Election 2024: Ablekuma West Constituency; The story of parts of Dansoman we are not told

It's a Wednesday morning at Exhibition Down, a community in Dansoman-one of the biggest estates in West Africa -located in the Ablekuma West Constituency of the Greater Accra region. Despite the torrential rain the previous day, the streets look so dry and clean appealing not only to the homeless. The bungalows, painted in different colours, sat side by side like polite, well-dressed men. Occupants of the bungalows, mostly middle class, are going about their usual businesses. Some commuting to work in their private cars, others, public transport. Scores, who own mini shops have opened the shops, with tge streets getting busy as usual. The contrast is the situation at Opetekwe, a community just two kilometers away from Exhibition Down. Despite the brightness of the Sun that morning, some homes are still submerged. Hundreds of people are finding it difficult to move about with flood waters covering every space. The community looks unplanned and the absence of drains appears to cause flooding anytime it rains. The joy of leaving the countryside or other slums in Accra to live at Dansoman seems to be diminishing gradually. They did not know that the good stories about Dansoman means they must pay good rent to live happily here, fondly referred to as DC. Opetekwe is not the only area that gets flooded when it rains. Glefe, Gbegbeyise, Agege and Mpoasei also get flooded among a few others. Some residents here are of the view that once they are closer to the middle class, they would benefit from some social amenities from central and local governments but it is appearing to be just a wild dream. Comfort, a middle-aged woman, who has been living in Opetekwe for the past 25 years, says development has eluded them, lamenting that the community has no single storm drain though politicians promise them every election cycle and take their votes. Voting pattern In Ghana, sometimes, the development of a community is dependent on the number of votes a political party garners from the community. Though may sound u nacceptable, some politicians 'drop' this in formal and informal speeches. Ablekuma West Constituency is one of the constituencies considered as a stronghold of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). It is one of the 45 newly created constituencies for the 2012 General Election. It was previously part of the Ablekuma South constituency, which is also a stronghold of the NPP. Available data on the official website of the Electoral Commission of Ghana shows that since the creation of the Constituency in 2012, the constituents have demonstrated their loyalty to the NPP by always electing its parliamentary candidate as their legislator. In 2012, the incumbent MP, Ursula Owusu-Ekufful, who was the NPP's Parliamentary Candidate, emerged as the winner in that election. She polled 36,975 votes, representing 58.22 per cent. The NDC's candidate, Victoria Hammah, polled 26,153 representing 41.18 per cent votes while candidates for three other parties, the Progressive People's party, Peoples National Congress and t he National Democratic Party, managed to garner 291, 55 and 40 votes respectively. Similarly in 2016, Mrs Owusu-Ekufful topped the chat again with 34,376 votes representing 56.96 per cent votes while NDC's candidate, Diana Obenewa Twum, polled 20, 976 votes representing 34.76 per cent. The 2020 elections was also not different from that of the 2012 and 2016. As expected, the NPP's candidate, Mrs Owusu-Ekufful emerged the winner. She polled 37,363 votes representing 54.27 per cent of the total vote cast. Fighting floods and filth The residents say despite this show of support through votes, their challenges remain unfixed. While Opetekwe battles with flood and bad roads, Glefe, another densily populated neighbouring, is battling filth. Unfortunately, floods and filth are not the only issues residents in these communities battle. They also have to deal with youth unemployment. The Ablekuma West Constituency is one of the constituencies blessed with the abundance of water. The Opetekwe community is situ ated close to the Densu River, where the Pambros Salt Industries Limited produces it salt from. That aside, there are other communities along the coast, with the possibility of making fishing a vibrant business venture. But that is not the case. Many young people here are unemployed. All they do is to wander aimlessy in search of pleasure. The GNA met with Godslove Attoh, a young man in his mid thirties, who has resided in Opetekwe for the past 30 years. In the company of four other friends, Godslove recounts how unemployment in the constituency has compelled most of his friends to move to seek greener pastures elsewhere. MP's Accomplishment The MP has acchieved quite a lot for the constituency, according to some residents. She's credited with loan schemes, ICT facilities, and classroom blocks, among others. The cry, however, is that, the densely populated communities are not seeing much of developments. Fact is that, the Constituency is big. Perhaps the local Assembly and other development organisa tions must help address the flooding and poor sanitation situations in the densely populated areas befitting the status of DC. The political campaign season is here. Soon, politicians will be knocking at the doors of these residents. It must not be business as usual. Let's change the Dansoman narrative. Lives of those in the densely populated areas, too, matter! Source: Ghana News Agency