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15 January 2011 | Health

No sanitation facilities in 91% of homes in Accra

AMA Chief Executive, Mr Alfred Vanderpuije
AMA Chief Executive, Mr Alfred Vanderpuije

Ninety-one per cent of all dwellings in the national capital are without private places of convenience, according to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).

The startling figures released by the Public Health Unit of the assembly also revealed that the situation had created a heavy dependence on public toilets and unapproved places for the disposal of human waste in the city.

In real figures, 114, 521 residences are without places of convenience, with 9,149 and 1,842 houses using water closets (WCs) and the Kumasi Ventilated Improved Pits (KVIPs), respectively.

A total of 3I5 houses are also using the outlawed pan latrines, with some 79 homes also using pit latrines.

This has created a situation where residents depend heavily on public toilets, which are also described as inadequate.

Consequently, the AMA has embarked on a month-long house-to-house inspection exercise to serve notices to those houses without the facilities and the owners are expected to provide the facilities by the end of September this year.

As the AMA exercise to investigate the number of places of convenience in properties progresses, it has established that there are even more households in the national capital without the basic facility than previously estimated.

At Abossey Okai, for instance, over 70 per cent of buildings, according to the Director of the Metro Public Health, Dr Simpson Anim Boateng, do not have places of convenience.

Dr Boateng, who is in charge of Ablekuma Central for the exercise, explained that property owners at Abossey Okai had converted their facilities into shops or additional rooms.

According to the AMA Chief Executive, Mr Alfred Vanderpuije, property owners who fail to comply with the assembly's directive will be prosecuted.

Under AMA bye-laws, property owners are expected to provide places of convenience in any building meant for either residential or commercial purposes.

"Over the years, however, we have not been able to effectively enforce this law," he stated.

Mr Vanderpuije said the assembly was going to monitor the situation after the one-month exercise to ensure that property owners at least made the effort to reconvert or build the facility.

quot-img-1In almost every case there id a sense of urgency.

By: FRANCIS TAWIAH , quot-img-1