Activities of night soil carriers in the Twin-City of Sekondi/Takoradi is making life unbearable for workers of a number of businesses and state institutions.
Workers of the Minerals Commission, Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Labour Office, Survey Department, as well as students of a technical school, some churches and other residents are forced to withhold their breath intermittently as a result of the foul stench that emanates from a pond of poopoo they have created directly opposite these offices.
Customers who frequent these offices are not spared the ordeal either as the night soil carriers shit-bomb the locality regularly from pan latrines they empty from homes still making use of the outlawed toilet system.
The Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) banned the use of pan latrines in homes about a decade ago but failed to cover the manhole, providing pasture for domestic poultry and other birds.
Daily Graphic investigations indicated that apart from dumping near these offices, night soil carriers after emptying the pans from homes that contract their services, dump the waste in lagoons, gutters and nearby bushes.
When the STMA outlawed pan latrines about 10 years ago under its urban environmental and sanitation project, it went into an agreement with owners of homes that required support to build water closet facilities.
Under the project, the assembly was to pay 50 per cent of the cost of the facility while owners of the property pay the other 50 per cent. At the end of the project, the STMA was expected to carry out a survey and enforce the ban.
Many of the homes visited by the Daily Graphic still operated the pan latrine system, and as though oblivious of the health hazard and discomfort posed by their continuous infraction of the bye-laws, the occupants the occupants said even though there are public toilets in the localities, they could not queue in the mornings just to attend to the call of nature.
The pan latrine therefore provides much convenience, plus the carriers evacuate the pans overnight and send the poop far away so they don’t get to confront the stench.
The carriers also make no effort to send their load to the engineered land field site at Essipon.
A recent study by the Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate (EHSD) of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, established that there are some 20,000 pan latrines in Accra which are emptied in opened places.
According to the report some of these pan latrines could be found in police quarters and public bungalows in the Accra metropolis, all posing great health hazards to the people.
Picture & Story: Moses Dotsey Aklorbortu, Takoradi
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