By Dr. Ernest Kwarko
June 3rd is here again, and Ghana will remember that Black Wednesday in the year of our Lord, 2015. The rains came down heavily; the rain water soaked the soil, and seeped into the earth. When the belly of the earth could no longer hold more, it regurgitated the excess water unto the surface, and let it loose as run-off rain water. Freed from the earth’s hold, the water meandered its way through cracks and crevices, and found solace in the gutters and drains…but wait, t’was only putative comfort! For, a fierce struggle was soon to ensue, betwixt the liberated skyfall fluid, and the conglomerate debris fill of this deceitful solace. Every move of the naïve run-off was dutifully resisted by different formidable opponents of:
Polyethene packages(including ewiase y3 sum bags housing faecal matter)
Empty plastic water bottles, cups, drinking glasses, Ndomie EPPL packs, fanmilk and fanyogo wraps, Poki and Choco plastic containers, pure water sachets
Silt, mud, gravel, Nsawam Quarry stones, black soil
Cow dung, dog shit, bull shit, free-range human excreta, bird droppings
Sharp needles, bottle corks, alikoto dikus, Milo tins, Ideal milk tins, bick pentops
Car tyres, used computers, toy guns, old edition play station wares, old footballs
Red palm oil(dyed with Sudan IV), turpentine, chop bar sludge, sewerage
Lotto paper, old graphic, nkati3 and atadwe wrap paper, sakawa divinity packs
Earth worms, mosquito larvae, Obinim custom snakes, Guinea worms, konkontibaa, Vibrio Cholerae, Jamestown rats, Kejetia hen/cockroaches
Balloons, k)te socks, bubble gum, ak)nf3m feathers, masquerade feather hats
Alasa(Chrisophyllum albidum), Aluguntugui, abete3(Chris Brown), Bukom banku,
…all these dumped into the drains as FILTH, with careless abandon !!!
The rain water thus swelled into a whirl ball, and attacked again and again; but to no avail. It had lost the contest against the unfriendly Filthy Filth, and was violently rejected from those hostile gutters and drains. Angrily, the water gathered and closed its ranks into a Raging Tempest of FLOOD, sweeping away anything and everything in its path. Homo sapiens, dead goats, cars, trees, mansion buildings, marijuana compressed pallets, freshly used condoms, locally-manufactured pistols, occultist shrines, and chopbox TV set were all not spared.
Now angry beyond pacification, the rain flood waged a battle against the ‘innocent’ bystander citizenry, who stood and watched on as it struggled in the drain fight…and did not even raise a finger to call for a truce between the feuding parties of Filth and Flood ! It carried away people and their property, and displaced many from their stalls and ghettos. Tired and thirsty from a long night’s fight from about 6pm to 11pm, the water decided to find respite in a Fuel Station(all termed SHELL in GH), that was sampled out of convenience in its proximity to the multi-million-dollar acclaimed Nkrumah Circle Interchange; and there in the fuel tank farm of the now infamous Circle GOIL Filling Station, the thirsty flood water drank to its fill from the petrol in the GOIL leaky bunker. All this while, Trotros carrying passengers, displaced shop and house owners, workers stranded on their way home, Aleles at Le Rev and Vienna City, Gossipers and night shift revelers; stood by and watched on for the fiery anger of the flood to ebb. After a brief romance affair with the petrol in the dump, there was a resultant ejaculation of petrol-water highly volatile fluid, which happily embraced naked fire, from nearby coal-fire makers and sensimina weed smokers, erupting into a FIRE inferno! Boom, and all hell broke loose, and humans and animals run helter-skelter, praying and chanting for their lives and livestock! Some struck fortune stroke and escaped, but many were trapped by the pangs of the Feisty Fiery FIRE, and burnt and charred…most beyond recognition.
From then on, the unretired Nation kept vigil, and hoped and prayed…but the gods were already very angry! The fortunate who had gone to bed early woke up to the rude shock, of over 150 lives senselessly lost!
This was the disaster. The Nation mourned, families wailed, foreign nations consoled and sent solidarity messages, government promised, philanthropists donated into a 50ml GHC disaster fund…but a year on, not much has been done to prevent the disaster triplets of FILTH,FLOOD and FIRE, waiting to strike again !
E.K.P. Kwarko (MD,MPH)