Tag Archive | slum

Unplanned communities and natural disaster

Glefe, a slum in the west side of Accra. The area gets heavily flooded about once a year. This picture is from June 10th 2014, when the community was flooded as a result of the combination of the spillage of the Weija Dam and the rain. The houses are literally built on the beach. The constructions are illegal, meaning that there is no planning and it is forbidden to build in this area. Residents here claimed the space for a short stay and not for residence, but eventually they settled there, about 7 years ago. There are no hospitals and public schools in the community, only private ones and those established by NGOs and volunteers (for a total of about 40 schools). There are no paved streets and no drainage system, and that is what caused the food and also made it difficult for the water to drain which in fact stayed there for many days. The area which is already difficult to reach regardless of the whether condition, became even more isolated . Glefe gets somehow flooded every time there is heavy rain but on June 10th as in other occasions in the past, the combination of the rain and the spillage made the situation even worse. Three people have died during the flood and some school remained closed for days because either they are flooded or children have fled.disaster

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One of the worst issues in Accra: sanitation

Environmental challenge in the periphery of Accra, Ghana. This is Pambros, another slum in the western periphery of Accra. Here houses have been built spontaneously, completely unplanned. Dwellers are among the poorest in Accra and are mainly fisherman or sellers. Houses are built up to few meters away from the shore. There is no public waste collection system and solid waste accumulates in open gutters, where present, on the beaches and even in the sea. Gutters are chocked with filth. In the specific area pictured below, there are not even gutters because the area is not supposed to be residential, but the beach is almost entirely covered with waste,especially plastic. This is destroying the natural resources, namely the sea water and the shore. It brings also several diseases, considering also that the city water system does not reach this area, therefore dwellers have no running water but need to buy it and store it in tanks. The lack of running water also means few or no toilets and therefore the phenomenon of open defecation is very common in this area. The recent severe cholera outbreak in Accra was due especially to this sanitation issue.

sanitation

“Developing” games

How do ghetto kids from developing world spend their time during school vacation without playstation, xbox and such? It’s vacation this at the time of the year in Ghana and many kids do not attend vacation classes, therefore it’s the best time to see them playing and learn how they have fun and spend their time.

I have never seen such creativity, especially in kids, as I have seen it here in Ghana. My favorite is the car made with sardine cans, hopefully I will be able to make a picture and post it. As we say in Napoli tre so’ e putient: o’ papa, o’rre e chi nun ten nient (tre sono i potenti: il papa, il re e il nullatenente/There are three kids of powerful people: the pope, the king and the pauper).

 

 

Glefe: A settlement invaded by filth and a violent sea

Source:  Glefe. A settlement invaded by filth and a violent sea (GraphicOnline)

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.

History

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.

See more at: http://shar.es/MLwFZ

(by Seth J. Bokpe – GraphicOnline)