President John Mahama has called for an immediate end to open defecation which is believed to have played a significant role in the spread of cholera in parts of the country.
He said the outbreak of cholera will be difficult to manage if the people fail to play their part to complement government’s efforts.
He is asking Ghanaians to be responsible for their health and surroundings in order to break the spread of the cholera disease.
Over 1,000 cases have been reported at health facilities in seven out of the ten regions with more 100 deaths recorded within the last three months since the outbreak was first reported in Accra.
Speaking at the inauguration of the newly refurbished and expanded Iran clinic in Accra, Tuesday, the president said it is time Ghanaians saw the need to keep their environment clean and also stopped haphazard defecation.
“Sanitation facilities are provided [but] people won’t use them and some people prefer to go and do their business (defecate) outside, sometimes on the beach, on the shoreline and they say it’s more pleasant…It is totally unacceptable!.
“Cholera is caused by open defecation…and so if we must deal with cholera then we must start cleaning our environment.
The president stated that: “It is not government’s responsibility alone to keep our surroundings clean; the primary responsibility for keeping
our surroundings clean is our own responsibility”.
“Government’s responsibility and the responsibility of the District Assemblies and the Regional Coordinating Councils, is to move that garbage after you have deposited it at the right place but unfortunately we are not doing that.
“We drink sachet water and instead of putting it in a bin so that they will be sent to the garbage dump so that when the assemblies come to pick it they will move it out of the society, we just throw it outside in the street; we just throw it into the gutters [and] the gutters get choked,” president Mahama observed.