Residents of Fante New Town in the Kumasi Metropolis have called on city authorities to adopt stricter measures in tackling open defecation which they say is a common practice in the area.
The decision by operators of a public toilet facility within the area to close early, according to residents forces people to engage in open defecation.
They also want the authorities to take action against public toilet operators who connect pipes into the drains, thus emitting a pungent stench.
“I just found out that people have been defecating in the gutters. I saw some of them so I got closer to them and asked them what is going on and they told me the amount that is being charged at the public toilet is too much and they can’t afford it. So usually in the evening, you would see a lot of people defecating in the gutters. So it either they reduce the prices or help landlords put up toilets in their houses”.
“The young people are fond of defecating in the open, I wish there was a task force here at night to patrol these areas. If they arrest some culprits, there will be sanity in this area”.
Meanwhile, the City authorities during their visit to various houses at Afful Nkwanta, have given all landlords within the metropolis a six-month ultimatum to provide toilet facilities in every home or face prosecution.
Osei Assibey-Antwi, Mayor of the Kumasi, said they are educating the people on the need for toilet facilities, but after the six-month ultimatum they will take action.
“SDG goal 6 talks about the need for clean water and sanitation, and this is compulsory. If you look at KMA [Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly] by-laws, it is clearly stated that you can’t build a house without a toilet facility. In one of the houses that we visited, a toilet facility had actually been turned into a rentable room and someone was staying in it. So we educated them and gave the woman [Landlady] six months to provide a toilet facility for the house. And by the end of the six months if the toilets are not provided we will take legal action against the landlords. Today we are just educating them, the enforcement team will follow up”.