Walking the Poor Streets of Accra Ghana

There is a modern trend towards participating in poverty tourism. That is when, instead of limiting themselves to visiting the most beautiful, auspicious or the grandest places a city or country has to offer, visitors also venture into the poorest areas to experience life at its very basic.

The idea behind poverty tourism is not merely to feel sorry for those on the bottom of the ladder, but to also rejoice in people’s ability to rise above their hardship and to simply get on with life in as vigorous a way as is possible.

Most cities in the world have “no go” areas, and in Accra, the capital of the West African country Ghana that place is Nima.

Nima is located northeast of Accra city centre and it is an impoverished area in which the basic necessities of modern life: water, sewerage, power and housing have not been adequately provided. It is an area where migrant workers from rural parts of Ghana and from nearby countries have settled in order to find work in the capital.

Charles Sabla, a local guide, offers walking tours of Nima. He is a long time resident of Nima, and an accredited guide, who shows you just how vibrant this place really is.

Visitors will be shown the local market, which operates on a Wednesday. They are also taken to a local school, the Anani Memorial International School which was founded in 1975 by an illiterate painter and decorator who wished to give more opportunities to local and migrant children. The school now has a multilingual curriculum, in English and French, and teaches a vast range of subjects ranging from maths and science to life skills.

Because Nima has few facilities, most of the homes lack basic sanitation, so there are public washing areas that you visit, where women go about the laborious job of washing clothes by hand. If you do a morning tour of Nima, you will notice the pollution as people smoke fish in the mornings, after brining it home from the market, and the smoke seems to permeate everything.

I always believe that the way to get to now a foreign place is to eat the local food, and there are two local restaurants you can visit to enjoy the everyday cuisine. The restaurants, Mawako and McBonalds, yes, I haven’t misspelt it, serve up local delicacies such as Banku with Peanut Soup, which is an okra dish, or Fufu with Palm Nut Soup and Fish which is made by boiling such starchy foods as cassava, yam, plantain or rice.

2 comments to Walking the Poor Streets of Accra Ghana

  • Thank you for writing this … Charles needs all the assistance he can get & reviews.

    He is such a humble guy & I’d known him for a while before suggesting this could be a way out of poverty for him.

    He’s doing well, tourists are enjoying the tours which he’s now added to, to offer a full day or a weekend trip. Getting a lot of references from happy clients.

    What he wants to do is a) Gain a steady stream of clients to b) Pay for an education (an online qualification via the UK) and start c) Training up other youngsters in Nima to work with him

    Very happy to have found this write up – Charles Sablah (with H) will be too! Thanks again!

  • Thank you for writing this … Charles needs all the assistance he can get!!

    He is such a humble guy & I’d known him for a while before suggesting this could be a way out of poverty for him.

    He’s doing well, tourists are enjoying the tours which he’s now added to, to offer a full day or a weekend trip. Getting a lot of references from happy clients.

    What he wants to do is a) Gain a steady stream of clients to b) Pay for an education (an online qualification via the UK) and start c) Training up other youngsters in Nima to work with him

    Very happy to have found this write up – Charles Sablah (with H) will be too! Thanks again!

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