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At home in Ghana

It is the small things that make you feel at home in Ghana. I have come here for about four years after we bought a hill in Elmina at the beginning of 2011 with a view of the sea, the city, and both forts.

You will, of course, remain an attraction, an obruni, a white man, but when the taxi drivers stop calling you, you no longer ask where and you walk home with the evening meal in a plastic bag, yes then the feeling starts to come that I Go Ghana.

The disaster at the gas station in Accra with more than 150 deaths touches me more than any other disaster that the world has to deal with in these days.

The involvement of the Ghanaians is then also great. The nation cries and mourns, like Emmanuel, our Ghanaian partner in the hotel project that we are building in Elmina, mailed me. And not, as in our western societies, directly protested an accusing finger. No first sympathize with the victims, for whom the shelter under the large canopy of the gas station for the tropical rain showers has become fatal. Their own housings had flooded. Accra, a city with more than 4 million inhabitants, has no water drainage. A project for this was discontinued in 2011 for unclear reasons. That, together with the fact that a number of neighborhoods have been built in old riverbeds, makes flooding in this rainy month inescapable.

Fortunately, Elmina does not know these problems. This fishing town has a natural drain on the sea, which of course means that all the waste then disappears into the sea, especially a lot of plastic. Gradually there will be an improvement, cleaning plows cleaning the open sewers, opening a factory that will process plastic. Incidentally, not the factory that was set up by the municipality of Gouda. Recently it was transferred to Ghanaian management. He was able to keep the factory open for another 3 months and then closed it. With the cooperation of the Netherlands, a well-functioning drinking water system has been installed in the region.

But sewage is completely missing and that can lead to mistakes, where in the evening we come home from the village along a wall where men sit and chat. At least, that’s what we thought, until we looked good once and the gentlemen turned out to have their needs there.

Ghana worth a country to get to know well.