F.M. stations: PROMOTING DEMOCRACY?…you be the judge

Posted on August 14, 2009

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Everywhere you go from taxis, to government offices to stores-POSITIVELY EVERYWHERE you will hear a radio. Now when the F.M. phenomenon started about 10 years ago, everybody said, “Oh, this is great. Freedom of speech! People participation and empowerment are sure to lead to the propagation of democratic  principles in Ghanaian society.

Now, to the contrary,  we are hearing more and more commentaries  that Ghana is just talk, talk and more talk. And I agree. Everybody’s got something to say, gripping about this and complaining about that over the airwaves. But little do we hear about action and results! And thus people in general are losing hope and a culture of impunity pervades the moral landscape.

It’s not that talk isn’t good. It’s only it’s got to be meaningful exchanges between people involved in the issues/situations etc. And the talk must result in concrete action and broadcasted results.

Take for example our  noise pollution situation with the hotel/bar across the road. Nobody is talking! And anarchy reigns.

Nana Kofi

Nana Kofi, the owner of the hotel, just employs muscle when engaged. He wouldn’t even go to get the registered letter I posted to him requesting he control his tenant who is defying the first class  zoning regulations that he himself observed for seven years! I collected it from the post office this very morning. Now there’s a breakdown in communication.

And how about my beer summit meeting idea developed in  past posts -first the mini summit  of  Mr. Donkor, Head  of Environmental Health at the Kumasi Metropolitan  Assembly, along with his two co-workers Lawyer Osei Poku, Head of Legal Services at the K.M.A., and Mr. Tony Mensah, Director of Waste Management, who might give Mr. Donkor courage to do his job and act on the situation overcoming whatever has compromised him.

Then we can get on with the real summit of the parties involved -now that process would be democracy in action!

One F.M. station in Kumasi has been addressing the issue of noise pollution. The Regional Director of the Environmental Protection has been on the radio only to reveal that the E.P.A.  monitoring equipment is out of order….since before last May!

Here follows the letter I received from the very same person the  Regional Director of the E.P.A. on May 23rd. The two situations are the apeteshie bar behind us and the beer bar in front of us. It’s not a question of noise; it’s a question of zoning. More than likely neither of these establishments holds a license to operate and if they do the licensing authority violated its own rules and regulations.

EPA letter-monitoring-May 18, 2009

So ya see…what hope does anyone have when that’s all you hear  from the official in charge and nothing more. Three months have almost passed. To think it’s not a matter of monitoring, but rather enforcement. A beer bar and an apeteshie bar are just not permitted in forst class residential…

Charity, my wife, is a good friend of the presenter of the show on the F.M. station and I’ve been trying to convince Charity  to approach the fellow suggesting he invite me to be on a show next week on the subject of noise pollution. I’d love to be on a show. All else has failed over the past seven months. But Charity is afraid for me…So much for democracy.

Please….there has to be one good story, one tipping point…This is such a simple situation that should have been solved when we first lodged our complaint at the beginning of January, 2009…

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