Stuck in the mud in Ghana

Stories from the field

by Meleney Tembo

Always expect the unexpected when you are working in rural areas – and doesn’t under-estimate the difficult conditions that rural people face every day. 

It is Friday morning, middle of September, and we are half way through our Budget Analysis Workshop for small scale farmers in Ghana. Relebohile and I are on our way to workshop together with our colleagues from our Ghana Partner, IDEG (Institute for Democratic Governance). 

We are driving through the hills and the valleys outside Takoradi, through rainy weather. The gravel road is slippery and bad. The drivers need to drive carefully not to get stuck in the mud. It is 7:45am.We are running late and in a hurry to get to the training venue about one hour out of town. 

Soon we come across a blockage in the road. The night before, a bus-driver had parked the bus halfway across the road – he was slipping and could not continue with his journey. 

That same evening, a fuel-truck driver decided that the space left by the bus driver was enough for him to squeeze through. 

Guess what? The space was not enough. So, there we were, in a hurry to get to the other side, only to be told by locals that the bus driver had left the bus and gone to sleep somewhere. 

Two hours later we were still stuck and no sign of the bus-driver. Locals started throwing sand along the road to make a path for one persistent driver who thought that he could make his way through between the bus and the truck, but he kept on getting stuck in the mud. While moving the sand, the rain started pouring again. 

After 3 hours our team decided to walk through the muddy road to the other side and take a taxi (the bus-driver was still missing). We took our bags and hit the road leaving the two four-by four’s behind. 

Finally the locals managed to get a road construction tractor from the next village to pull the bus and the truck out of the mud and our vehicles were finally free! On the other side, our colleagues were hard at work crafting an advocacy strategy!

See the pics here.

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