Sunday, 4 December 2011

Urban Wail: Waterless places!!!

The water has been out for close to a week where I live. The taps literally pass vapidly and yet with a certain relish gales of wind when in a fit of amnesia you turn them on(just like hitting the switch when it is pitch dark and your candles, osÉ”no, rechargeable lamps etc are in full glow!). It is clear that the Kpong Water Works (which serves the eastern part of Accra including Ghana’s industrial heartland Tema) has made a profession of going comatose on us every few days. Of course it will after close to five decades since its installation without any major rehab or augmentation (any plans to do so lie in policymakers's cranium and decades of hoary speeches of teasing reassurances; in 2009 the Ghanaian Times newspaper reported that $273m loan had been contracted for major works at Kpong!). At such distressing moments one needs a catharsis. Here it is in a free verse I titled :

Water treatment plant
How many patches can Kpong take?(pix courtesy:

Waterless Places
So what will happen to the newborn?
Diapers soaked; her attire vomit sodden; a refreshing bath required
And what happens to Momma too?
Perspiration enveloped; bra mammary milk laden; apparel and flesh saliva pock marked because baby finds nipples everywhere and sucks!
Water is gone; Kpong is tired after too many patches; obre womu; obra ben ni?
You live in an apartment; reservoir tank on the roof has run out; you are ten in the house(clan)hold; Monday cometh; school and work beckons; no water in sight!
The loo reeks of urine and more; the kitchen sink sags with unwashed dishes; everyone has become a magician; performing magical tricks with sachets of water for all of life’s daily ablutions!
The yellow gallons are out in force; the search for water in waterless places
No wonder water is now commoditized and sold like kenkey!
So if Kpong is fixed well who will buy such water?
Where are those with power in these times (who we vote for ALWAYS!)?
Do they remember the lactating woman?
Do they spare a long thought for the newborn who just joined us?
Do they remember the sick who need cleaning and the elderly and pauper who must alas quench that thirst?
Greatest irony: when it rains water kills us in Accra!!!!!!!

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