Forty-two-year-old, John Owusu, a resident of Asawase A-Line in the Asokore Mampong municipality of the Ashanti Region, cannot use the toilet facility in the area because it is very dilapidated.
For him, it would be better to resort to the open space in the refuse site.
“I came out early because I couldn’t ease myself. The heat was too much. Now the concrete on it is weak and it is scary. I fear I might fall into it. Now I am going to this refuse site to defecate that is the only option available,” he said.
About five meters from the dilapidated toilet facility is the main refuse dump in the community, John went to do his business.
Thirty two year-old Barikisu is also spotted at the refuse dump not to dispose-off but to defecate.
She was holding her paper that she will use to tidy herself. Barikisu takes off her pant whiles she cover herself with a piece of clothes to prevent passerby to see her nakedness, squats comfortably to defecate.
Open defecation is on the rise at Asawase A-Line because the only Public toilet facility in the area has been in a dilapidated state for the past 35 years.
For thirty- five years, this 12-seater facility has been in a poor state making it difficult for residents to use it.
Ninety five percent of the roof covering the building is off and the structure exposes users to the mercy of the weather.
Those who feels ashamed refuse to speak to this reporter but their action and that of Barikisu and John confirms that open defecation has become a normal routine in the area of over 4,000 residents.
The worrying and embarrassing trend is that both the men and women share the same space on the refuse dump when defecating.
Health experts have said unsanitary acts increases diarrhoea besides exposing the environment to contamination and diseases.
The Manhyia government hospital meanwhile, has confirmed the increased number of patients who visit the health facility came with both maleria, typhoid and diarrhoea. According to the residents in area, their complaints about the poor performance of the MCE of Asokore Mampong have been confirmed by the recent District League Table (DLT), a research conducted by UNICEF in Ghana, which placed his performance and the municipal at the bottom of the 216 league table in Ghana.
Assembly member in the area, Hon Bawa Mohammed speaking with Silver FM’s Akwadaa Nyame said, he is very worried about the situation because of the frustration and risk the situation puts them into.
“Fortunately, this community is near to Manhyia government hospital and that was the only facility available to them.
Hon Bawa Mohammed added that, efforts made at assembly meeting to fix the toilet facility have yielded no results.
According to him, it is a disgrace that a community that is close to the Manhyia palace defecate anyhow becuase there is no proper public toilet.
“The community is close to the Manhyia Palace. And without a proper toilet facility, it is a disgrace. We want help. I have reported to the MCE Hon Alidu Seidu at assembly meetings. The MCE has not responded to any of my plea, he said.
“I have got a contractor who is willing to help us but the MCE has to endorse it but he has refused to endorse.”
“We really need help from the assembly and want both the public and benevolent individuals to assist us,” he said.
According to a UNICEF report in 2017, Ghana loses an average of $79 million annually due to open defecation.
Ghana is classified among 34 countries with the highest open defecation rates of 15 percent and above.
Nineteen per cent of the total population practices open defection daily translating into one out of every five people practising it in the country.
Credit; Akwadaa Nyame (Silver FM)