There is a long curve of water and, as far as the eye can see, there are shacks, ramshackle structures, scraps, piles of refuse, dead rats and a dozen children chasing a worn-out football. The water is greenish with multicoloured plastic litters, wood and uncountable worms.
Away from the nauseating stench from the greenish pool, a group of shirtless boys are busy at the beach, digging a pit to throw in rubbish tied in plastic bags.
Less than 50 metres away from the shore, there are dilapidated buildings whose owners have abandoned them to seek life’s prospects elsewhere.
This is not a fable but rather a real life situation at Glefe, a waterlogged slum near Dansoman in the Accra Metropolis.
The neighbourhood finds itself an unwelcome neighbour of the violent sea and trapped in filth because city authorities have not done much to manage the waste in the area.
While its environment is stomach-churning, the meaning of its name is also on the scary side. A habitation for snakes known in the Ewe language as ‘Gle’, the name of the community, according to the Chief of the Ewe and Ada community, Nii Amega Amedor II, means the “place of puff adder.”
Puff adders are venomous snakes that live in arid regions, swamps and dense forests. It is said to be common around human settlements.
There are different accounts of how Glefe began but almost all the tales have the fact of a group of fishermen who were the early settlers in the 1970s and 80s.
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(by Seth J. Bokpe – GraphicOnline)