Harmattan in March?

The haze in my backyard this morning

Is the world upside down? Is it climate change?Is the hazyness we are experiencing in Ghana right now really Harmattan?

The hazy Harmattan winds from the desert carrying a fine white dust normally comes around Christmas to Ghana. The weather gets “cold”, especially in the night and your body feels dry. This time, the haze came on Monday and was much more like a damp fog, I joked with a friend that it was like a cloud falling down from the sky.  At a party I argued it was just normal fog, after all raining season should be on its way.

But there was the similar limited vision. And my wine-red car was covered in a fine white dust. And a friend who traveled to Kumasi early in the week said up there the weather is more dry and more similar to the “classic” Harmattan.

Is the world upside down? Is it climate change? Is the haziness we are experiencing in Ghana right now really Harmattan?

>No Rain in Africa? Few Reports on Flooding in West Africa

> One might almost think that there is no Rain in Africa, judging from the extremely sparse Ghanaian journalistic reporting about the flooding that has misplaced 600 000 people in Northern Ghana and other West African countries. According to some reports 25 Ghanaians have already died in the floods.

While BBC had this flooding among its top news yesterday, see for instance here, the issue was glaringly absent from the Daily Graphic front page, the most read newspaperin Ghana on the same day.

On popular news site Ghanaweb, I find only this article on the floods, source CNN (!)

Also reliable radio channel Joy FM, do not place any significance on the flooding in the country. The same CNN article (!!) is what they have listed under Africa/International on their webpage here.

One would think since Ghanaians are dying and we live relatively close to the scene, Ghanaian journalists would be the first to report on this horrible situation to the surrounding world. But sadly, the situation has not improved at all since I blogged about the flooding in 2007 here . What I said then was

people write me about the floods in Ghana – note the irony of that I write a comment on it on my blog “Rain in Africa”. Anyways apparently these floods make it to the news in Sweden, Spain and the US.

Is this news not relevant to Ghana? Do we not care?

Map borrowed from BBC.co.uk/Africa

>Obama’s Visit – A View out of Ghana

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Why has Obama chosen to come to Ghana as his first stop in Africa? Does it mean he chose not to come to the regional big brother Nigeria and his paternal home country of Kenya? Will he give a policy speech on Africa whilst in Ghana? How are Ghanaians preparing? Are they happy to host the first black American president?

These are questions that have already been debated thoroughly (see Ghanablogging.com’s Abena being quoted here for example), hence I’d like to write on an issue much less discussed.

How can we living in Ghana at this time take part of the visit?

It has been made clear that president Obama will not address the general public directly, nor will there will be any parade in which we can see the Obamas, wave or take photos. Weather has been blamed for this decision, and yes, it has been raining extensively lately, but maybe it is more a security issue?

So here I give you the 3 places one will get the Obama fever up close:

1. Airforce One will land at Kotoka Airport at 8 pm tonight, at least one can see his plane there.

2. La Polyclinic is his second stop tomorrow morning after meeting the recent presidents of Ghana for breakfast (Rawlings, Kuffuor and Mills). I’m guessing they will convene at the Osu Castle and then drive (??) to La Polyclinic just 5 minutes away on the beach road.

3. The African-American Association in Ghana (AAAG) will watch Obama’s speech together at the Mensvic Grande Hotel in East Legon Saturday morning (starting 10 am). I think that will be a good place to get the Obama vibe for us who sadly were not invited to the International Conference Centre in Accra where he will give his address.

And on Saturday evening 7 pm at the Dubois Centre in Labone, Accra there will be a concert (Featuring among others wonderful singer Bibie Brew) saluting the popular visitor who at that point will have left beautiful, and rainy, Ghana.

Ill update you on how it all went on Sunday.

This is is a shared blogpost for ghanablogging.com.

>Rain Rain Go Away! (Rain in Ghana)

>This Ghanaian musicvideo “RAiN RAiN” by rapper Scizo and music video director Nii Mantse Aryeequaye/ReDD kaT (more on the video here) is very appropriate for this season. We have rain almost every evening and floods of it. Tropical thunder is also part of the deal.

In the video a popular childrens’ rhyme is used in different ways to give a cool familarity to the song. I liked especially the part in the beginning and the end where school children were repeating it, just like one can see them do anywhere in Ghana.

“Rain, rain go away, little children want to play”

Other references to Ghanaian everyday life is Kelewele (fried ripe plantain with chili and ginger), nimtree ( a very medicinal tree) and “hustler life” – does it need an explanation?

Scizo is a new artist but soon coming out with a second video which just as this one will be recorded in Accra’s Jamestown reports ghanamusic.com. According to the comments on YouTube, “this video is the illest in GH? now”.