Down the West Coast (Part 2)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

From Takoradi we continued our journey to Shama, a small fishing town located at the estuary of River Pra. The fishers there are very friendly and even though only few travellers find their way to Shama, a boat tour on the Pra can be easily arranged.

At the fishing harbour we met a nice young man, who had a friend with a small boat, which we could use for a tour.

The nature on the banks of the Pra is extremely beautiful and you see many exotic birds. However, the Pra is also one of the worst cases of pollution I have seen in Ghana so far. The thing is, if you see a lot of trash around, the problem usually is missing infrastructure or missing awareness. Yet, the Pra's pollution comes from the intense mining (which is supported by Ghana's own government) in that region. All kinds of sediments and chemicals pollute the water, which once has been drinking water for the inhabitants of the river banks. For me, this was harder to bear than the litter in towns, since this is a deliberatly caused pollution for economic gain.

Fort Sao Sebastiao
Shama also has a fort, which was built by the Portuguese when they came to Ghana for missionary purposes. Later it was used by the Dutch and the British as well. Especially the dutch colonialists used the castle for the slave trade.
At the entrance we met the guide, who gave us a very interesting tour, however depressing, tour around the castle. No matter how much you know or don't know about the West African slave trade, it comes as a shock to see the dungeons and hear about the inhumane methods used to exploit these people.
In a way, Shama showed us how Ghana was used for other nations economic gain in the past (slavery) and is used today still (resources).

Considering Ghana's colonial past, it is wonder how open and friendly most Ghanaians are towards Europeans: after our tour we had a nice chat with our guide about our favorite Ghanaian food and he even called a girl to show us where to get the best Fufu in town.

- Sarah

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