By Rebecca Sedinam Affor
“Asylum” in Ga language means a place where mad people are kept, but a suburb of the Greater Accra Region is known as Asylum Down. Over the years, people had the perception that mad people were the occupants of the Community. Till date one is made fun of when one mentions Asylum Down as a place of abode, the response then is ”mad people’s community”.
But Asylum down is a community which is named after Accra Psychiatric Hospital, where mental health issues are given critical attention.
Asylum down has been one of the coolest places anyone looking for accommodation would consider. Most people appreciate the community because it is closer to two of the biggest markets and commercial transport hubs in Accra—the Accra Central Market and Kwame Nkrumah Circle.
People see it to be the center of Accra in terms of the ease and the fast way of getting a vehicle any time any day to any location of one’s choice. Asylum Down, as a suburb of Greater Accra, is in itself a quiet, well-structured community. It is peaceful and neat, with access to potable water and electricity, and has never been a headache for anyone living in this community.
A bridge which was constructed over a big drain in the Community is in a deplorable state, as the rusted iron rods expose and parts of the bridge have been washed away. This is serving as a death trap for the community as they use the bridge each day with the fear of it collapsing one day while in use.
As the deplorable nature of the bridge is not enough, the drain, which was constructed to serve a particular purpose—the passage of wastewater—is now covered with plastic wastes such as plastic bottles, disposal cups, food packs, plastic bags, and other waste materials that are harmful to the environment.
To make matters worse, houses around the drain get flooded whenever it rains as a result of its poor nature, also leaving the road right in front of the drain in a deserted state.
The drain is currently full of stagnant water, which has increased the breeding of mosquitoes as part of the drain is blocked with sand and plastic waste, which doesn’t allow easy flow of the drain.
People in the Community feel the authorities have eluded them, so far as keeping the ‘Asylum Down’ in good shape is concerned, but is that the case?