Deplorable Road

In February 2023, I traveled in the night from Wa to Bolgatanga, both in the two upper regions of Ghana, and the journey gave me a grim reminder. I was nudged to the sudden realization that Ghana had moved with the space of the tortoise and the snail since political independence in 1957.

I began to wonder what the cacophony was all about.

Wa is the capital of the Upper West region. Bolgatanga is the capital of the Upper East region. The driving distance between Bolgatanga and Wa is 263.58 km. The entire distance had no bitumen surfacing, in other words, it was untarred.

You can imagine the inconvenience of traveling that long journey by road. The road was riddled with erosion gullies, dotted by just a few settlements, flanked by bush, and was without street lighting so the transportation was more or less a grope in the dark, given the fact that the headlights of vehicles were only drops in the ocean of frightening darkness, thus hardly illuminated our path to my satisfaction.

Motorists whose vehicles break down midstream in the conditions described above will certainly be stranded. Luckily, there have not been any reported armed attacks or the sudden appearance of beasts on nocturnal commuters in this wilderness.

My journey which was a convoy that conveyed Kenya’s, Prof. P.L.O Lumumba from one end to the other, looked more like an adventure than a normal journey by road in its strictest sense and it did invite this idea to my skull. Why can’t we connect Wa to Bolga by speed train? Are we really thinking about this part of Ghana, seemingly left in a state of abeyance fit for only forlornness?

There was nothing about the Bolga-Wa road at the time of my journey that suggested it was a construction site to inspire the hope of getting this elementary, stone-age situation corrected anytime soon.


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