Landlords owning houses without conveniences in the Upper East Region of Ghana has been given 3 months -from now to December, to construct toilet facilities for their respective houses or risk having the houses shut down. The ultimatum which was given out by the Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Ayine Bukari, forms part of the determined fight against open defecation across the country.
Minister Bukari who was speaking at a Town Hall Meeting of Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly, charged the general public to report any landlord seen defecating in the open to any assembly sanitation unit nearest to them. According to him, such landlord(s) will “be disgraced before the whole world”.
He further urged Municipal and District Assemblies in the region to form task forces that will arrest those who defecate openly and as well send them to court for prosecution.
Open Defecation in Ghana
The menace of open defecation is an old problem in Ghana, with the Upper East region being one of the places well known for the deplorable practice.
It is a common practice in the Upper East (and some other parts of Ghana), for landlords to build houses without including toilet facilities, with occupants of such houses having no option than to ease themselves in bushes, drains, ditches, dump grounds, and such like places. The region therefore topped UNICEF’s latest list of Open Defecation in Ghana.
It is to curb this menace and as well save the region’s already dented image that the Regional Minister is mandating all landlords to ensure their houses have toilet facilities by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the present Akufo-Addo government has revealed plans to build one million toilet facilities across the country to curb the menace. Security personnel are also currently being used to arrest, fine and prosecute offenders.
Concerned stakeholders are optimistic that these recent moves and stringent measures will help eliminate the problem of open defecation which has been proven to be very dangerous to health.