading the disease anywhere, “All cannot be safe anymore, and then all will be at risk, no matter where you live in the city or even at the cleanest environment.”
Not too much attention was given to the the slums in the country especially “Sodom and Gomorrah” (located at Old Fadama Accra, Ghana’s capital city) by the country’s media divide as we seek explore the causes of cholera in Ghana for a solution to be found
. “One may wonder why the name Sodom and Gomorrah in the 21 century, yes, it exists in Ghana in a different way”.
On 15 April, 2011, we took an exclusive investigate tour of the much acclaimed BIGGEST SLUM in Ghana “Sodom and Gomorrah” or Old Fadama.
The Slum, popularly known as “Sodom and Gomorrah”, is located in the heart of the city of Accra’s central business district, in the busy Market area of “Agbogbloshi”. It is few meters away from the “Abosay Okai Central Mosque”, and not too far from the “International Central Gospel Church (ICGC)”, all houses of The Proclaimed Most High God.
As soon as one enters the slum, he or she was received and greeted by bad outdoors coupled with choked dug outs believed to be gutters, full of plastic, human and solid wastes of all kinds, just in front wooden structures (kiosk) they use as rooms. In fact there were stagnant water all over the area and tones of rubbish giving out stinking smells with flies all over the area.
What remains in my mind as I go through was to report myself to the nearest clinic for checkups as soon as I finished my work. I sucked all day whilst my stomach aches.
Just like me, the people living in the slum need serious medical attention, because “am 100 percent sure they are all ill and they don’t know it yet”.
Occupants of Sodom and Gomorrah do not have any good structures to be called rooms, let alone a house or home. They put up tiny wooden structures in form of rooms know as kiosks just to lay down their heads after a hard day’s work.
The kiosks ranges from small, medium, large and even wooden two-story structures all made with ply woods.
The area lacks all basic social amenities such as good drinking water,