my last observations of accra

i haven’t posted any images of life on the street in accra, so i wanted to end with some i took today, coming back from the art centre.

Man selling coconuts out of a wheelbarrow on oxford street in osu
Man selling coconuts out of a wheelbarrow

this man is selling coconuts out of a wheelbarrow on oxford street in osu. people in ghana are serious about selling things. from handmade items to sneakers to plastic buckets, you can get almost anything just walking down a well-traveled street.

accra ghana colorful plastic waste bins for sale
Colorful plastic waste bins for sale

and if you’re in a car, most major intersections are “staffed” by hawkers selling goods along the medians and between lanes, many carrying whatever they’re hawking on their heads. newspapers, chewing gum, bananas, plastic bags of water, flavored milks and ice creams, bread, the list goes on.

accra ghana girl selling water bags
Girl selling bags of cold water to passing cars

people seem to have few qualms about peeing in public. from children, to men of all stripes, to women squatting beside a bus en route to accra. people just seem to pee when they need to pee, usually into cement trenches along the sides of most roads that serve as sewers and storm drains. it seems this is a behavior the government is looking to change—i saw a commercial on tv sponsored by the vice president’s commission on discipline, depicting a homeless-looking man whacking a well-dressed man who just up and pees against a building.

ghana tro tro observers are worried
Hilarious tagline on the back of a tro-tro

trash is burned in significant quantities—especially along the beach just west of the hotel! i assume that pungent unmistakable smell i noticed when i got off the plane was more from the burning of trash than automobile pollution—which is also extensive. cars and trucks belch exhaust so think and black it can obscure the view of the cars behind it—let alone making it hard to breathe.

accra ghana trash burning along the coast
Trash burning along the coast

i’m sure there’s more, like the lizards that sun themselves along the hotel’s sidewalks, and the problem of plastic everywhere (it doesn’t biodegrade and there are no public trash receptacles, thus plastic bags are fast becoming part of the urban environment). this all seems negative now that i’m rereading it, but it’s not meant to be. these are the things my eyes notice, that i find interesting.

My favorite bilboard in Accra, Ghana: Fanta, share the fun!
Share the fun!

alas, the hour of departure is fast approaching. adieu africa! meda w’ase accra!

Update, Nov 11, 2011: I included some additional photos in this post that I took (but never posted) while I was in Ghana. Some of these photos originally appeared in my photo galleries.

3 Comments

chacha

Why are you only interested in the negative aspects of Accra?

chacha, as I said, when I originally wrote of my observations,

this all seems negative now that i’m rereading it, but it’s not meant to be. these are the things my eyes notice, that i find interesting.

In other words, these were a few things (off the top of my head) that were the most immediately striking to me after my short time (approximately 2 weeks) in Ghana.

That said, I loved Ghana and I would consider living there in the future. In fact I began pursuing a position in Accra, but got hired by another company first.

Kilo

C’on, Chacha! Why are we not able to take in views that don’t only say “Gosh, Accra is amazing?”

It’s horrible the way we mess up our place and expect people not to notice. If we had the White House, kenkey sellers would take up the space in front, believe me.

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