|Credit: Talk of GH Facebook Page|
Yesterday, I awoke to news that the six-story Melcom shopping complex in New Achimota, Accra had collapsed, Currently, there have been about 70 rescues and 9 deaths as a result of it.
How does a supposedly state of the art shopping center collapse like a stack of cards after a mere six months of completion? That is yet to be seen, but for now people are dishing out blame on various doorsteps. This is a repost of my thoughts on the issue shared via Facebook:
This whole Melcom thing doesn’t have to be a blame game. The truth is, we all contribute to it.
We care more about how things look/seem on the outside (high-rise buildings), than we do about foundations for development (truly reforming education for instance).
We play the ‘open for business’ card, without looking to put in place regulations to guide foreign and local investment (think not just Melcom, but China, oil, etc). Even when we do put rules in place, we are quick to ignore them in order to ‘chop some’.
We opt for short term gratification over long-term vision. And just suck up the consequences, however irrational they may be (Accra Mall location and all the traffic it creates!)
We refuse to change our frame of thinking and step outside the box, yet insist on maintaining old pathways which no longer serve who we are (being so Accra-centric we have all our essential functions – administrative, business, legal – in one city which is quickly becoming overcrowded).
And perhaps the worst of all, we talk plenty when disasters happen, but when the worst is over, it’s back to business as usual. We do nothing to ensure there is no repeat (Osu Children’s home, the air cargo plane accident, dare I say Melcom too?)
A class A act for the world’s favorite African poster child :P The question now is: How can we do things differently and better?
Cudos to those involved in the rescue efforts. Thoughts with the victims, may the deceased RIP.
Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.