Absence of toilet facilities, myth and superstition cause of open defecation in STMA and Shama
The practice of open defecation is more prevalent among communities along the costal belt in Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis.
The fight seems not scaring the perpetrators, despite several efforts by the assembly to eradicate open defecation by arresting and prosecuting people caught in the act. Eight (8) persons out of a sample size of ten (10) are said to be practicing open defecation along the beaches, a situation which is very worrying.
One would wonder what might be the possible cause of open defecation among coastal communities in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis and other areas in the country.
A visit by Ghana Wash Journalists Network (GWJN) to four (4) coastal communities namely; Nkotompo, Nketiakrom, Ekuasi and Shama shockingly revealed that delay in the construction of a new toilet facility, closed toilet facilities and proper keeping of community toilet facilities amid myth and superstition are dominant cause of open defecation in STMA and Shama districts.
Madam Elizabeth Ephraim, a resident of Kokoado, a suburb Nkotompo in the Sekondi-Takoradi, speaking with some members of GWJN intimated that the delay of completing a 21st century toilet facility is compelling the residents to answer nature calls at the beach.
She explains that a 12-seater toilet facility whose construction started some five years ago has been halted, any explanation to the community.
She added that the community has two toilet facilities of which one is spoiled with the other in a poor sanitary condition.
” It not our desire to use the beach, but the poor sanitary condition of the toilet coupled with a halt in construction work on the new toilet facility forces us to visit the beach…. we are pleading to the authorities to resolve issues that have caused the project to be stopped and ensure work begins immediately for the completion of the stalled toiled facility.”
According to her, the toilet when completed and opened to the public will address the issue of open defecation.
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Kojo Andoh, also a resident of Nkotompo expressed concern about the practice, admitting that it has health implications especially the stench that emanate from the beach. He said the town get very smelly which is a threat to their health as they continue to inhale their excretory, noting that it has made their lives uncomfortable.
GWJN also gathered at Nketiakrom that myth and superstition is breeding open defecation in the area.
Aunty Surela who spoke with GWJN revealed that the community could only boost of a single toilet facility, but the facility had to be locked by the Assembly Member due to fear of death by the caretakers who has been employed to keep the facility.
The facility has been closed for the past three years and the members of the community have to go to the next community before access toilet facility, whilst others resort to the beach as a place of convenient.
“Three Persons who were employed by the Assembly man to manage the toilet facility have all died,” she disclosed
This she says is deterring many from picking up the job, hence the Assembly man decision to close the toilet, as members of the community have resort to use the beaches.
Currently, the toilet facility is deteriorating with its roof partially ripped off and serving as accommodation for reptiles.
Source: Ghananest.com/Matthew O. A. Dadzie
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