Stories from Isaac Akwetey-Okunor
Residents and communities dotted around the Yilo Krobo, Lower Manya municipalities and Upper Manya District of the Eastern Region, affectionately known in political circles as the world bank of the largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), are wallowing in poverty.
It is highly unfathomable whether the people and communities in these areas have neglected themselves or present and past governments have not taking them serious in an effort to improve their living standard.
Most of the communities in these areas, apart from the capital towns of the districts, cannot boast a semi-standard classroom block, as children and teachers compete with reptiles and other harmful creatures for space during class hours.
Those which could jubilate over makeshift classroom blocks have to close either earlier before time or no school at all when the rain starts to threaten.
They took the opportunity to request for a bridge to aid their movement, since some of the kids risk their lives trying to cross in the absence of their parents.
The few children, who have access to education, lacked uniforms and other learning facilities, resulting in the plea to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to come to their aid.
For health facilities, the little talked about them the better it would be, since the community members have to carry pregnant women and sick people on their shoulders and other makeshift tools to travel long distances to access medical care.
The Eastern File on a recent visit to Togodo and Adebonsera during a programme organised by As I Grow, uncovered a further chilling and worrying situation, as early sex and teenage pregnancy have become synonymous and part of the living among the teeming young youth, leading to massive school dropouts, irresponsible parenting, and economic hardship.
Children within 12 and 13 years were spotted proudly carrying their babies on their backs with little or no knowledge about reproductive health and child caring, as most of the unfortunate children give birth while their unfortunate parents loiter around in tattered clothes or semi-naked.
Speaking to the file on condition of anonymity, some of the teenage parents disclosed that they got themselves impregnated because of lack of any gainful venture and lack of school infrastructure for them, resulting in dependence on men for their daily bread.
Most of the girls indicated that their boyfriends are in their early thirties but irresponsible, would be happy if they could learn any training skills for sustainable living.
Togodo, for instance, is a very deprived community in the Yilo Krobo Municipality, and is more than twenty miles away from the nearby village (Kobokobo), which is by the roadside.
The community seems abandoned, and most of the things that make citizens comfortable do not exist.
In terms of infrastructure and social amenities, the community does not have any to boast of. The community is currently battling with a lot of issues which has made life difficult for the inhabitants.
Mr. Tetteh, one of the opinion leaders, lamented over whether is a curse to live in Kroboland, since they are virtually cut off from development. Infrastructure such as roads, electricity, clinics and good sources of water have eluded them.
About 99% of the occupants are farmers, and since they have no commercial activities going on in the village, food crops such as plantains, cassava and other foodstuff remain in the farms without getting buyers.
The little produce they can carry is what they are able to convey, which ranges between ¢15 and ¢20 during market days, since they have to walk for almost two and half hours.
The community members, apart from food crop production, engage in the mass production of okro, which might have gained a lot of market if infrastructure like roads is in place.
In terms of water, the community depends on a nearby stream with animals, since that is the only source, adding that they have to survive by a miracle when they are sick or someone is in labour.
They lamented on how they have been cut off from the current world, since they do not even having access to electricity, despite the electrical poles and wiring in place.
Speaking to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the As I Grow Organisation, Mr. Isaac Debrah Bekoe, who, with his outfit, has taken it upon themselves to help solve the plight of communities like this, lamented that he was shocked after his investigations and findings.
He said his outfit will do its best to contact the appropriate bodies, policy makers and officials to quickly come to the aid of these people.
Poverty is a serious canker and has become chronic in Ghana, thus all individuals and stakeholders must get onboard to help solve issues relating to poverty in communities of this nature.
He said he was aware past and previous governments have done their best, but as citizens, “we must come onboard.”
Interestingly, the highest educational level of the place is a Class Four pupil, and even with that, few of them are able to get there.
One of the sad discoveries was a deaf lady who has been abandoned in Adebonsera.
Due to her complex issue, she does not know the sign language and finds it difficult to communicate her plight.
Due to this, the CEO of As I Grow launched a passionate appeal to individuals and corporate organisations to support Grace Tetteh have access to the Mampong Demonstration School for the Deaf, so as to be equipped with the sign language.
It was further recorded that Adebonsera has a lot of old women who are mostly widows, and there is the need for support from the general public.