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06.03.2006 Regional News

Save us from water borne diseases -Communities appeal

By GNA

Ayetepa (GAR), March 6, GNA - Four communities in the Dangme West District of the Greater Accra Region, have appealed to the government to save them from the acute water shortage they have been facing for the past 15 years. Opinion leaders of the communities, Ayetepa, Mangotsonya, Kpongunor and Lochubuer in the Ningo/Prampram constituency said they have since resorted to the use of coloured water from hand dug holes, thus, leaving them with the contraction of bilharzias and guinea worm diseases.

The opinion leaders comprising chiefs, assembly members, school heads and the Ayetepa Youth and Old Students Association (AYOSA) expressed their concerns at a press conference held at Ayetepa over the weekend, saying that, the practice has impacted negatively on their health and socio-economic activities in the area.

They have therefore made a passionate appeal to the government and NGOs to come to their aid to help alleviate their plight. They made a further appeal to the government to construct asphalt road for them, since the un-tarred road has become accident-prone, while they called the Electricity Company of Ghana to provide a transformer for the area because they have been in the dark for years. Mr John Kwenortey Huago, Vice Chairman of the AYOSA said the people, including children wake up as early as 0300 hours to walk for about seven kilometres in search of water, which is sold at 1.500 cedis for a small bucket, saying that, a household spends about 22,000 cedis on water daily.

In view of that, the peasant farmers, who cultivate mostly, vegetables go to their farms late, while the few workers and school children report late to their respective places, saying that, the practice had adverse effect on their lives.

Mr Huago said, "the rainfall pattern in the area was so poor that, the streams, which should be our saviour get dried up so fast that, we rely solely on the hand dug holes, which also serve as the drinking water for livestock".

"What has worsened the situation is the discoloured water, which has affected our people so much that, some have contracted bilharzias and guinea worm diseases".

Nene Kwetey Onumapa, Chief of Mangotsonya claimed that the MP for the area, Mr Enoch Teye Mensah and the District Assembly have not responded to their several petitions on the situation reported to them. "That is why we have turned our attention to the government and NGOs to help us, else we will perish", Nene Onumapa stated. The assemblymen for the area, Mr Gibson Blebo and Mr Frederick Huago corroborated the pathetic stories. They took turns to address the conference and said the situation had resulted in the urban drift among the male youth of the area.

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