Tuesday, 30 June 2009

OBSTACLE COURSE 101

When I was much younger, I had dreams of becoming a professional formula one driver, or at least racing cars as a hobby. Recently I have been forced to develop a new hobby; it’s kind of like dodge ball...let’s call it dodge-hole...potholes, that is. Welcome to Ghanaian roads, Obstacle Course 101. Beginner, intermediate or expert all take the same test, your success rate determines your expertise.
A Nigerian friend of mine once told me about potholes in Abuja which can cause accidents on their own. I remember having a good laugh. But I’m not laughing now.
Our roads are fraught with enough danger as it is, and now with the rains come extra pot holes.
A short time ago I came across one and I could swear it had been dug on purpose. It had design,contours and style; the sheer size and depth of the hole was awe-inspiring [in hindsight I should have taken photos]. But I was disillusioned to find that I hadn’t made a discovery worth an entry in the Guinness Book of Records, as there are some all around; but probably not as ‘wonderful’.
Potholes - great and small.
Their effects are varied, but all unpleasant both for the car and the driver. I am now sure they are unpleasant for pedestrians as well: On the Spintex road, I witnessed a tro-tro driver, in an attempt to dodge a pot hole, create a tsunami wave which completely drenched an unfortunate passerby in muddy water. Of course he sped off to escape the insults and curses that would surely follow.
Maybe I’m silly, or just fussy about having smooth roads so I can play Rick Ross’ Speeding and imagine I am Lewis Hamilton; but while other drivers seem to have accepted life with potholes and simply dodge them, others all the while complaining. Some neighbourhoods are enterprising, they fill theirs with stones, but if you drive a low suspended car this won’t be good news for you either.
Who is in charge of potholes? [I think they are worth having their own ministerial portfolio, don’t you?] Or will we wait until a spectacularly horrifying accident occurs as a result of a predatory pot hole, before we take up arms? Some may even argue that action now is pointless as the rainy season is ongoing, but doesn’t a stitch in time save nine? and I don't mean the patching we're so fond of.