Kum Ase, is a small farming community in the Shama District of the Western Region. Its inhabitants also engage in fish processing.
The town is known by the majority of the inhabitants of the Shama District as Kumasi.
For years now, its inhabitants have been lamenting over the absence of some basic amenities of life in the town. Though the road to the town is a tarred road, it has been a life claimer. There have been several occasions, where vehicles have claimed human lives, especially children.
School children, especially have been facing difficulties in crossing the road to school and even to their various homes in the community because there is no school in the town. There has been no instance where someone has survived a knock down on the road.
Speaking to an elder from the chief’s palace, he stated that school children are the ones who are normally knocked down on the road, adding that when the road exposed threat to them, they informed the district authorities about it.
According to him, they were assured of road bump but during it’s construction, it was done at Yabew, a neighbouring community. Due to this, drivers do not slow down when they get to Kumasi Ase, increasing loss of life.
” Adults even find it difficult crossing this road let alone children. Some of the children take cars, others go to school by foot but if we can get a school here, it will help us a lot. The road has been claiming our lives for year because of the absence of speed bump, the worst is none of the people who has been knocked down has ever survived”, said, Ebusuapanyin Yaw Kese.
In an interview with some of the residents, they declared that gutters in the community were not constructed with cement and at the same time blocked thereby causing part of the town to flood when rain falls.
” Some parts of the community usually flood when there is rain fall and the
water sometimes enters some people’s houses because the water can not
flow through the gutters”.
In their statements, it was also revealed that the previous government assisted them with a public toilet but it is yet to be completed. It has been abandoned. The residents are therefore crying to the Government and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) for intervention.
Meanwhile, Ebusuapanyin Yaw Kese who is also the NPP Youth Organizer, narrated the history of Kum Ase.
He narrated that the founders of the town and their families were initially in Apem Enyim ( a neighboring community). Following a dispute between the people of Kum Ase and the people of Apem Enyim, their leader was called by the council of the town. When he went, he was asked to pay “dampo” on behalf of his people. Upon his return, he summoned all his people and told them what transpired between him and the council when he went. Instead of them to pay the “dampo” as required, they started to mock the people of Apem Enyim. This provoked the residents of Apem Enyim. In order to retaliate, they also called them goats. Due to this the leaders of the then Kum Ase who were Nana Kobena Kogyiri, Opanyin Yaw Kese, Maame Tekykwa and Opanyin Nana Akroma then decided to relocate the people far from Apem Enyim because animals and humans cannot live together. The people led by Opanyin Nana Akroma and Nana Kobena Kogyiri settled at their current location which was then a forest.
He continued that the community was initially called “Metse M’ase” but after they had their own chief, he renamed it as “Kum Ase” meaning ” Under Kum”, an elder from Yabew, but due to the born of new generation, the name Kum Ase has vanished and now most people know it to be “Kumasi”. In his words, he added that it has been about 80 years since they came to their current location.
Story by: McCarthy Jennifer
Ghana Institute of Journalism