A task-force set up to enforce sanitation by-laws in Komenda Edina Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) has arrested five persons, including an Assembly Member for allegedly indulging in open defecation.
Alex Damptey, the Environmental Science Officer for KEEA, told Citi News the five will be arraigned soon.
Narrating circumstances under which the five were arrested, Mr. Damptey said: “In our municipality, we try to go round to ensure that people do not do wrong and this morning around 5: 30, the task-force went round and spotted these people defecating openly at an unauthorized area.
“Unfortunately, one of our honourable members happened to be one of them, and he was also added and as I speak to you, they have all been sent to the Police station while we prepare them for the next line of action, that is prosecution. We arrested five people and as I speak to you they are still in the grips of the Police.”
KEEA fights open defecation to boost economy
A few weeks ago, it came to the fore that the KEEA Municipality was vigorously combating open defecation as a way of boosting the economy of the area.
Two of the area’s economic backbones, tourism and salt mining, have been negatively affected by the menace in recent years, but the Municipal Assembly says it has now mapped out measures to deal with it.
The Environmental Officer of the Municipality, Alex Kwame Damptey, noted that, open defecation, especially in and around Elmina, is largely due to the influx of fisher folks from different parts of the country as a result of the vast landing bay at Elmina.
208 districts in Ghana still practicing open defecation
In November 2017, the UNICEF District League Table report indicated that, only eight of Ghana’s 216 districts had at least a one-third [33 percent] of their communities not engaged in open defecation.
As yet, no district in Ghana has been certified as Open Defecation Free, which is the main measure under the sanitation indicator of the UNICEF District League Table.
Ghana failing to provide decent toilets
According to the U.N, 2.5 billion people do not have access to toilet facilities, most of which are in developing countries like Ghana.
Ghana was recently noted among the top 10 countries worldwide with the highest percentage of its population without decent toilets according to a report from international NGO, WaterAid.
Ghana has about 85.7 percent of its population without decent toilets, and this equals about 23 million people, according to the report.
36% of public basic schools without toilets – Report
About 7,332 out of the 20,738 public basic schools in the country do not have toilet facilities, while 6,922 do not have urinal facilities.
Additionally, 11,985, representing 58 percent of the basic schools, do not have water facilities.
For instance, out of the 3,754 public basic schools in the Ashanti Region, 1,427 are without toilet facilities, and in the Western Region 1,132 out of the 2,408 schools are without toilets.