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30.03.2006 Regional News

Children in KEEA use the beach as toilets

Children in KEEA use the beach as toilets

Elmina, March 30, GNA- A survey conducted by the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) district health directorate indicate that 90 per cent of children in the district use the beach in their communities as their places of convenience.

This is because according to some of them, their parents and guardians are unable to afford a fee of 100 cedis paid for each visit to a public toilet, while others claim that, they are prevented by adults, from using the toilets.

The district director of health services, Dr Yaw Ofori-Yeboah, who painted this dismal picture at a stakeholders' forum to deliberate on measures to stem the perennial cholera outbreak in the district, expressed concern that some adults were also culprits. The forum, which was on the theme, "reducing the burden of cholera in the KEEA district", was attended by traditional rulers, opinion leaders, assembly members and health officials.

Dr Ofori-Yeboah said within the past 10 years, there have been 1,000 cases of cholera outbreak in the district with 15 deaths, including 240 cases involving five deaths this year alone. He said records indicate that almost 95 per cent of the cases involved people living in communities along the coast, and mentioned indiscriminate dumping of refuse, unhygienic sources of water in places like Komenda, and failure of food vendors to sell in clean and healthy surroundings, as contributing to the frequent cases of the disease in the area.

He therefore tasked all stakeholders to help intensify education in their communities about the benefits of sound environmental sanitation to help curb the rate of spread of preventable diseases. For their part, the participants, also expressed concern about the situation, with some of them calling for the enforcement of the law, which makes it mandatory for the provision of toilets in households, and on the assembly to also enforce its by-laws on sanitation. Others also expressed the view that some people had resorted to defecating at the beach because the number of public toilets were inadequate and also not well kept.

The district coordinating director, Mr Kwaku Akpotosu, who presided, gave the assurance that the government was making efforts to improve the water supply situation in the district. He echoed calls on the people to help ensure clean and healthy surroundings, and stressed that the assembly was determined to enforce its by-laws on sanitation, adding that it was imperative for them to help curb preventable diseases to sustain funds for the health insurance scheme.

He warned that those who flout the by-laws on sanitation would be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent. 30 March 06