In The Wilderness Between Wa And Bolga
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 hand in hand with 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 bushes, 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 might break down midstream in the conditions described above will certainly be stranded. Luckily, there have not been any reported ambushed attacks by elements of criminality or beasts on nocturnal commuters in this wilderness. An inhospitable environment that criminals will even avoid as a hideout but its development holds the potential for curbing rural-urban migration.
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 with a speed train? Are we really thinking about this part of Ghana, left in desolation to transmit forlornness?
New ammunition for the Pan-Africanist P.L.O Lumumba who is red-eyed about Africa’s drudgeries and would stop at nothing to hit out on low performers.
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.