“Nana Akufo Addo says I should tell you that the services we give to the people of East Legon, we should give the same services to the people of Agbogbloshie”.
The statement sent a rapturous cheer through the crowd gathered in Ghana’s biggest slum. The crowd, hyped on adrenalin and fighting for space, just to catch a glimpse of the Vice President, sang and screamed their lungs out.
When Dr Mahamudu Bawumia arrived in Agbogbloshie in September 2019, he told the milling crowd that he was the first sitting Vice President to have visited the slum.
“The lives of the people of Agbogbloshie matter as much as the lives of the people of East Legon or Cantonments”, he added.
With him on that trip, were many government top shots. The Interior Minister, the Defence Minister and Works and Housing Minister, the Minister for Sanitation were among many who turned up for that visit.
“This community centre is very important for this area. It got burnt. President Akufo-Addo says we should build a new one for you. It would be a storey building, so that you can use it for your community activities,” he said.
Dr Bawumia was the first to have gone there, but the promises he made weren’t the first to have been made there. The slum is Ghana’s largest. Old Fadama is expanding rapidly, almost bursting at its seams and a major threat to the existence of the Korle lagoon.