Ghana was hit by sanitation related-disease, cholera, last year. The outbreak according to the Ghana Health Service was the worst to have happened in thirty years. As of November last year, nearly two hundred and fifty lives were claimed with twenty five thousand people infected. The outbreak necessitated the institution of a National Sanitation Day to help keep the country clean and to arrest the deadly cholera that had struck the country.
The festive season saw daily activities been partially undertaken. With the yuletide and New Year celebrations going to sleep, daily activities zoom into full swing. With the coming in of a New Year, a fresh life void of sanitation related diseases is expected.
However, checks at major centers of the municipality tells a different story as gathered refuse, choked gutters, stagnant water staked with filth, human and animal excreta engulfed major centers and some areas in the Municipality.
My first point of call was at the Aboley Junction. Although the streets of this area were well kempt, the gutters did not visualize a good picture. Gutters were filled with refuse indicating that people charged with cleaning these gutters seem indifferent about its state. A gutter close to the Police Headquarters was devastating. The gutter choked with dirty water is presumably used as a dumping site with the magnitude of refuse dumped in it.
The taxi rank was not different. Gutters were filled with garbage, the streets were unkempt and sadly various food vendors were seen shamefully selling very close to these dirty gutters. Surprisingly, people were seen defecating openly under the bridge on the Navrongo road.
In Zongo the story was nothing to write home about. Although a calm environment, the serenity was marred by the stench emanating from the refuse dump situated in the heart of the area. With the lack of a container to dump the refuse in, people dump refuse indiscriminately. Open defecation is the order of the day as kids and adults in-turns openly defecate on the refuse dump.
Dagmeon and the taxi-rank painted a demeaning picture of the Region. The bridge which links the Regional capital to Navrongo and Bawku is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Although an open space, kids use the place for open defecation. The area apart from it being dirty is a death trap because kids who use the space could slip and fall upon trying to get under the bridge.
Walking past the Municipal Police Station to the O.A bus terminal painted the same story. Gutters in this area were choked with refuse, garbage scattered on the streets, breeding flies which are agents of sanitation-related diseases.
The State of Sanitation in the Regional Capital is questionable with a dire need for consideration by authorities, individuals been put in charge of specific sanitation-related issues and the residents of the Region. Ghana as a country is working feverishly not to record any case of cholera as she recorded last year but with such extent of sanitation indiscipline, achieving this feat will be futile. The buck falls not only on the authorities but also the populace to be discipline. Indiscriminate disposal of refuse should stop and landlords should provide toilet facilities in their houses because that is the recipe for a disease free region. Sanitation is a shared responsibility and there is the need for residents and Officials collaborate to make Bolgatanga filth free.