This is what the Director told me while sat and conversed over a beer in a rural and arguably neglected district called Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo. His argument intrigued me; he gave the example of a bank here in Ghana with nice shiny tiled floors, glass doors, garbage containers, and a clean and professional look – what you would expect from a bank in Canada. Now the way one would act or behave in such a place will likely be different from the way one would act in a place with dirt floor, poor uneven unpaved road, trash spread on the ground and in the gutter, and so on. It is simple and pretty convincing: your surroundings affect your actions, and your actions and attitude (how you think and how you act) are interconnected.
In a place such as Bunkpurugu with horrible unpaved and un-graveled/graded roads it’s understandable that one would make such an argument. Traveling around the Northern Region I experienced first hand the lack of transportation infrastructure on some of the worst roads in the country. To be honest, as much I enjoyed the company of Ministry staff in Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo I would be hesitant to ever visit again unless there was a significant reason – the trip was pretty uncomfortable and long. So from my foreigner perspective, I can understand why NGOs and government projects may neglect this district. If I were a Minister or held a prestigious position within the government I would likely try and minimize the amount of travel on this stretch of roads. However, I’m not trying to justify why this district may be neglected from much needed assistance, but rather trying to understand the situation from my observations, experiences, and discussions with some educated civil servants. I don’t know what it will take for the government to invest in rural districts such as the one I visited, but I hope it happens sooner than later.