Information about Ghana

 

Ghana is located in Western Africa in the Gulf of Guinea. The area of today’s Ghana has been colonized since 1471 by European countries, particularly Portugal and Great Britain. Since those times many castles and forts have been built on the coast (called “the golden coast”), slave trade prospered. The country gained independence in 1957 adopting the name of Ghana. At present Ghana, due to the tradition of tribes living here, features very rich culture. Especially music, dancing and sculpture became world known.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today Ghana is one of the safest countries in Africa and Ghanaians distinguish themselves with spontaneity, kindness and hospitality.

Run for country development is visible as well as influence of European culture and flood of Chinese products. In shops there are plenty of imported goods and European second hand clothes sold cheaply in the streets. “The whole world on a head” - a manner of carrying things, babies in nursing shawls on the back, overcrowded tro-tros and general joy of life melting with poverty are all very exotic for us. But we might be surprised with streets reminiding those in Florida, hotels and private estates like in European resorts, as well as might be touched with working children met everywhere, colours of African materials and school uniforms.

 

Cedi (GHC) is the Ghanaian currency. The best exchange rate is to be got in Accra. In each larger city there are banks, ATMs and exchange offices in the streets. You will find ATMs serving Visa cards – Barclays Bank and Maestro cards – Ghana Commercial Bank in Cape Coast – a city in the nearest neighbourhood from Moree (the place of our projects).

 

English is the official language of Ghana. Pronunciation here is specific and at the beginning it might be hard to understand. Students, pupils from higher classes and some adults can speak English. Many traditional tribe languages are spoken in the whole country. In the central area, where Moree is located and foundation’s projects are carried out, Fanti language is used.

Internet and telephone. Internet is getting more and more popular, in larger cities there are many internet cafes. 1 h – 0,80 – 1GHC (Cape Coast is the nearest larger city near Moree, it is easier to find an internet café here than in Accra). Connection is often very slow or there is no connection at all. The café near Barclays Bank in Cape Coast is easy to find (it is just behind the bank) and Internet connection is quite good there. The second one recommended in CC is Step.

International diallind code to Ghana is +233. It is easy to buy a SIM card or top-up also from salesmen accosting the stopping cars. In Moree there are several sales points of Vodaphone and MTN.

Weather. In Ghana there are two kinds of climate: wet equatorial climate in the south and dry equatorial climate in the north. In the south coastal belt there are two rainy seasons, the first one lasting from April to June, the second one from September to October. Due to high air humidity all-year-round greenery is abundant here (however laundry takes veru long to dry). The far north is drier and hotter. There is only one rainy season here, from April to October.

Transport. Getting around Ghana is quite easy and pleasant (especially when a local friend will see us off to a departure place.) Main roads are all right. Inter-city connections are provided with large buses departing according to a timetable, equipped with air conditioning and video films. Minibuses – tro-tros - are cheaper means of transport, they depart only when filled up with passengers. A larger luggage is usually surcharged. Touts would like to rope each Obroni in their own mode of transport, so you must be very careful, take care of your luggage and ensure if a given tro-tro goes in desired direction. Taxis are available almost everywhere. Rate must be settled before ride not to be taken in. All cheaper means of transport can load extremely huge amounts of goods which will be located in every free space. Goats on the roof, hens under our seat…

 

The Foundation Art Group practises in Moree and participates in local festivals, the festive colours appeal to tourists from various countries. But in Moree alone you might be the only Obroni.

 

 

Threats Ghana is one of the safest countries in Africa, however it is registered as a country with high risk of malaria infection. Moreover, there is high probability of yellow fever infection – vaccination against this disease before arriving at Ghana is compulsory. The following other vaccinations are recommended: against hepatitis A and B, against typhoid, diphtheria, tetanus and polio, against rabies (depending on type of stay) as well as meningococcal vaccine.
For more information about vaccinations and tropical diseases it is advisable to contact a doctor.

Malaria is a disease transmitted with saliva of a mosquito (Anopheles), the disease occurs in four types. The most dangerous one is the cerebral malaria, which is also the most common type of the disease. There is no certain method protecting against getting ill, but there are manners allowing to decrease significantly the probability of infection. The most often mentioned ones there are: awareness of threat, protection against mosquitoes’ bites and prevention recommended in the region we travel to. We suggest getting acquainted with the webpage www.yahodeville.com of Janusz Tichoniuk where you can find a lot of information about Africa, malaria and methods of protection, medicines used in prevention.

 

Yellow fever – a disease caused by flaviviruses (Flaviviridae family) and transmitted by mosquitoes. It attacks after few days of incubation with headaches, nausea and vomiting. After 24 hours health state is getting better. But according to medical resources, at about 15% of patients the disease returns with even more power, added with external and internal bleeding and jaundice. About 20% of patients with the severe phase of the disease die. Vaccination is a very effective method protecting against this dangerous disease which is a reason of many epidemics. Vaccination is a single injection with protective effect established for 10 years after 10 days from vaccination.