Public Health Officers from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) have arrested sixteen (16) persons for defecating in the open.
The 16 persons were arrested during the early hours of Wednesday, when the Sanitation Task Force of the Assembly, led by Environmental Health Officers embarked on a special operation within the Okaikoi South Sub-Metropolitan District as part of continuing efforts to curb open defecation in the metropolis to ensure a clean and hygienic environment.
They are Annan Tackie, Prince Nana Addo, Kwesi Agyei, Vincent Kumakpata, Kwame Eric, Shadrack Compaore, Atta Sackey, Kwaku Samuel, James Akumeah, Atta Kwei, Joseph Anele, Albert Makole, Kwaku Owusu Oduro, David Amoako, Amorbiri Ayariga and Osman Abubakari.
Head of Public Affairs, Gilbert Nii Ankrah in an interview with the media said the culprits were either arrested for defecating in the open or dumping faecal matter into drains adding that they would be given the option to pay a spot fine and cautioned to refrain from such practices or face prosecution.
He noted that as the Assembly was working assiduously to declare some communities’ open defecation free some unscrupulous individuals were also fighting to prevent its efforts and reiterated the AMA’s commitment to keeping the metropolis clean and safe to avoid the spread of diseases.
“The Public Health Department, of the Assembly had mapped out some hot spots within the metropolis and had intensified its enforcement exercises to address the challenge…The operations have started and I can assure you that our Public Health Officers led by Madam Florence Kuukyi will be hard on them in accordance with the Assembly’s bye-laws,” he said.
“It’s is unacceptable for anyone to defecate or urinate in the open or defecate in a bracket or chamber pot and pour in a drain… The 2017 Sanitation bye-law of the AMA states clearly that it is an offence to defecate in the open, drains, or one’s compound, or discharge effluent into the open, drains, a compound or the environment… Anyone found culpable is liable on summary conviction to a fine, not more than one hundred penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not less than thirty days and not more than six months or both; and in case of a continuing offence, is liable to a fine of not more than one penalty unit for each day that the offence continues, ” he added.
He used the opportunity to urge residents without proper places of convenience to contact the Assembly for assistance or construct one to help eradicated open defecation in the metropolis and for people to see a reason to stop the practice.