This wins the prize for sign of the day – it’s a business by the side of the Darkuman road. A deserted stall, with a picture of a pig’s head, and “great pork show!” above it. With an exclamation mark, to convey the excitement of the pork show. I’m tempted to return when the show is in full swing, but if they’re just selling pig I’ll be disappointed.
To Kaneshie market, where I bought some material for a dress. You can get a dress made, start to finish, for 4 pounds here, including the material. The kente (the really brightly printed classic African designs) is too much for the average redhead, but I found something a little quieter in the end.
All the tourism is a far cry from the reality of Ghana. Another research student staying here is working on the politics of refugee camps, since conveniently there’s a vast Liberian camp situated just outside Accra to the west. The women of the camp are staging a protest against the repatriation proposals by UNHCR, which involve a plane ticket and $5. Some can’t go home because those who have taken their land will kill them, but those who can, want a sum that will allow them to either build a house or start a small business, so they can survive, and have been camping out on the football field by the road, with their kids, for some weeks now in protest. The men aren’t allowed to participate – the women want to protect them from law enforcement.
The Ghanaian government’s response to this is to round up both the women and any male supporters they can find, and sending them to a detention camp in the east. Some have been deported without their families or possessions. There is a plan to revoke everyone’s refugee status, which would mean they have to disperse into Ghana if they don’t want to be deported back to Liberia.
Elizabeth has been following all this and documenting the processes the women have used to make their voices heard. They sound extraordinarily resourceful, not just in terms of their protest but in their ability to survive the camp itself. There’s very little plumbing, and apparently the cockroaches make such a racket at night it’s hard to sleep.