The difference between the North and South of this country is quite astonishing, Accra, the capital with its 5 star hotels, fine dining and huge expatriate community could not differ more from the capital of the North, Tamale. Having completed the long journey to Tamale I am delighted to see that, for the trip to the even more remote Wulugu project, we will be travelling in the comfort of a very nice pickup truck (I have experienced the roads in Northern Ghana and know that they can be a little bumpy).
We drive out of Tamale and approach a toll booth just before the bridge over the White Volta (a huge river and the source of income for many fishermen in the area). As we pay our 1 cedi (50p) toll, women approach the car with an array of different smoked fish carried on large trays balanced neatly on their heads. The road is good and on either side, rice fields stretch out as far as the eye can see. Rice grows well in the North and provides the staple diet for the majority of the population. Yam and ground nuts also grow well here and every few meters another road side stall is heavy laden with huge yam’s.
It is quite early and children of 7 years plus are walking to school. The little ones are at home some of them bathing outside their small mud shacks whilst others get in the way of their mothers who are trying to sweep, set up their stalls and make breakfast on their small charcoal stoves. I spend most of the journey looking out of the window at the daily activities of Northern Ghanaians and it never gets boring!