Posted on April 15, 2010


It’s uncanny. Our latest review on TRIP ADVISOR-see previous post-had this quote!

“Chris and Charity were great hosts, and we especially enjoyed the nice chats over a cup of coffee in the morning with Chris. His experiences from Ghana were very interesting for two “newcomers” like us!”

Incidentally,it is feedback like this that validates me and empowers me to try to capture the challenging realities of life here

Anyways, I was just starting a post about “an experience”. The day before I had visited two N.G.O.s that work to better the lives of street children here in Kumasi-a massive problem growing worse daily. But alas, I’m told Charity wants to see me on the veranda right away….”now what?” I say to myself. So much for blogging about the street children n.g.os.

So I go out and there is Charity in the car park saying, “Call the water department. The big pipe/main line at the back is broken and gushing water.”

So I start phoning the fault department at Ghana Water Company Ltd. land line and it’s busy. Then I start phoning the mobile no. for one of the water department repair crew workers who has fixed the same pipe in the past….no luck

Unsuccessful after multiple tries to both numbers, I decide to go back to see what’s going on.

I walk up the lane and turn left, pass the apeteshie (local moonshine) bar in no-man’s land and oh boy-what a break!

looking up the road

Water sure is gushing out

the main pipe that traverses the road

I look down the road and ah, ha it’s a grader, nowhere to be seen, that broke the pipe. But why, it stopped grading at the lane and didn’t continue grading up the road. Of course that would have meant knocking down the apeteshie bar which juts into the road. No the grader finished the road to the right of the lane. Then it left going up the road, past the apeteshie bar and bang!. It failed to raise up the plough high enough and broke the main pipe. It wasn’t even grading the road….

looking down the road

Down the road, there are two men. One is on his mobile saying he is “Engineer Michael from Urban Roads”. When he’s off his phone, Mike tells me he is trying to get the water department, but is having no success. He says he has phoned the assembly man, but he doesn’t think he will come. I tell him I had been trying for ten minutes to get the water department phoning two numbers without success. I ask him why the work didn’t continue up the road to knock down the apetishie bar which Four Villages Inn has tried over 10 years to get rid of….
He starts to blurt out, “You have the audacity…” But then cuts himself off abruptly. I ask him why they are grading the road. Are they going to tar it? He says they are testing the soil…..

Just then, a car speeds up the graded road. And who gets out but Assemblyman Boadi, “the agitator”! YES, he’s the very same assembly man of Nhyiaeso-Ridge Electoral Area web site fame-see post dated 2010=04-08 entitled KUMASI DISTRICT WEBSITE LAUNCH. I think he’s a little surprised to see me . We shake hands and I tell him I was just in touch with web site designer Ishmael. He says, “I know.” and he rushes off. Incidentally, Ishmael has not got back to set a date and time we can get together to edit the site…..

The assembly man and the engineer set off to see the break in the pipe and I go back to Four Villages Inn to keep phoning-blast I didn’t have my mobile on me….

The land line is still busy. I think to myself, “I bet some employee is talking to a friend on the fault department line!” And the mobile number is “either swished (sic) off or out of coverage area”.

I return to the back of Four Villages with my mobile and our Four Villages Inn phone directory where we keep all our numbers. The Urban Roads engineer tells me that his number for the water department is wrong. I then try the land line water department number and get through! One hour has lapsed since I first started calling! I try to explain the problem and the location, but the guy isn’t too good processing information in English. I pass over my phone to the Urban Roads engineer saying “Speak Twi.” He explains again.

After he’s off my phone, Mike asks me for my numbers for GHANA WATER COMPANY LTD. . Before I go I get the Urban Roads Mike’s mobile phone number..


By 12:45 p.m. the break had been repaired. More than three hours of water has been lost!

The question remains, Why did Urban Roads stop at the lane and not continue up the road behind Four Villages to a tarred road near Daban at the top of the hill? The grader went that way. It didn’t know about the main pipe. Is it because they’d knock down the apeteshie bar, an illegal structure in this first class neighbourhood?

Or maybe, no this cannot be true, it has something to do with the funeral celebration to be held this coming Saturday the 17th “behind Crystal Rose and Four Villages Inn Hotel.” along the graded section of the road. No, can’t be true!

But I hope it is. I think I’ll go to Urban Roads tomorrow with our site plan to explain the location and ask for the slabs on the entrance to our lane that leads to the back of Four Villages to be replaced. The slabs are there. It will make it a lot safer for the mourners on Saturday.

Charity says the only time they’ll fix the entrance is when she dies. I think to myself, “they won’t do it for me, dead or alive…..”