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youth close down public toilet over poor management


As the people of Northern Region brace themselves ahead of national sanitation day exercise on February 7 in the northern region, some public toilets in Tamale metropolis and Sagnarigu district are in a state of mess. 

The toilets are either full to the brim or seized completely. The bad state of the toilets is compelling residents in those areas to resort to open defecation, contrary to Community Led Total Sanitation’s (CLTS) aims.

In Baayanwaya in the Dakpema electoral area of the Tamale metropolis for instance, a public toilet there has been closed down in October 26, 2014 by concerned youth of Baayanwaya.

Residents there after several complaints decided to ignore city authorities and adopted awkward means of easing themselves. In Nyohini North, residents decided to take over the management of a public toilet from the assembly man who was management it.

They took the decision following the blockage of all the manholes. Like their counterparts in other areas who have places to defecate openly, the place which could have served them is a military zone (old airport) and the implications are clear to the residents if they venture.

To address the problem, the residents organized themselves and drew off the fecal matter round the toilet openly amidst children playing.  Most of the public toilets that we visited are situated in the middle of houses without fence walls around them.

Wind blows all manner of waste into the compound houses exposing inhabitants to serious health hazards. People who used these public toilets blame the bad nature   of the toilets on the assemblies for entrusting their management into the hands of people with no idea of sanitation.

Others also blame it on the winner-takes-all system of governance creeping into the country governance system. It is common in Tamale to see ‘’Foot soldiers’’ from both the NDC and the NPP raising verbal insults on one another over management of toilets.

When they succeed in taking over the facilities, much attention is on the booty to the detriment of ensuring proper sanitary condition around the toilets. In our series on sanitation in the region ahead of national sanitation day, we are focusd our attention in two electoral areas; Shishegu in the Sagnarigu district of the Sagnarigu constituency and Baayanwaya electoral area in the Tamale south constituency respectively. Residents in these two areas are worried about their health.

They told Zaa News that, health authorities and assemblies must step in now before any cholera outbreaks. Responding to their concerns, Northern Regional Director of Environmental and Sanitation, Rex Jakpa said the population in the metropolis outweighs the facilities. According to him, stakeholders are trying to find solutions to the way and manner public toilets are being managed.



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