Posted: Thursday 4th September 2014 at 10:31 am

How Germany Avoided Cholera

Na who cause am? So we want to die in the heat of this cholera epidemic and probably take solace in blaming the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) for not providing refuse containers?

The AMA Mayor is alive. And like many state actors, he is in fact healthy. Yeah, you are somewhat right to suggest that he doesn’t care. But have you also thought for a second, if those dying of cholera and people around them do also care?

Why won’t we die if we keep blaming, blaming, and by so doing we shirk our own responsibility. Why not, we are expecting the negative result from our own ill actions to be the portion of the one we are pointing one accusing finger at; meanwhile we have directed the remaining fingers towards our direction and they decently discharge weapons of mass destruction at us. So who is receiving more salvos and who should die first?

The death toll is nearing one hundred out of over 10,000 reported cases in 52 districts across seven of the country’s 10 regions, in just three months since the outbreak, I heard on Tuesday, September 2, 2014.

How many times education should go on and adverts run for us to practise simple hygiene at home and in our communities? I guess radios and televisions, of course the newspapers; in fact all media outlets including the new babies – social media network – should halt everything except hammering on good hygiene and proper sanitation practices for one month to sink home some sense into a naughty, scratchy oblongata in our dusty skull.

I was appalled to be greeted by this headline: “Mensah Guinea residents blame cholera epidemic on AMA’s failure to provide waste bins”. As captured by myjoyonline.com on Wednesday, September 3, 2014.
Apparently Mensah Guinea is in Ghana. If it had not been because of the well known local name – Mensah – I would have disowned this community. It is located behind the high-flying Arts Centre in Accra – a famous tourist destination in Accra, regrettably though.

They had the effrontery to blame the increasing number of cholera-related deaths and illnesses in their vicinity on the failure of city authorities to provide them with waste bins.

Don’t get me wrong. I will be the last person to speak for the AMA! Why??? Fine, that would be when I don’t have anything better doing. I am more concerned about our living comrades putting their house together and in order. Who knows, we will be sitting side by side to cheer one of the Black football groups at any soccer mundial.

Chief don’t be bothered much. As usual of us, I must admit, we know how to waste money well, well. God forbid that we will spend a few cedis on waste bins. Nonetheless, we will pump wads of money to show off in burying the dead. You see? Can’t you still imagine?!! You kwraaaaa!!!!

The myjoyonline.com story further stated: “Their complaints came to light when residents embarked on a rigorous clean-up exercise Wednesday following AMA’s ultimatum for them to clear filth in the area or have their structures demolished by Friday.”

Now you seeee!!! Oga open your eyes. Not too wide lest some stubborn Mensah Guinea housefly dumps cholera infested element through your squint eyes.

Come to think of it. They were capable of cleaning their surroundings at their own cost, and yet would wait for a marching order from the same lackadaisical AMA, while they die one after the other. What a Kalybosical waoooow!!!

Sometime this year, I hang on a trotro front with a certain obnoxious man. And instead of praying that the swaying commercial vehicle takes us to our destinations safely, we engaged in a seriously needless argument.

Residents around Lapaz pedestrian footbridge on the George Walker Bush Highway (N1 Highway) had dumped waist-high collections of waste. It happened months prior to the cholera outbreak, and I prophesied, not proud though, that the people were only inviting illness to themselves and innocent commuters. Voila! We are all wobbling in cholera infested cities as some precious lives extinct on daily basis.

Annoyingly, this man by my side, luckily for him he was thrice huge my size I would have elbowed him ah, saw nothing wrong with people gathering refuse from their houses, shops and wherever to be dumped along a prominent road. He nauseatingly commended the residents for exposing the incompetency of the government. I hope he has not been called to glory to watch and applaud the government being shamed dying of our action.

MY GERMANY EXPERIENCE
Courtesy the defunct International Institute of Journalism (IIJ of Inwent), I was in Germany, Berlin to be precise. More accurately, inside Osnabrücker, somewhere Mierendorfplatz. We were instructed to keep our refuse inside whenever the waste container placed on the yard was full. Nobody, including me, dared to overflow the container.

I must concede it doesn’t take days to get the container emptied. However, we were very cautious in generating refuse anytime the container was full, unless you want to sleep with heap of refuse in your room.

Can you imagine the cacophony that would take over the airwaves should such directive be issued anywhere in Ghana?

This, I believe, is one of many little things Germany did to avoid any cholera epidemic.

I doff my hat for residents and authorities in Germany. They worked hand in hand to ensure that their environment was clean and neat. Cholera epidemic would sound like a myth in the ears of persons born few decades ago. It’s about attitude! People would no empty solid waste and human excreta into gutters immediately they see the cloud gathering to rain like in Ghana.

It is disgraceful that in the 21st century people will contract and die from Cholera.

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