Ho risks possible disease outbreak due to the continuous use of a small and unhygienic slaughterhouse while a new one constructed for them has been abandoned.
Consumers of meat in the Ho Municipality of the Volta Region are alarmed over a possible disease outbreak due to the unhygienic conditions under which meat is prepared from the town’s major slaughterhouse.
Meanwhile, a new slaughterhouse constructed under the Ghana Urban Management Pilot Project remains abandoned, although authorities have refused to allow the Butchers Association to use the facility citing lack of basic equipment to serve its purpose.
An average of 10 cattle are slaughtered daily in Ho. All these cattle are inspected by officials from the Veterinary and the Public Health unit of the Municipal Assembly.
The carcasses are either partially or totally condemned depending on their levels of infection.
But hygiene within and around the slaughterhouse is nothing to write home about.
The Chief Butcher, Awudu Usmanu, told Citi News that they had on several occasions appealed to the Assembly to allow them to use the new facility but to no avail.
“We do not have the equipment to make the place operational but if they allow us now, we will start using it. We are ready at any time to move in there,” Mr Usmanu said.
Mr Usmanu further explained that he had personally advised the municipal assembly to “allow the butchers to start using the place and site a cattle market close to it” to maximise its commercial value but the assembly was considering giving the new place to private hands to manage despite opposition from the butchers.
The chief butcher argued that giving the new facility to “profit-motivated business persons will make the charges rise unduly” a situation which will deter people from slaughtering animals legally.
“Illegal slaughtering of animals will pose a very dangerous health threat to the society,” the chief butcher lamented in a Citi News interview.
The new structure is overgrown with weeds, with some of its fittings missing.
Part of the ceiling has given way with cracks developing in the walls.
On a separate visit to the new abattoir, the security man on duty who spoke to Citi News on grounds of anonymity confirmed that some air conditioners had gone missing.
The security man said he and his colleagues have pleaded with the assembly to procure herbicides to be used in killing the weeds which have become a habitat for snakes but that is yet to be heeded.
The Immediate past Municipal Chief Executive Officer of the Ho Municipality, John Nelson Akorli, told Citi News that the Assembly during his tenure engaged people to install some machines in the building so that it could be managed for the time being.
He said the assembly was waiting on the Regional Coordinating Council to complete the procurement processes since the money involved exceeds the assembly’s threshold.
The current MCE, Prosper Pi-Bansah, who was speaking after his endorsement by the Assembly, says he would expedite work on the abattoir, the landfill site, and the market building, all of which have been abandoned under the Gump Project.