It’s with a heavy heart that I write this letter about toilet facilities to landlords and ladies in Tema New Town. Landlords, in general, contribute immensely to the country’s housing sector; they usually rent out rooms or apartments to non-natives. Rooms have therefore become the proverbial ‘cocoa’ to some individuals and families in the town. In the process, landlords have indirectly provided jobs for the so called “room agents”. Despite the contributions of these landlords, about 99% of the houses in Tema Manhean lack toilet facilities.
A toilet facility is a component of a house that cannot be ignored. I’m much concerned about the toilet facilities because of what happened to me yesterday. For safety and comfort reasons, I got on-board a Metro Mass Transit (MMT) bus from Accra to Tema. In the middle of the journey, I felt the urge to attend to nature’s call. I had to sit tight in the MMT bus hoping we get to Tema within a slip second.
To worsen my plight, there was heavy traffic on the highway towards Tema community center. I had planned to alight at the last stop, to visit a place of convenience nearby. The intensity of the call of nature made me sweat and feel headache suddenly. I then remembered having a classmate who lived around the Valco Roundabout in Tema Community Four (4). Hurriedly, I alighted and rushed to his house; I was told my friend wasn’t around, and his mum offered me the keys to the latrine in their room.
Now, imagine what would have happened to me if the home I went to, in Community 4, didn’t have a toilet facility. What happened to me yesterday made me feel sorry for the teeming number of people who queue daily to access public toilets in our town. Unfortunately, the public toilets we have are few. History has it that they were constructed for the sparsely populated Tema Manhean of old. Currently, we have outgrown the facilities in the town, inhabited by people from every corner in Ghana.
Conclusion of the Toilet Matter
- 22% of Ghana’s population practice open defaecation daily.
- Only 14.9% of the population have access to household toilets
- 1 IN 3 people worldwide do NOT use a basic toilet
- 2.3 billion people have no basic sanitation facilities
- Almost 1.8 billion people drink water contaminated by faeces
It’s long overdue that we enforce one toilet per house as emphasized in the National Sanitation Campaign.
It’s about time the Tema Metropolitan Assembly teamed up to make it compulsory for every house in Tema Manhean to own a toilet facility.
Joshua Mantey Tetteh (Owula sorkorboi Behoko on Facebook).