Sundays can be described as the best among all the days of the week to most residents in Jirapa and its environs in the Upper West Region.
Sundays are market days for the people of Jirapa. Market days for some residents are days for merry making, a replica of Christmas. Some prefer to call it “Christmas Day”.
Over 90 percent of the residents of Jirapa are Christians. Most residents start their Sunday by going to church to pray, after church then follows the merry making and fun. The “pito” bars and the pork joints are the busiest of places one can find on Sundays with the latest addition being “Jirapa Dubai”, people from nearby villages travel to attend market on Sundays. The streets in the town are crowded with people trooping in and out of the market.
Ironically however, Sundays which are supposed to be happy days for residents mostly end up being the worst of days for some. It has become a norm for the surgical ward of the St. Joseph’s hospital to be full with accident cases on Sunday nights. Several accidents are recorded almost every week on Sundays. Many victims sustain various degrees of injuries and some even lose their lives as a result.
These accidents occur mostly as a result of reckless motor riding. Many people after enjoying their market day and mostly as a result of intoxication turn to ride reckless. This mostly results in the clashing of motor riders and also motor riders hitting innocent pedestrians on the road. However, it is important to note some pedestrians also get drunk and by swaying about, they end up getting knocked down by equally drunk riders or sober ones.
The rate of accidents and the number of lives that are lost is actually becoming a worry to residents in the district. It is an issue that needs to be tackled with all seriousness in order to save the lives of innocent people who fall victims to these reckless riders and the dangers this has on the lives of the riders themselves who are equally important for the human resource base of the district.
Authorities in the district including the district assembly and traditional leaders need to institute measures to regulate reckless motor riding on Sundays. The police will also need to be proactive and device ways of dealing with reckless riders instead of waiting to rush to accident scenes and only interested in investigations that yield no productive results after accidents. Also, religious bodies, leaders and social activist of the Jirapa district should organize and intensify mass education on the evils of alcoholism and the resulting reckless riding.