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CAUSES OF POVERTY IN THE THREE NORTHERN REGIONS

I am not the only person to say there is abject poverty in the north. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah (first president of the republic of Ghana) saw it and had to make education free in the north and subsequent governments, NGOs talked of changing the nor then situation and bridging the gap.Until certain cultural events are celebrated in a similar manner between the north and the south, the bridge cannot be build for wealth to pass through to case away poverty in the north.

One of such cultural events that need to be critically reviewed is the number of days used in celebrating funerals. While others used six  consecutive days and some used nine  consecutive days others used up to about twelve  days consecutively in performing a funeral. Before the starting date, relatives, sympathizers and well wishers from all walks of life will gather to the funeral home. Just imagine the three  square meal of this forty  to sixty Eighteen days because some will arrive two  or three  days before the funeral start and will go home two  to four  days after the final rites. The amount one will spend on local music makers for a number of days. The amount one will spend on local drinks (pito). The animals that will be slaughtered for the rites for all the separates days. A proverb in Kusaal says that “the monkey says that if the pregnant monkey runs just one day, the pregnancy will not be affected”. Hence, one or two days spending on meal, local music makers, drinks etc. During funeral cannot make one poor but the long days. Suprisingly, sympathizers will not present any gift which will enable the funeral owner to subsidies part of his debts after the funeral.

Southern Ghana; For the Ashantis,they only have the wake-keeping, final funeral rites and the thanks given service just as short as that.Also,there will be substantive gift or presentation that could help the funeral owner to settle his/her debts.Another cultural threat to prosperity among the northerners is the high marriage price or dowry. This is where the man will have to perform the marriage rites by paying four  cattle, a goat, a sheep, a fowl and a guinea fowl. Almost five  cows.After the young hustler now realized that, the work or business that he is doing if he gets a helper. I will find it easy since two heads are better than one. But immediately after marrying, the woman parents will follow for the dowry. Instead of the two now using the little they have to plan for the future, the young man will be compelled to used all that he has to perform the marriage rites by paying four cattle and the rest, leaving him in abject poverty.

In the market today, the low dowry cow cost between seven hundred to eight hundred and fifty Ghana cedi (GH$700 to GH$850.00), the average one cost between nine hundred to one thousand Ghana cedi (GH$900 to GH$1000.00) and the nice or higher one cost between one thousand to one thousand four hundred Ghana cedi (GH$1000 to GH$1400.00).Hence, the high dowry price need to be reduced.

School kids in school

However, this does not only increase poverty but the parents will sometimes ask their young girls in schools to stop and marry so that they will collect the bride price to perform the funerals. Parents after performing the funerals will not get money to pay for their children school fees causing discouragement among the children leading to school dropout thereby increasing the number of school going age in galamsey.

I wish Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), Chiefs, Regional Ministers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, Assembly members and Concern Non Governmental Organizations(NGOs) should rise up to help reduce this culture burden in order to have a smooth bridging of the gap between the north and the south. In fact, Cultural practices among the northerners should be reviewed.

Apambe Awinsigna Richard

Zebilla-Upper East.

tel. 0248453482

 

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Nana Wiafe