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25.07.2009 General News

Don't convert lavatories into bedrooms - KMA

By Daily Graphic/Ghana
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A number of landlords in Kumasi are converting places of convenience and bathrooms in their houses into bedrooms for renting.

The Director of Environmental Health at the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Mr John Donkoh, who announced this, said the assembly was preparing to clamp down on the practice, since it was in clear contravention of the assembly's existing bylaws.

Under KMA by-laws every household in the metropolis is expected to have a toilet facility. This is to improve environmental sanitation, and cut down the cost incurred by the assembly in the construction of public toilets.

Mr Donkoh, who was speaking at a workshop organised by the KMA to brief journalists on the assembly's operations on Thursday, said the practice, if not checked, would compound the environmental challenges facing the metropolis.

He said food safety was one critical area that continued to attract the department's attention and gave the assurance that any food vendor operating in unhygienic conditions would not be tolerated.

Mr Donkoh said Kumasi had not experienced any outbreak of diseases transmitted by animals because, of the enforcement of environmental sanitation by-laws.

On waste management situation in the metropolis, the Director of the Waste Management Department of the KMA, Mr Anthony Mensah, said waste management continued to be a major headache of the assembly because of the huge cost involved in it. He said while the cost of managing waste for a month amounted to GH¢450,000, the assembly was able to recover just GH¢60,000 leaving a deficit of about 80 per cent.

It was against this background that the assembly introduced the pay-as-you-dump policy on refuse disposal so that some appreciable amount would be raked in to reduce the deficit.

Mr Mensah said it would be very difficult for the KMA to meet the entire cost of waste management that was why it relied on the government for support.

"Unfortunately government support does not come regularly so we continue to owe service providers," he said.

The Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Sarpong, said he was determined to ensure that all by-laws of the assembly were enforced to the letter.

He said it was his vision to see a better Kumasi under his administration, and therefore called for the support of all concerned residents to enable this dream to come true.

The Akyempimhene, Oheneba Adusei Poku, who chaired the function, said it was a fact that "Kumasi is dirty".

He, therefore, stressed the need for the residents to allow the assembly to carry out programmes and projects that would bring some sanity into the metropolis.

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