Some residents of Abeka-Free Pipe, particually those living around the Brenya Ave Street, have resorted to open defecation in a gutter under a bridge, due to the lack of toilet facilities in the area as well as in their homes.
The residents, both old and young, lined up by the gutter, mostly at dawn between the hours of 4am to 5am to defecate indiscriminately.
Health expects have warned that open defecation causes diseases such as diarrheal, typhoid, cholera, intestinal worm infection, hepatitis, polio, trachoma and dysentery, but the residents say they have no option since there are no toilet facilities in the area.
One of the residents, who spoke under anonymity, blamed the local assembly for failing to provide them with a toilet facility despite severally promises.
“We don’t like doing this, but we have no option, the closest one available is the one at the Abeka Market which is far from here, and usually has a long queue early in the morning”, he said.
Another resident, who could perhaps, be described as a good Samaritan, also said that he allow his neighbours access to his facility, but he became fed up due to the pressure.
“My toilet was used by many due to this issue, and so I decided not to lock it at all. But I locked it because I realized the situation was getting bad since the ladies were being infected with some diseases (candidiasis), and the place is not also being kept clean”, he intimated.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), open defecation in 2014 was the leading cause of diarrheal death, an average of 2000 children under the age of 5 die every day from diarrheal.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in a press release titled ‘Lack of toilets, dangerous for everyone’ indicated that, “the challenge of open defecation is one of both equity and dignity, and very often of safety as well, particularly for women and girls…They have to wait until dark to relieve themselves, putting them in danger of attack, and worse, as we have seen recently’.
Residents therefore, prayed their local authority and government to come to their aid.
Story by: OKYERE GIFTY ADUBEA