Ghana’s capital city, Accra undoubtedly remains the economic belt of the country, as the majority of businesses are transacted in the city and it also doubles as the seat of government.
Despite its busy commercial, restaurant, and nightlife activity, Accra is increasingly becoming one of the unpleasant places to live in and here’s why:
Accra is dirty
The city is full of filth and this can be attributed to the poor waste management coupled with the littering attitude of most residents. The result has often been the outbreak of cholera which has killed over a hundred people. There is no doubt that improvement has been made over the past years to give the capital city a new look. However, there still remains a lot to do in the critical area of sanitation.
Accra is noisy. This can be observed from the endless honking of vehicles horns in chaotic traffic to loud music from churches and other religious places of worship. Air pollution following the dumping of plastic waste and second-hand materials cannot be overlooked.
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Standard of living is high
If you are not prepared to spend more, then you shouldn’t even think of living in Accra. Everything is expensive in Accra – it has one of the highest rent, and transportation fares are often high. Numbeo index at the end of 2016 shows the city of Accra as the most expensive place to live in Africa with a cost of living index of 66.24 and Cost of Living plus Rent index of 58.03.
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The population of Accra is close to four million people and about a half of this number can be found living in the largest stretch of slums. In spite of some of the flashy and high-rise buildings dotted around, the city also has about 13 slums including Sodom and Gomorrah, Old Fadama, and so on. Many of these lack reliable sanitation services, a supply of clean water and electricity and no law enforcement. Besides, some of these slums have grown, matured and nothing could be done about them except for regeneration.
People living in Accra often complain about corruption, especially at the level of law enforcement agencies. Some policemen are often found extorting money from commercial bus drivers on the streets.
Despite efforts by the government to rid the city of crime, armed robbery and pilfering still occur and this puts the security of many people at risk. Recently, there have been robberies on some banks and major highways, with some police officers being shot in the process.
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Anytime it rains in Accra, it becomes bad news for some residents, as their homes get easily flooded. They are often left with no choice than to spend several hours salvaging their properties and scooping out rainwater that has flooded their houses. Even though governments – both past and present – have made some efforts to stop the perennial flooding, the city is yet to witness any major result.