Residents of Onumaku bemoan lack of potable water, sanitation facilities and school feeding programme

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Sat, 20 Mar 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Correspondence from Eastern Region

Onumaku, a farming community in the Yilo Krobo Municipality of the Eastern Region appears to be marginalized with many social amenities lacking.

A visit by GhanaWeb to the area revealed that aside the provision of electricity, a basic school and one mechanized borehole for the entire community, the people had very little to boast of.

Other social amenities such as a toilet facility, a market, waste disposal, adequate sources of potable water and a health facility are lacking in the community with the Dadematse and other opinion leaders launching an appeal to government for support.

Decrying acute water problems confronting Onumaku, the Dadematse of the area, Nene Padi Keteku in an interview said only one out of four boreholes was functioning and which the entire community depended on.

The quality of water from this borehole, he bemoaned as not being good enough for use, adding that the provision of pipe-borne water would solve the problem.

“We have four boreholes in the community out of which three have broken down. We have only one functioning borehole but this [water] doesn’t taste good, it is not good for cooking or for bathing so we need pipe-borne water,” said the traditional leader, adding that the only borehole could not meet the water needs of the entire community.

According to him, school children had to form long queues to access the water from the only functioning borehole. He said, “school children in this community have to form long queues to be able to access the water from this borehole so we plead with the government to provide pipe-borne water for us.”

Madam Mercy Tetteh, the ‘community queen mother’ told GhanaWeb that urgent steps must be taken to solve the problem.

“The lack of water is of great concern to us, we don’t have water. We have four boreholes but all are broken down except this one. Even with this, the quality is bad and can’t be used for anything,” she appealed.

According to her, though this problem has been brought to the attention of authorities, nothing has been done to address their plight.

Asked where they got their current drinking water from, Madam Mercy Tetteh said they are forced to travel to the nearest community which is Oterkporlu to access potable water. Other times too, they rely on untreated water brought by tricycle operators fetched from nearby streams which they buy at one cedi per gallon.

Another opinion leader who gave his name as Elder Narh expressed similar sentiments. He said though the only surviving mechanized borehole was provided by an NGO, the electricity bills required for the running of the facility is becoming a challenge.

School feeding programme

The only community basic school in the area, according to the community folks is also currently not enrolled on the school feeding programme, forcing some parents to withdraw their kids and enroll them in nearby communities where the programme is running.

One of the community members, Douglas Kwasi who spoke with GhanaWeb expressed concern over the issue.

“We need the school feeding programme here too as the absence of the programme is forcing some of the parents to send their wards to schools where the school feeding programme is running,” he complained bitterly.

Sanitation facilities

The people in this community are also forced to dispose of refuse indiscriminately as there are no refuse dumps or proper refuse collection points.

The situation, they say has resulted in the indiscriminate and improper disposal of waste in the community.

Similarly, the absence of a toilet facility also emerged as a matter of concern to the people who say the absence of a place of convenience bothered them a lot.

According to them, the circumstances has compelled those without the facility in their homes to resort to open defecation in nearby bushes.

Lack of speed ramps

The community which is also one of several located along the Odumase-Asesewa highway is at the mercy of speeding cars endangering the lives of the people including children.

The traditional leader and his elders recounted to GhanaWeb how the community lost two children to speeding vehicles.

To avoid further accidents and loss of lives, GhanaWeb observed that sand was the main material used by the residents to lay the ramps in the absence of professional ramps.

The Dadematse and his people expressed concern at the development and called on authorities of the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) to a matter of urgency attend to their concerns.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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