Cholera Looms As Filth Engulfs Accra

The Accra Metropolis is gradually being overtaken by refuse, posing a threat of possible outbreak of diseases in the capital.

Dump sites in major locations in the city have not been cleared, leaving piles of rubbish which are attracting flies.

Areas like Tudu, Accra Central, Kaneshie and Lapaz lorry station were all overflowing with rubbish as at the time DAILY GUIDE visited earlier this week.

Pedestrians and market women were, however, going about their normal businesses close to the rubbish not knowing what to do about the situation.

With the country still experiencing the rainy season, there is fear that the outbreak of communicable diseases like cholera is eminent if the rubbish is not cleared.

It would be recalled that two years ago, the country recorded its highest cholera cases as a result of poor waste management.

Anthony Mensah, Head of Waste Management at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), explaining the delay in waste collection, said the assembly has a specific time for clearing the waste in the city, but acknowledged the possible delay which he attributed to broken down waste collection trucks.

He said one of the trucks assigned to the Kaneshie market is faulty and is currently under repair, linking it to the possible overflow of rubbish at the site.

“When this happens, we use a wheel loader and a tipper truck to collect the rubbish on the round. That is what we are doing for Kaneshie on Saturday and Sunday, we are yet to go today,” he added.

Mr Mensah acknowledged the fact that the alternative is not the best, but he said that is the option they have in place of the waste collection trucks.

“We hope that in the coming week the trucks will be on the road again,” he said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Situational Report on Cholera Outbreak in Ghana indicates that the country has recorded some 591 confirmed cholera cases with five deaths between January and May last year.

The report mentioned that cases were recorded in 29 districts across eight regions over the period. The only regions spared were Northern and Upper East.

It disclosed that last year’s cases were a spill-over from the massive cholera outbreak last year which saw a gargantuan 28,975 cases with 243 deaths, the largest the country has ever experienced in one year.

Greater Accra Region which was mentioned as the epicentre of the outbreak last two years led last year again with 264 cases and four deaths by the close of 21st week of the year, followed closely by Eastern Region with 200 confirmed cases but no deaths.

This year, only one case has been recorded so far, but concerns are being raised over the poor management of waste which led to the cholera outbreak in the last two years.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri