The Ghana Museums and Monument Board (GMMB), has expressed worry over the increasing phenomenon of open defecation in the eastern side of the Cape Coast Castle.
GMMB said the unfortunate practice threatened tourism drive and the sanctity of the magnificent historical edifice and perpetrators would not be spared when caught.
Mr Clifford Ashun, the Central Regional Director of GMMB said: “After months and years of sustained public sensitization with the security services to end open defecation close to the Castle, the practice continues unabated. Many of the residents see no fault with it.
“They have turned the rocky sea defense which is a beauty to behold as their permanent places of convenience. You will see them squatting on the rocks doing their own thing with impunity and not concerned of the consequences of their actions, and every effort to stop them has yielded no results.”
Mr Eshun disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the commemoration of the International Museums Day (IMD) at the Cape Coast Castle.
Going forward, he advised the people engaged in the unfortunate practice to change their attitude or face prosecution when arrested.
The global celebration of IMD had since 1977 been held annually on May 18 under the coordination of the International Council of Museums to encourage managers of museums to engage their communities through special exhibitions, guided tours, workshops, and interactive activities.
It also seeks to foster dialogue, encourage learning, and inspire creativity among visitors of all ages and backgrounds to promote sustainable investments in museums.
The 2023 celebration, held on the theme: “Museums; Sustainability and Well-being”, highlighted on the important role museums play in promoting sustainable well-being, challenges faced in preserving artifacts, conducting research, and providing educational programmes.
The ceremony was graced by officials from the Ghana Education Service, traditional and religious leaders, and students.
Addressing the gathering, Mr Isadore Armah, the Executive Director of the Ghana Heritage Conservation Trust, said Museums were tapestry woven with threads of diverse traditions, languages and customs that remained critical to maintaining the cultural heritage of a people.
“It is the echoing through the Ashanti region, the vibrant kente cloth adorning the people of the Akan, the stories whispered by the ancient walls of Elmina Castle.
“It is our shared inheritance, a precious gift that connects us to our past and guides us into the future,” Mr. Isadore stated.
By protecting and preserving cultural heritage, he indicated was the way to ensure that future generations could learn from and appreciate the wisdom, knowledge, and traditions of their ancestors.
However, he said it required meticulous research, scientific expertise, and careful examination of artifacts, ensuring their protection from the ravages of time, climate, and human activity.
Mr Robert Morgan Mensah, Head of Education at GMMB, reiterated the importance of Museums saying they served as community hubs, that brought people together and provided spaces for social interaction and engagements.
“Museums are sources of inspiration and creativity. They expose visitors to unique and thought-provoking experiences, sparking imagination and fostering new ideas.
“Museums often showcase innovative contemporary artworks, pushing the boundaries of creativity and challenging conventional thinking,” he noted.