Residents Cry Over Polluted Dam Due To Open Defecation
Residents of Chereponi in the Northern Region are complaining of heavy pollution of their only source of water in the community.
According to them, the dam, which serves them is heavily polluted by refuse and human excreta.
This is because some residents defecate in gutters around the dam with the waste products washing into the dam whenever it rains.
The dam popularly called ‘caterpillar’, is in the center of the community.
It is also the only source of water for the Chereponi community during the dry season.
The dam is currently covered with weeds and other plastic materials.
The water looks green with polythene bags and human and cattle droppings scattered around.
Some inhabitants who spoke to Citi News expressed worry about the dam's pollution and the health implications on their lives.
“This is the only source of water we have in the land that serves the community particularly the district capital. During the rainy and dry seasons, along the gutters in the night you could see people numbering more than ten defecating in the gutters, and when it rains everything is carried into the dam and the health implication on the people is serious. We can get cholera and other water borne related diseases. The worrying thing is that the very people who pollute the water are our own people, they are not strangers”, an aggrieved resident said.
“Sanitation in Chereponi is very bad, open defecation is a common thing here and when it rains everything goes into the dam. The same dam water we drink, the same water we use for our food, food sellers and even those under the school feeding all use the dam water and it is affecting all of us. The authorities must act now to save us from any calamity”, another resident fumed.
Abdul Aziz, another resident, intimated that the situation is caused by other residents, and thus wants the Chereponi District Assembly to introduce bye-laws or form a task-force that would monitor the activities of people at night.
He also asked the District Assembly to properly educate residents on the health implications of their actions.
“We are appealing to the District Assembly, the sanitation officers and other agencies concerned to educate the people on the dangers of polluting the dam. People don’t even want to drink the water because we know what we have done to the water and so why would they drink? The Assembly must form a watchdog task-force that would be monitoring the activities of people at night to make sure that people do not continue with the open defecation”, he stated.
Tahidu Abdul Razak, District Chief Executive for Chereponi, told Citi News that plans are in place to tackle the sanitation situation in the district.
“Sanitation in the district is not that bad, the district is doing well, US Aid RING is very supportive in the district in the area of sanitation. Chereponi district was fifth on the regional league table on Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in 2016/2017, but now we are third on the table. The biggest challenge is the Chereponi township and plans are in place to address that. We are to construct three toilets in Chereponi town itself and I think this will minimize the open defecation.”