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Ghana: Drink in a Bag

One of the things you get used to pretty quickly in West Africa is the art of drinking from a bag. In the West our drinks are always sold in bottles, boxes or cans, but in West Africa commercial soft drinks are sold in thick glass bottles which are sent back to the producer for re-use, and cans are a real rarity, often imported from South Africa and sold at a premium. However most non-corporate drinks are sold in bags, and sooner or later you just have to try one.

Bagged Water

In Ghana the bag drink takes on a whole new significance, as even the water is sold in bags. In Senegal and Mali bagged water is very much available, but most of the time it's sold in unmarked bags that could contain anything from river water to tap water, a real risk for the uninitiated traveller's stomach. This means you're stuck with buying bottles of mineral water (or, in some bigger cities, cheaper bags of mineral water) which pushes up the daily cost a lot; a bottle of water in the desert will set you back around CFA1000, or just under £1, which is fair enough when you consider it's mineral water and this is the desert, but given the amount of water you have to drink in the heat, it's a significant cost. In Ghana, though, it's a different story.