Tension @ Shiabu Over Cholera Outbreak

Tension is gradually mounting among residents of Shiabu, a suburb of Dansoman Last Stop in the Greater Accra region over what they describe as inconsiderate management of the only liquid waste collection point in the area causing huge health challenges to residents following the recent cholera outbreak. The agitation has risen due to persistent outbreak of cholera cases in the area recording at least four deaths within the space of one month. The latest being the death of an eleven-year old boy, Samuel Sarpong a situation residents have attributed to the careless management of the liquid waste in the area. DAILY HERITAGE can authenticate that for the past ten years virtually nothing has been done by either management of the facility or the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to disinfect the toxic waste thereby breeding all kinds of flies. The spokesperson of the residents, Edward Osei told the paper that residents who contributes to the outbreak of cholera in the area by dumping liquid waste live far away and do not suffer the effect, hence, do not care its impart on the people. Mr. Osei added that a few years ago, residents in the area had a meeting with some AMA officials to deliberate on the nature of the liquid waste and how it could cause a major health challenge. At that meeting, it was resolved that residents would periodically contribute certain amounts of money to hire the services of environmental health officers to undertake regular maintenance and periodic checks to disinfect the facility from any hazardous effects. He said several years after the meeting; none of the things deliberated upon has been implemented, therefore, worsening the health situation in the area. "We will make sure we stop the regular flow of the liquid waste into the collection point because we cannot suffer the consequences of other people's free range. This is a clear case of suffering for a crime you never committed," he said. Mr. Osei further revealed that all attempts to get officials of AMA to compel people whose liquid waste flow to the collection point to address the teaming problems have falling on deaf years as none of the officials visited the area to ascertain the effect. "Because the facility is not well kept, it sometimes overflows into some households and other areas in the vicinity smelling all over," he stated. A family of two who live close to the collection point revealed to the paper that since the outbreak of cholera in the country, they are facing serious health challenges due to the breeding of both mosquitoes and flies, hence, affecting their eating habit. The paper's investigation revealed further that residents in the area have taken advantage of the situation and dumped all manner of refuse into the yard forming blocks while the place has also been converted into rearing of pigs and other domestic animals such as fowls. All attempts to speak with the Ablekuma West AMA official in charge of the area proved futile despite several calls to his cell phone while the Assemblyman of the area, Wallace Nii Takyi Commey has also refused to comment about the issue due to several efforts made to get the authorities to address the problem.