The youth chief of Chorkor has called for support to rid the coastal community in the Accra Metropolitan Area (AMA) of open defaecation.
Nii Ona Ni Ona I made this call during a field visit by members of the Ghana WASH Journalists Network (GWJN) to assess the state of sanitation and open defecation in the community.
Open defaecation is a precursor of many infectious diseases including cholera , Diarrhoea and typhoid
The young ruler who nominated a youth of the community to accompany the team on its rounds, said many of the residents of Chorkor depend on public latrines and since the cost of using these public latrines had gone high, “many have resorted to defaecating in the Chemue lagoon, in drains or along the chorkor beach.”
“Some of the houses have been able to build the biodigester toilets being built by the GAMA project and are using it, but many others have not, so the practice of open defecation continues in the community,” Nii Ona told the GWJN team.
He added that, “When you visit the beach early in the morning and evenings, you will see both male and female squatting side-by-side and defecating openly, which is an eye-sore.”
The young ruler lauded the government for introducing the GAMA toilets, urging that more poor households be supported to construct them n order to bring the practice of open defaecation to an end.
Edward Afful, an elderly man living close to the Chemue Lagoon told the team that all the members of his household patronize a public toilet named Nkrumah Yard.
“I no more work, so I depend on the little remittance my children send me, and that is not enough to pay for the new toilets, but we would be glad if the government helps us to construct toilets in the house,” he said.
The 80-year old added that although the households depend on public toilet, there are emergency situations in which people are pressed in the night or have running tummies, “and in these situations, the public toilets could be too far away.”
He therefore urged authorities to assist residents in the community to acquire household toilets.
Alberta Naa Deide Armah, a prepared food vendor, deplored the situation in the community, where, she said, people defaecate in polythene bags and throw into drains.
She added that although people were making efforts to construct household toilets, their efforts were not yielding fruits because they could not raise enough funds to meet the requirements.
The team paid a visit to the Chorkor Beach and observed both young and old defaecating at the beach while others emptied their chamber pots and other containers of liquid waste on the beach.
GWJN is supported by the +1 Global Fund of the Roddenberry Foundation and other partners in the field study.