Accra-Site is a vibrant mining community in the Tolla-Nungu sub-district in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region.
In the early 1990s, mining was rife in the community. Many foreign companies invaded the community and exploited the depts of the earth for precious gold, leaving environmental destruction in their trail.
During this period, the community was densely populated, mainly by outsiders, which generated a lot of human movement.
The indigenes felt their quiet community had become like Accra which is characterized by congestion and heavy human movement and many started referring to the area as Accra-Site.
The name has come to stay. Many of the foreign miners have left but there are still some appreciable level of surface mining in the community. The indigenes, however, are mainly peasant farmers.
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Surface mining activity goes on on the CHPS compound
No health centre
Though rich in gold, Accra-Site has no health centre. The nearest health centre is at Datoku, which is about 12 kilometres away and the road network is bad.
During the rainy season, the road is impassable.
The over 5,000 residents in the community rely on a Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compound — one of three in the Tolla Nungu sub District.
The CHPS compound was established in 2015. It is sited on an abandoned pit, left behind by foreign miners. The community helped to fill the pit.
Three health workers, comprising an Enrolled Nurse, Mr Enoch Yimbila Abandar, and two community Health Nurses provide health services to residents.
The poor road network to Accra-Site
According to Mr Abandar, who is in charge of the compound, clinical services are provided in abandoned structures used by foreign miners in 1996 to 1998.
“The community gave out the structures and mobilised to acquire a bed and a mattress for us,” Mr Abandar stated.
There is no potable water at the facility. “We pump the water which collects in the dug-outs of the miners for use.”
“The CHPS compound also lacks electricity so we have to go to Tolla, about nine kilometres away, to store essential medication such as vaccines,” Mr Abandar added.
The lack of a reliable telecommunications network in the area also makes communication in and out of the community almost impossible.
On a daily basis, the health facility has to deal with the dust generated by surface mining activities, which Mr Abandar said worsened during the dry season.