Is Accra Winning The War Against Cholera? Mayor�s Action Leaves Victims Devastated

Ghana, has failed to deal with the increasing rate of poor sanitation for many years. A large portion of the nation�s failures, could be linked to the discovery of sachet water and issues relating to rural urban migration. As a result of this, notable disease like cholera has been on the rise and several human lives have been lost as a result of the country�s poor sanitation. In the midst of the Cholera out-break, the uncontrolled flames of Ebola is also hovering around countries close to Ghana. Mensah Guinea is a slam which is close to the sea and located in Accra. Hundreds of illegal structures located in the area, have been demolished as a result of cholera outbreak which led to the death of sixteen people early this year. In an interaction with Nii Akwei, a lifeguard whose only brother contracted the disease and passed on in June, this year, he explains that poor insanitory conditions, have contributed largely to the spread of the cholera disease within the enclave. �Food sold here are uncovered and are not served in the right condition for consumption. We defecate in the open and there is no proper place for us to dump our refuse�, Nii narrates. He reveals that when his brother first contracted the disease, he never visited the hospital to seek medical attention because they had no idea it was cholera. But rather, Nii claims he personally visited a local pharmacy shop to buy medication used to treat stomach upsets and diarrhea for his brother. With a sad face, he reveals that his ailing brother passed away days later. �The main reason my brother couldn�t show up at a clinic or hospital was because we had no money to pay the bills�, he disclosed. The annual cycle of cholera outbreaks is linked to insanitary conditions and unacceptable socio-cultural habits, coupled with an infrastructure deficit and Mensah Guinea is no different. Its immediate surrounding looks unclean to be inhabited by humans, but Nii Akwei reveals that due to the nature of his work, he decided to set up his home at the place. Majority of the housing structures located there are wooden in nature and there is no proper layout. The area has no proper drainage system and filth has taken over vast portions of the land. Heaps of rubbish can be found everywhere but Nii Akwei points out that he has lived in the condition for more than seven years and doesn�t believe the filth would be cleared anytime soon. In an attempt to create awareness about improving sanitation conditions, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) under the oversight of its sector minister, Hon. Julius Debrah, recently announced that government, has invested heavily in infrastructural projects such as drainage, water supply and health care facilities across the country. The ministry has also collaborated with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to fight cholera. In doing so, the AMA, under the leadership of the Mayor of Accra, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, has succeeded in pulling down several houses located in slums. Despite rendering hundreds of people homeless through such demolishing exercise, the Accra Mayor of Accra believes the measure is justifiable.