Behind The Flagstaff House – A Day in the Life of Nima Gutter By Dawouda Oumar

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It was Friday midday when I was invited for a tour of Nima, a suburb of Accra by the Zongo Diaspora Outreach Foundation (ZDOF) team in the Ghanaian capital. I accepted the Invitation and we started our tour from ZDOF and Group Youth Centre offices at Kotobabi near the post office. The tour took us to Nima, East Ayawaso constituency in the Greater Accra Region. On our way, we passed through a huge gutter that runs from the Kanda Highway to the Nima Highway, covering about 300 meters and I was told that the gutter is popularly called NIMA GUTTER.

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Nima gutter has become a dumping ground of all sorts of waste material and it has become a breeding ground for mosquitos, whose population has soared causing diseases especially the deadly malaria. Nima is a densely populated community described by some commentators as a slum. Sadly, Nima is an eye sore as you hardly pass through Nima without being attracted to the large gully of wasted land filled with filth.

Despite Nima’s position as a very important part of Ghana in terms of tax revenue generation, it has been neglected by previous governments in the country since the country attained its independence over six decades ago. Due to its large population density, it acts as magnet drawing politicians of all political shades and ideology all vying to exploit the areas’ voting power during elections in Ghana.

This unfortunate neglect of Nima Zongo by past authorities in Ghana always come after the people of Nima gives their mandate to those seeking votes from them to win power during elections. The people of Nima are very sincere and democratically committed and vote for those they believe can help in building the area. Unfortunately, very often, the politicians fail to fulfil their promises to the good people of Nima.

After the Jummah prayers, I was taken to other parts of Nima called ‘hot cafe’ to interact with members of ZDOF and some youth of the area for discussions on the way forward in terms of concrete support for the community.

After the tour, my observation was that, the people of Nima have lost trust in their MPs and Ghanaian politicians. Speaking to the members of Zongo Diaspora Outreach Foundation (ZDOF), one of the young people we encountered observed that, Nima Gutter was a public asset and it is the Ghanaian government’s responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of the people living around the vicinity of the gutter, and Nima at large.

The ZDOF and Youth Group Centre is hopeful that the seeming neglect of Nima by previous administrations in Ghana would come to an end during the Akufo-Addo administration. It is refreshing to note that, then candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo promised to create a Ministry for Zongo and Inner-City Development. Upon taking office as President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has kept his word and truly created the ministry.

ZDOF and the youth of Nima and indeed all the youth in Ghana look up to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and through him to the sector Minister of Zongo and Inner-City to create an enabling environment for the youth of Ghana to realize their full potential.

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