The current high cost of living in Ghana is affecting the celebration of this year’s Odwira festival at Akropong in the Eastern Region.
Residents say their socio-economic conditions have been affected making it difficult for them to make merry during the festival.
Akropong residents expressed their concerns on The People’s Forum, a segment on Adom FM’s morning show, Dwaso Nsem programme Thursday.
For generations, the Odwira Festival has been celebrated by the people of Akropong, Amanokrom and Lateh in the Eastern Region.
The Festival was initiated by the 19th Okuapehene of Akuapem, Nana Addo Dankwa 1 who ruled from 1811 to 1835.
First celebrated in October 1826, its significance is linked to the victory of the people of Okuapeman over the then-powerful Ashanti army during the historic battle of Katamansu near Dodowa in 1826.
Being a Yam Festival, traditionally, the timing of Odwira also coincides with the harvest season when there is abundant food; gratitude for the harvest is especially expressed in “feeding the Ancestors.”
But residents say they are unable to celebrate such a significant festival due to the high cost of living.
“Everything has gone up in this country. Yam which used to be GH¢5.00 is now GH¢20.00; how are we supposed to celebrate Odwira?” a resident bemoaned.
A tailor at Akropong, Yaw Addo, who was expecting to cash in ahead of the Odwira festival was left disappointed.
“We used to work overnight ahead of the Odwira festival but this year, our customers are not even coming. We are very worried,” a seamstress told host, Chief Jerry Forson.
Some traders at Mandela market at Akropong also lamented about how they are losing their capital due to the cedi depreciation against the dollar.
A lady who operates a cold store at Akropong said she is unable to sell even a carton due to the increase in prices.
“A carton of chicken wings has moved from GH¢140 to GH¢280 so a lot of people have resorted to buying fish. This is affecting my business,” she said.
The traders also appealed to government to construct a modern market for them to help in their trade.