An Open Letter to Mayor Vanderpuije of Accra

Sat, 17 Jul 2010 Source: Danso, Kwaku A.

Phasing out Open Gutters in Ghana

An Open Letter to Mayor Vanderpuije of Accra

By: Kwaku A. Danso

GHANA Roads and OPEN GUTTERS - Madina, Jul.2006 Photo by Dr. K. Danso -141

Copy of GUTTER - Open Sewage -nxt dr nbr -E.Legon -APRIL 2005 -006 (Small)

GHANA Roads and OPEN GUTTERS - Imagine effort and money in replacing one gutter for a bigger one. Madina, Accra. Jul.2006 Photo by Dr. K. Danso -#141

Text Box: OPEN GUTTERS /Sewage. You can cover your side of the gutters but how about your next door neighbor? Mosquito breeding in the finest neighborhoods! E. Legon, Accra, Ghana. April 2005 Photo by Dr. K. Danso

July 15, 2010

Dr. Alfred Vanderpuije - The Mayor /Chief Executive

Accra Tema Metropolitan Area

Accra, Ghana

Dear Mayor Dr. Vanderpuije,

I have thought of using the ordinary mail to correspond since I have tried the modern way of Internet electronic mail and even called on cell phone without success. I understand in Ghana public officials do not pick up phones unless they recognize the number. I do understand if you did not pick up calls from me. No problem.

As an introduction your were referred to me by two good friends, Kwabena Awuku Asare of North Carolina, my classmate from Prempeh College of 1960-67 and Mr. Lawrence Addo of Accra, both of who know you well. I have known Mr. Addo from our GLU forum, a forum of about 240 Ghanaian professionals across the globe discussing issues of relevance to Ghana.

The issue I have to discuss with you today is very simple, and it boils down to communicating with you on any plans you may have as city mayor on how we as a people under your leadership and that of President Mills, both trained and educated overseas and seen the good living standards in the West, can start an underground sewage system for Accra (and hence to cities in Ghana). When can we phase out the most ugly thing about our nation and people on the continent of Africa - the open ugly and stinky gutters and our neglect of sanitation!!

Sir, I know you are a new mayor, relatively, and hence we are not putting blame, but I want you to share with us on GLU what plans you have to create an underground sewage, Period! As you know open sewage is not only an abominably ugly site, but very unhealthy! Mosquitoes, known to be the major cause of malaria in Ghana and Africa, breed on standing water and sewage, most of which is clogged up by debris n or streets. Not even the rich can avoid the mosquitoes breeding form such unsanitary open stench! There was a time when some of us were growing up when town and city councils sent workers to clean these gutters periodically and spray neighborhoods. Whatever happened to us, Sir? Today we are not asking for humans to be cleaning gutters, we are asking for covered sewage!

Accra,GHANA-Nutrition and Sanitation - Who Wins! April 2005 by K. Danso

Buena Vista Homes -Underground Sewage Design Sep.19-04 -217

Accra, Ghana -Open Gutters I Commercial and Residential areas, even near food! Nutrition and Sanitation - Who Wins! April 2005 Photo by K. Danso

Underground Sewage Development at Buena Vista Homes, Accra. IT CAN BE DONE IN GHANA!! Sep.19-2004 #217 Photo by K. Danso

Sir, I do not need to preach to the choir, as you lived in America for long time. A group of us met Dr. D.D. Daaku, Director of Urban roads and his staff last November 2009 in a conference room at his office, and we debated the issue in details. Fact is that Engineers exist in Ghana and we have the capacity as he agreed, to create underground sewage. See the picture I took in 2004 at a private housing development (and they say foreigners should come and build for us!). Dr. Daaku admitted when foreign grants are brought in and required to, they can build covered sewage for the specific area for some of these foreign embassy staff, in our city. What is our excuse then? Our people don't matter? We don't have money? Who are building those houses, then? Why is the underground sewage built during the Busia time in Teshie-Nungua broken down? According to Dr. Daaku, the solutions will come from the DCE and MCEs, and so we are starting with you.

FINANCING - Sir, please don't tell us we don't have money. You lived in America and you know money was not generated from World Bank loans, but from the people who lived in towns and communities, through property taxes and a careful intelligent design of whatever was needed for the city, including public parks, libraries, and sewage systems! You have been trying to get street hawkers off the streets, but please provide alternatives and sell the idea! I have an idea of how you can do this but for now, we need to get rid of the open gutters and create walkways along our streets!

Africans, especially educated elites, have always talked about not having money, but for God's sake, I hope you will not get into that trap also. So please tell us what our reason is why we are still building open gutters in Accra today! MNo1 Tell us what your PLANS are, and when we are going to get out of this rotten mindset. What is the differential cost between cylindrical concrete pipes as being done in some private housing development, and the huge open gutters being constructed in some parts of Accra! It is the VISION, Sir!

I want to make this short and hope you have the chance to read this and respond to me to share on GLU forum. We need to know your city's organizational chart, as well as the demographics and statistics of the city, if you don't mind, and you may put this on a Website. We need to know the number of homes, population in different parts of the city, if you are planning a sub-metro system of management. If you want some assistance, even free consultation from some of us to assist your sub-metro or City Managers, please do not hesitate. Some of your offices in the district offices are very depressing to look at. Please, we want to help in ending the disgraceful and unsanitary sights one sees in our cities, and we are starting with Accra.

Thanks for your time,

Dr. Kwaku A. Danso (Email: k.danso@comcast.net )

President - Ghana Leadership Union (NGO) & Moderator-GLU Forum

Livermore, California, USA & East Legon, Accra, Ghana


Dr. Kwaku A. Danso

President - Ghana Leadership Union (NGO) & Moderator-GLU Forum

President & Co-Founder - Ghana National Party

Livermore, California, USA - East Legon, Accra, Ghana


Columnist: Danso, Kwaku A.