Thursday, April 02, 2009

Things grinding on my last nerve this week

I'm annoyed this week. There are a number of things that are grinding on my nerves. Thank goodness none of them involve being harassed by a faceless phone-stalker. Anyway, there has been too much drama in my life but have opted to spare you the gory details on all that. What better way to purge my frustrations by focusing on the things around me that are irking me to the 10th degree. Here are a few:

1. Unofficial Load-shedding in Accra
If you were living in Ghana in the late 1990s and in 2006/2007, then you know all about load-shedding! Load-shedding is basically mandatory light-out/light-offs/power outages to conserve energy. It arises from an over-reliance on hydroelectricity and bad planning on the part of governments. I was only around for the 2006/7 debacle but it was a real atmosphere killer, fridge food-rotter and costs businesses like loads of money. Well, aside from people selling generators that is. The immediate-past load-shedding was well-advertised in the papers and you knew when your lights would be going out. However, for almost a month now, our lights are being turned off almost every night for a few hours! What is this all about? Is this a sneaky attempt to have us conserve energy without letting us know?

2. Water, water nowhere and not a drop to drink
Accra is in the grips of a water shortage. Just ask the people carrying yellow jerrycans in search of water every morning . This has been going on for the past 1 week or so. These water jerrycans were nicknamed "Kufuor gallon" some years back when President Kufuor was still at the helm of Ghana. I heard today that people were agitating changing the name to "Mills gallon" after our dear new President . I should add that President Mills is indeed a fine gentleman and a father to all of us.

3. Fuel prices on the rise or
When your father lies to you!

Sometime in December 2008 after the first round of Election 2008, then-candidate Mills released a TV ad telling us all that he realised that we were suffering under the evil hardships of the Kufuor administration and that although fuel prices had just been lowered, he said "they can be reduced further". He did not tell us about the complexities of fuel price being governed by petroleum prices on the international market. So, after President Mills came to the helm, we eagerly awaited the promised fuel price reduction. *Finally* it came last week! Although it was not very dramatic, I still filled my tank up with a smile. But in a strange twist of fate, a week later, the price of fuel has gone up! The government is telling us that this is in line with the increase in the international fuel price...Say Whoa??! NOW the international fuel prices matter? What about in December 2008? What about the past 8 years?


That was cathartic.... Alas, I have to fly out. Apparently our water reserves at home are finally up. Have to go and grab a couple of jerrycans and join my peoples in search of water in the 'hood! Oh Joy.


Omo Oba said...

na so? all of these are familiar lagos life stuvs. I feel your pain...but what to do, what to do. state of affairs in the land.

novisi said...

so much for woman and man to worry about really!

the most dramatic has been the fuel price hikes that is making all go 'jolly-a-worry'!

i'm not so sure what to make of the situation. is it a lie? i can't say so exactly cos if one considers the circumstances as dictated by time, then clearly there's a trick in there.

Mills says i would reduce fuel 'drastically' before the first round of 2008 elections and during the heat of the run-off Kufuor sees reason to reduce (drastically by 17% even though he did not use the word). so kind of Kufuor did what Mills said (almost confirming that it was possible to reduce). Mills then says i'd reduce further!

slow-forward (they say the man is slow! me too says!) to Mills becoming president and making up to about 10% reduction on fuel taxes; seeking to honour promise 'by force'!

then before woman could say 'okunyi!', there is a turn around almost!

another thing of note is that fuel is still less expensive than what Kufuor left (and that means reduction on the face, essence is another thing). then i'm not sure if Mills said he would never never increase no matter what! so i can't say it's a lie. but i see tricks!

and on the face of it Ata Akyea is claiming 'vindication' which i would give him for whatever 'vision' he had! just on the face of it! but beneath it all is a cloud of issues we must separate!

who even feeds us with data we can rely on whilst statistics itself by nature hardly tells 'exact' picture anyway???

"HEY?, wait a minute Mills! what do you take us for?"

Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

Some of the same things bugging me lately. Thanks for bringing them all out. The power was off so many times yesterday, that one of my phases just gave up like that.

Abena said...

Omo Oba,You are so right...there is really not much that can be done about the situation. I guess it is all about the perils of living in an African city!

Abena said...

Excellent fuel price summary and replay Novisi! Is it really true that the current price is lower than when Kufuor left office?

BTW; I really wonder how President Mills could move faster as his critics have been saying! Well, I take that back, I think he could move faster on stopping the cedi from falling further. Mmmm I overhead someone saying that the priorities of the new government appear to revolve around chasing cars, misappropriated curtain-rails and flowerpots as well as chasing people out of offices as opposed to tackling the real problems. Problems such as the downward spiral of the cedi as well as a concrete plan to buffer Ghana from the impact of the world economic crisis. Mmmm...

Abena said...

Nana Yaw; Glad to hear that I'm not the only being bugged by the power outages. I am happy that the water have made a mysterious return. On Friday I made a trip into the interior/hinterlands for a funeral. I was surprised that the power outages are all over the Ashanti region and BA. The people there appeared to be under the impression they are being punished for not voting correctly!

Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

Oh really? That tickles me this morning.

Anonymous said...

It saddens me every time I hear of the cedi's decline. I was so impressed with how well the cedi compared to the pound and dollar (especially) during my visit to ghana....right before Mills took office. What is the exchange rate now? I think it was 90 peswas to 1 dollar or better at the time.

Abena said...

Thanks Anonymous, you just made me check about the changing cedi rates using which gives historical rates:

6 April 2004:
$1.00 = 0.89 pesewas

6 April 2005:
$1.00 = 0.91 pesewas

6 April 2006:
$1.00 = 0.95 pesewas

6 April 2007:
$1.00 = 0.95 pesewas

6 April 2008:
$1.00 = 0.99 pesewas

6 April 2009:
$1.00 = GHC 1.42

Scary stuff!!!

Abena said...

For real Nana Yaw! In fact, I just spoke to my mum and she is still there and she said that the lights are out. Beginning to see something...

Anonymous said...

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Abena said...

Thanks Sarah! Please do keep on reading :)

Anonymous said...

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