Life in Bomahagu: No water, electricity or roads
2011-04-26 20:16:20This article has been read 739 times.When was the last time you moved into a new house located in a new neighbourhood?
I guess you remember how pleased you felt having moved from an old building into a new one that is still awash with bright paint colours, spacious rooms and a clean surrounding.
It is even much gratifying when you move from a noisy environment located in the heart of the city to a quiet, serene developing area, where you have the opportunity to experience the beauty of nature.
Each morning, the cockerel crows to wake you up and in the afternoons, the chirping of the birds produces a lovely rhythm, which combines with the soothing air blown by the dancing tree branches to put you to sleep.
However, this joy suddenly disappears when you realise that your new area is, after all, not as interesting as you thought. There is no electricity, water or even accessible roads.
This is the situation that the inhabitants of Bomahagu, Koblimahagu, and other new suburbs of Tamale find themselves. Their joy of moving into new houses and vicinities has been suppressed by the unavailability of electricity and water supply.
Each day, as I drive past one of the small paths in the area, I see women and children sitting by a borehole, waiting for the water to gush out so they can fetch some.
Sometimes, they sit by the borehole throughout the night, just waiting to fetch some water home.
Some of the residents whose economic status is above average are able to hire tankers, which is certainly costly and unsustainable.
"We are really suffering without water. During the dry season, we have to trek long distances to fetch water in gallons and this affects our children's schooling and domestic chores," Mma Abiba, a resident of Bomahagu lamented.
The darkness that hangs over Bomahagu and its surroundings between 6p.m. and 6a.m. speaks volumes of the plight of the inhabitants in the absence of electricity.
They are denied the comfort of watching TV, ironing their clothes or charging their phones. In fact, the darkness in the area has made it difficult for the residents to drive away reptiles. Being a waterlogged area with little population, snakes find the area a suitable habitat.
"Sometimes you come from work in the evening only to find a snake lying in your veranda," Mr Rashid, a resident of the community said.
Aside the need for water and lights, the absence of roads is yet another key developmental challenge in Bomahagu and other new suburbs of Tamale.
The Urban Roads Department has not constructed new roads in Bomahagu so residents have to create paths to facilitate human and automobile movement.
Each year, the residents contribute money to purchase some gravel and fill some of the potholes but their efforts are thwarted when it rains heavily, because the paths get flooded and tall grasses grow in every direction.
"At a point, I had to park my car and walk through the mud anytime I was going to town or coming home," Mr Rashid stated.
The question one is tempted to ask is: What is being done to address these challenges?
Indeed, officials at the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TaMA) have repeatedly promised that Bomahagu, Koblimahagu, Taha,
Kpanbiewu and many other peri-urban communities in Tamale will soon be connected to the national grid through the Rural Electrification Project.
However, there is no sign of the commencement of this project and the residents are hopeless.
For water and roads, it appears there is no immediate plan by the TaMA to provide any of these to the people of Bomahagu and its surroundings since checks have not revealed much.
Maybe TaMA is waiting for a public protest by the inhabitants before the authorities see the need to expand these services to residents in these areas. Well, the people are waiting and their patience may run out soon.