While waiting for a friend at Madina yesterday, I got into a tête-a-tête with a man who appeared to be waiting for someone. Across the road from us, a storey building was being constructed on an initial and now old, one floor building. My fellow observer, after taking a look at the balcony of the building under construction commented on how thin the floor separating the new upper floor from the old ground floor was. And I, after a quick perusal of adjacent buildings, realized that they had thicker verandas. I then got a quick lesson on how the addition of a roof would increase the weight on the thin, new floor and could lead to a collapse of the building. He lamented the poor job being done and noted how the building was a disaster waiting to happen.
To my shame, a quick thought, that I was safe since I would probably never use that building, crossed my mind.
I immediately felt contrite and began to ask myself if the possibility I would not be affected by such an occurrence absolved me from the need to be concerned about an act that looked likely to end in disaster.
I looked around me and saw examples of this malaise around. A passerby spitting in the middle of the road; the old woman who had set up her goods under a transformer while dark clouds swirled above; the shoe peddler sat in the middle of a pedestrian walkway peddling his wares; the orange seller who had laid her oranges on the bare ground; the waakye seller who had set up directly by an overflowing gutter. I turned back around, intending to point these out to my new “friend” but he had slunk away.
However, I had learnt a lot in those brief moments. A culture of satisfying our personal needs regardless of its effects on the collective pervades society.
Each of these acts and the myriad of other illegal and/or unhealthy acts are a menace to the development of us as a people and a nation.
Of course, there are probably laws against each of the acts I’ve mentioned but we need to rise above personal wants, feelings and desires if we are to change as a people.
I don’t begrudge the landowner from maximizing his land space or the old woman who’s trying to earn a living but are these worth their lives and the lives of other innocent people in society?
The sooner we confront these uncomfortable questions, the earlier our desire for change will become manifest.
– Senam Ferdie
P.S. I am still horrified at the events of June 3rd at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle. Two of my friends were at or around that vicinity that evening just a few hours before the sad event. I can’t describe the horror I still feel at what happened and can only pray that the victims’ families are granted the fortitude to bear the loss.
P.S.2 A “joke” has been going around on Ghana social media that passengers of a bus beat the driver when he attempted to refuel at a filling station.
I don’t find this funny especially after recent events.
Also, am I the only one who is uneasy when a driver attempts to refuel a vehicle with passengers in it?
Anything, from a running engine to a mobile phone could trigger an explosion and I’m not really comfortable with exposure to this danger on a fairly regular basis. I don’t understand why drivers cannot fuel their vehicles before picking up passengers.
The next time the driver of the vehicle you’re in attempts to refuel with passengers in the vehicle, maybe you all should gang up and beat up the driver for real.