Friday, April 3, 2009

East Legon Circa 1989 (We used to have enough water for the lawn)

The last time I was home I heard my dad talk about how he woke up around 4am and realized the tap was flowing so he woke the boys to pump some water to the rooftop reservoirs. He sounded like it was some kind of serendipitous accomplishment that he happened upon a “flowing tap”. But seriously, can you blame the man? The tap hadn’t flowed for at least 3 weeks.

That in our beloved capital city of Accra, Ghana in the year 2009 A.D. cannot deliver water consistently to a household that is willing and able to pay water bills is beyond shame. Even if the government and “we the people” are forgetting the utilitarian benefit of having consistent flowing water in our capital city, the Capitalist in me cringes at the thought that someone (the government, the water company etc) is missing an opportunity to make decent consistent money.

It wasn’t always like this you know. My family moved to East Legon in 1989 and I remember we used to water our lawn most evenings up until it became impossible to do in the late 90s due to inconsistency in the water schedule. These days, our lawn is very green in the rainy seasons and completely brown in the dry season. So what exactly happened? Have we regressed as a country?

We have more Jaguars and Range Rovers on our streets than ever before and we don’t even have water in our homes. I’m not one to knock people who like nice things. God knows we Ghanaians have good taste in all things money can buy. I have heard some people in Ghana say “I absolutely insist on driving only German cars!”…..maybe someday soon they can say “I absolutely insist on drive only German cars on decent roads only after I’ve taken a good shower (not from a bucket)!” Hello?!!

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