Opinions Mon, 1 Aug 2011

Killer Mosquitoes ravage Juaben but nobody cares

Juaben in the Ashanti region is one of the few most positively talked-about towns in the Ashanti region with macadamized main and back streets. The town is clean with perfectly constructed open-gutters having the required gradients permitting the easy flow of rain and wastewater. Her streetlights are the envy of the surrounding sister towns.

The paramount chief of the town, Nana Otuo Serebuor II, a dynamic and farsighted individual with envious social standing, has since his enstoolment over thirty years ago, been working tirelessly to ensure Juaben gets its fair share of essential developments. He does not want to see Juaben deprived of its fair share of the national pie. He has garnered a national reputation as an electrical expert who works alongside electrical engineers and local citizens when it comes to installing public electricity in Juaben. He has made himself approachable, listens to the concerns of his citizens and has their interests at heart at all times. He has strived hard to set up an ever-growing oil plantation with mill that provides the youth of the town jobs.

However, his oil mill from the look of things has not been that perfect blessing as anticipated by the citizens of Juaben for two reasons. The factory that has expanded beyond recognition within the last few years, chalking up success after success, has in its trail concomitant dangers to the locality and the noble citizens of Juaben. The oil mill discharges its waste products directly into the adjacent river "aprapon" which flows to join "anankwea", contaminating the rivers and rendering them not only undrinkable, disease-infested but also, breeding grounds for maggots. From the information gathered from some reliable citizens of Juaben, the waste products have equally infected rivers "Baaka" near the junction to Asiampa, "notore" and "oworam". The inadvertent destruction of the water bodies in the Juaben environment will surely affect the ecology of the area sometime to come if not now. The good villagers that once used these rivers for their source of drinkable water are now compelled to rely on boreholes for water.

Killer mosquitoes have astonishingly infested Juaben. The town is clean and tidy yet it has become the breeding ground for malaria-carrier mosquitoes. It was not so bad before the establishment of the expansive oil mill with the attendant deleterious disposal of its waste products into the rivers.

Could Nana Otuo Serebuor II put in place effective methods to eradicate mosquitoes throughout Juaben? Many Juaben citizens I interacted with and interrogated are of the opinion that the mosquito infestation is the direct result of the harmful discharge of the oil mill's waste product into the rivers. The rivers hardly easily wash down the waste products as expected. The weeds impede the flow of the waste products causing some sort of stagnation. These stagnated patches of water and waste products become perfect breeding grounds for these killer mosquitoes.

It is not right for Nana Otuo Serebuor II and his business associates (his two nephews resident in the US) to continue to acquire their wealth at the detriment or expense of the innocent people of Juaben. This declaration is my personal opinion. For the second time that I intended to spend quality nights in Juaben for many years running, mosquitoes floored me each time. Most Juaben citizens aware of the source of the mosquitoes are worried but fear to make their views known to the chief. According to them, he used to spray the gutters, the trees in the town and the nearby bushes to rid Juaben of mosquitoes but has lately stopped for no apparent reason. That measure to me was just for short term. It could not even yield any positive results as attested by its stoppage.

May all concerned citizens of Juaben worldwide join me to plead with Nana Otuo Serebour II and his business stakeholders to help exterminate the tormenting killer mosquitoes from Juaben? He must also help preserve the water bodies in the area as best as he can to serve as source of potable water to the villagers that depend on them.

Rockson Adofo
Columnist: Adofo, Rockson