Friday, January 19, 2007

Graphic Ghana - News

A fire in the squatter community named Sodom And Gomorrah leaves as many as 34,000 people homeless, the Ghana Graphic reports.

1 comment:

AM said...

Obviously I am a bit behind on the news. I just saw this. Very sad. I was in Accra last October/November, doing a housing study; Sodom and Gomorrah was one of the settlements I covered.
Two fires in a month sounds a bit suspicious to me.... given that the settlement is controversial to begin with. The government has resettled "squatters" from there once before, and there are on-going attempts to clear this site once again (the proposal is to resettle the residents some 20 miles away. The details are stil being worked out.) Red flags, anyone?
S&G, despite it's name, and despite being one of the most horrific places to live in (in my experience), is truly amazing -- a vivid example of how even the poorest of the poor learn to survive. The settlement a hub for entrepreneurial activity; it's divided into smaller neighborhoods by occupation (wood/carpentry; auto repair, vegetable selling, etc..) and ethnicity/religion. Lack of basic water and sanitation is not a deterrant: there are private paid toilets/ baths(even if the quality may be objectionable!), water for drinking can be bought in little sachets; washerwomen do your laundry for a small fee; food vendors cook and sell food (which works out cheaper than cooking yourself), and so on. This truely is a city in itself, in need of a lot of help, but rich in character, diversity, and markets.