Open defecation, stinking refuse dumps sum up insanitary conditions in Gyakiti

Vlcsnap 2021 04 27 10h02m10s565.png A photo of the refuse dump

Wed, 28 Apr 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Correspondence from Eastern Region

Some residents of Gyakiti in the Eastern Region have resorted to open defecation as they await the completion of two modern toilet facilities which began three years ago.

A dilapidated old toilet was razed down to pave way for the construction of a new one.

Most residents who do not have toilet facilities in their homes have therefore resorted to the backward practice of defecating in surrounding bushes and in open spaces.

Some of them in an interview with GhanaWeb said though the situation was a big bother for them, they have no option than to find an alternative; open defecation.

They said the completion of a decent toilet facility, could help improve personal and environmental hygiene amongst them.

The Mmrantehene of Gyakiti, Kwadjo Agyei said the absence of a toilet in the community has accounted for the open defecation.

“The fact is, everybody goes to the bush, nobody is telling us anything, we also don’t receive any assistance from anybody and this is of great concern to us and has even resulted in cases of malaria in our community.”

According to him, though they discourage members of the community from engaging in the act, it has proven unsuccessful due to the absence of a toilet facility in the community and in most homes.

“We talk to them but since majority of them do not have the facility in their homes, it doesn’t work out even if we ask them to stop,” he added.

Twenty-seven year old Sakyibea also disclosed to GhanaWeb that she resorts to easing herself in the bush but however called on authorities to expedite action on the two toilets under construction to stop the practice as it poses serious health risks to them.

“When it rains, the fecal matter is washed into the ground water we fetch, that also gives us sicknesses; some defecate close to the water bodies so the moment it rains, it’s washed into the water,” said Sakyibea.

Asked if there was a toilet facility in her home, she answered in the negative, boldly admitting that the entire household resort to the bush.

“We all go to the bush. We are many in this house; more than 15. Everybody goes to the bush because we don’t have a toilet and the fowls also scavenge on the fecal matter and come home with it.”

26-year-old Mustapha Mohammed, told GhanaWeb that the entire community resorts to the bush or sometimes a toilet facility at a nearby basic school.

“There is no toilet here apart from the school toilet which everyone uses. Others also resort to the bushes. We want government to come and help us. We know they are doing their best but they should come and assist us too.”

Assemblyman for the Gyakiti Electoral Area, Seth Ofori called on stakeholders to ensure the completion of the projects to safeguard the health of the people.

“Currently, we have two public toilet facilities under construction but prior to that, we don’t have any place of convenience for the community so it’s all about open defecation for my people so currently, we are appealing to the government and all other industry players to come to our aid to finish this project under construction otherwise, very soon all they’ll hear of is cholera and other outburst of infectious diseases in Gyakiti,” he said.

According to him, the people, the majority of whom do not have places of convenience in their homes, have resorted to easing themselves in surrounding bushes.

“People of the community wake up every morning and walk into the bushes, some go to friends who have these facilities in their homes, nonetheless most of them still go to the bushes to ease themselves.”

On whether the actions of the community members were not exposing them to health implications, Seth Ofori who cited reported cases of typhoid fever in the community fears there could soon be an outbreak of cholera or typhoid if nothing was done about the situation.

Poor waste disposal

The Gyakiti Assemblyman also appealed to the Local Assembly to help the community fix its refuse site which is a nuisance that poses health risks to them.

With no refuse container for the people to dump their refuse into, they have no option but create a refuse dump close to their homes.

“Currently, the refuse dump is overrunning its territories and we’ve written to other players to come and help us move it but as at now, we’ve not gotten any prompt response so we’re still in need of support to clear this one,” Seth Ofori told GhanaWeb.

Neighbouring homes and others far from the dump are forced to endure the stench on a daily basis attracting house-flies.

As part of efforts to contain the situation, the Assemblyman said periodic communal labours are organized to burn the refuse, an action that is not enough to contain the huge heap of garbage.

The residents fear the situation could lead to an outbreak of diseases and therefore appealed to the Asuogyaman District Assembly to assist them in relocating the refuse dump or provide them with refuse containers.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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