28. Essandoh

Participant-33-Portrait

One of my biggest challenges is also transportation. I live in a remote area. No car comes here, not even motorbike, so I have to walk to the station to get a Tro-Tro. It is only Tro-Tros that I can afford. I have to walk about two miles. Even if I manage to get there, I wake up at dawn to reach there on time. Even to board a Tro-Tro is one of my biggest challenges. The passengers don’t want to sit next to me. and the drivers say I am wasting their time because I’m slow.


I was living at Accra here, and unfortunately, one of my intimate comrades told me to accompany him. On our arrival there, we did everything, so we made our way back to Accra. On our way back, we were speeding. We told the driver that he should slow down, but unfortunately, the car went into the ditch.

I was sent to the hospital for treatment. Once I was in the hospital, the friend who accompanied me, he didn’t even come to visit me. God’s so good though, and everything went all-right there. The time I went from the hospital to this area, one day, I was walking and my right leg twisted to the right side, and the next day, I started feeling a sensation of burning. I knew then that it had become a neurological condition or adversity.

Before my accident, I was a driver’s mate for about six years. Then I had to get my license, and I started to drive. I got a taxi, which is how I make a living. I worked roughly fifteen years before the accident. I traveled to Nigeria before my accident. I was having my own car, and one of my friends had a friend in Nigeria looking for a car to buy. I sold a car to him. I told him he should take me there. I went for an excursion – just one day.

Nobody cared for me after the accident. I paid the bills. The driver who we had an accident with didn’t have any legal documents covering the car, so between the vehicles, everything became an investigation, which is still pending.

There was not any compensation. I handed the case to one of friends, who is a lawyer, but the insurance company said they would be unable to pay the insurance to me because the other driver didn’t have a license or anything. I’ve tried a lot of angles, but still.

Since I started pursuing the insurance, nobody is ready to even listen to me. I don’t know whether it’s because of my disability. One of my wishes is that I could get the support of a lawyer to get compensation and to start something with that money.

After the accident, I haven’t been able to do anything. Commuting is very, very bad.

It is only God who knows how I feed myself. When you fall on this adversity, it means you are lacking how to get food, so I have to go around to my intimate friends and solicit from them. I have to visit my friends to support myself. Anytime I go to them, they try to dodge me. They run away because it’s more and more and too much for them to be helping everyday.

Did you have experiences with people with disabilities before the accident?

I would always have compassion. I would give them something. I would help them. Those people who are by the road-side, I would give them money when I was driving.

They were always looking very miserable. You would see how they can’t even walk. They struggle to get their food to them. I would always want to help them.

How has your situation affected your marriage and family life?

My own mother discriminates against me. Because of the accident, I am no longer able to help her. Now that this accident happens, I am not able to help her.

She uses a lot of words against me. My own family abuses me verbally – how they are and their movement and the way they speak and their actions show it. They see that the way my condition is, there is no way for me to support them anymore. They think I’m worthless. There is no hope for me to recover and support them again. That’s why they ignore me.

What is your hope for your life?

My hope is that I can walk again. I take some traditional medicines that the herbalists give in. There is one herbalist who came to my house. He just applied some herbs, but I haven’t seen any improvement.

What is the most difficult experience you’ve had since your accident?

Because I cannot work anymore, sometimes, we go to bed with bare stomachs – my family and I. My children return from school, and there’s no food. They have to drink water and sleep. We will starve for four to five days until someone comes to our aid. I have managed to do some cassava and plantain farms to feed us, but they haven’t grown yet.

If a person with a disability comes to you for advice, what would you say to them?

He should not depend on anybody. He should work.

If you had one wish for your life and for people with disabilities in Ghana, what would it be?

My wish is that I would find something to do, to feed myself and my family. That is one of my biggest challenges now. We starve for days. And for Ghana, I wish all those disabled members that are not employed will be gainfully employed and that those by the roadside will be removed from the roadside and find some job to get a better life.

One of my biggest challenges is also transportation. I live in a remote area. No car comes here, not even motorbike, so I have to walk to the station to get a Tro-Tro. It is only Tro-Tros that I can afford. I have to walk about two miles. Even if I manage to get there, I wake up at dawn to reach there on time. Even to board a Tro-Tro is one of my biggest challenges. The passengers don’t want to sit next to me. and the drivers say I am wasting their time because I’m slow. Sometimes, they turn the car away. It gets me devastated. Even if I make it to the station, sometimes, the cars will turn away from me, and I will have to return home. This is something that can disturb me and make me cry – when drivers leave me behind.

Disability in Ghana is a hell hole.


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