Residents of Tindan Kpegu, a farming community in the Tamale south constituency of the metropolis have served notice to politicians not to step in the community during electioneering campaign. Community members say they do not understand why they have been neglected by both the assembly their Member of Parliament and governments in the provision of social amenities.
Basic social amenities such as water, electricity and toilet facilities are non-existent in the area. The community which is just a stone’s throw away from Datoyili, an adjoining community has no access to these social amenities for decades now.
The only dugout providing the community with potable drinking water has been populated by animal droppings. The about two thousand people in the community compete with animals which they describe as unacceptable in the 21st century.
According to the community members, Datoyili has overshadowed Tindan Kpegu and politicians cut their visits at Datoyili, deserting them completely.
The community has, therefore, resolved that until their needs are provided they will never participate in any election and will not also allow any member of the community to go to the adjoining communities to vote. The community members in an interaction with Zaa News said they have diverse means of connecting electricity.
They explained, “We simply get sticks as our electric poles, buy wires, look for electrician and over twenty houses will connect to one meter in the nearby community.” When asked whether VRA is aware of their illegal activities, they answered in affirmative and added that they always pay their electricity bills promptly.
Such a community, according to a certified electrician, exposes itself to great danger because the electricians they engage are not professionals coupled with the use of substandard wires.
An official of the Volta River Authority in the Northern Region described the practice as illegal and urged such communities to stop those practices before the law catches up with them. “Those using sticks instead of approved electric poles are even better than those burying the wires in the ground,” VRA official told Zaa News.
Responsibility of fetching water for households is largely rest on women in the communities who by custom and tradition of the Northern Region are responsible.
Narrating their ordeals to Zaa News, Mrs Humu Issahaku said they spend about an hour in their journey in search of potable drinking water for their households. “We compete with animals for water at Fooshegu dam after ours dries up; it is worrying to us because the animals urinate inside the water and it’s not good for human consumption,” Mrs Humu Issahaku lamented.
She expressed regret that, the lack of toilet facilities in the community has reduced human dignity as they compete in the bush to ease themselves. The people in Tindan Kpengu are among the about 2.5 billion people without basic sanitation such as toilets or latrines.
Ghana has about 11 months to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target on water and sanitation. In Ghana, according to the MDG targets, 78% and 54% of the population should have access to clean water and improved sanitation respectively by 2015. Ghana also has its own national target of 85% access to safe water and basic sanitation. These targets are uniform across urban and rural areas.
Household survey by Water Aid Ghana data shows a continuous rise in the proportion of the population using a safe drinking water supply, increasing from 56% in 1990 to 83.8% in 2008 and projected to reach about 91.5% by2015.
Ghana is likely to attain only about 15% coverage by 2015, far below the MDG target of 54%
To sum it up, Mr Naa Demedeme, Acting Director in charge of Water and Sanitation of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has described it as “Open defecation” which is the last taboo of humanity which must be eliminated in Ghana. He urged Ghanaians to make sanitation a priority and put in more money to enable Ghana meet the MDG target.
For the people of Tindan Kpengu, open defecation will continue unabated though it is a taboo of humanity which must be eliminated.