Fifteen (15) percent of residents of the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana’s second largest city, is said to engage in open defecation, the Waste Management Department of the Metropolitan Assembly has revealed.
Mr. Prosper Kotoka, Director in-charge of the Department, said only fifty (50) per cent of the more than two million people in the metropolis had access to household toilets.
Giving a situational report on sanitation at a meeting with the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms. Cecilia Dapaah, in Kumasi, he indicated that the Metropolis currently had thirty-five (35) percent of its public toilet requirement.
The Metropolis generates about 1, 500 tons of waste per day, with the vicinity around “Aboabo Station”, a slum suburb, being the largest producer of between two to three hundred tons.
The meeting was in line with the Minister’s working visit to the Ashanti Region to acquaint herself with the sanitation situation, while sharing the Ministry’s vision with stakeholders.
She inspected a number of toilet facilities and the sewerage system and spoke of measures being instituted to improve them to reflect modern development trends.
Mr. Kotoka hinted that plans were underway to rehabilitate the ‘haul’ road, linking the Oti landfill site to address the current operational lapses in relation to the transporting of refuse to the area.
The Assembly, he said, was overburdened with the operational cost of managing waste disposal.
Consequently, the Department was embarking on some innovative programmes, including waste-to-energy projects, to manage the situation.
Ms. Dapaah, who was not pleased with the health hazard some of the public toilets posed to the people, advised the Assembly to work with the residents in finding a lasting solution to the problem.
“The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) should engage landlords and convince them to provide household toilets for their tenants,” she stated, stressing that rooms meant for such purposes ought not to be turned into other things.
She reminded the Assembly that it could no longer sit on the fence as regards sanitation issues, given the growing population in the Metropolis.
Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi, the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), briefed the Minister on the Assembly’s flagship project, ‘Keep Kumasi Green and Clean’, which aims to restore the Metropolis to its ‘Garden City’ status.