Feature Article of Friday, 11 October 2013

Columnist: Bolus, Mercy Adede

Cholera Ghana’s headache with open Sewers!

In many African countries there is a problem that affects the lives of millions of Africans and it’s this, open sewage. It’s disgusting, spreads disease such cholera. This fouls atmosphere is not enough to ward off potential tourists to an area but the inhabitants themselves. I can promise that if you asked anyone about Open sewerage system we have they would agree, open sewers need to go.

Ghana a nation of natural resources yet the country need to begin the fight to stop this filthy presence on the streets of the cities. The oil from the jubilee field should pay for a proper sewerage system in Accra and from then onwards the rest of Ghana. As at the moment mosquitoes thrive in cities and breed in open sewers just as they breed in the marshlands in the rest of Ghana, this spreads Malaria and we don’t need another story saying why that needs to be eradicated.

European nations and Asia also suffered out breaks of cholera in 1845. In 1850 is reached California overland by the Panama also built proper sewage systems in the 1800’s!

In 1849 around Spring there were cholera explosions in France, Italy, Algeria and Tunisia in North Africa were all affected. England also suffered a virulent onslaught; at its height, the epidemic claimed some 1,000 lives a day. In May 1849, cholera began spreading rapidly from foci in New York City and New Orleans until most of the United States east of the Rockies was affected. Canada, already struck by sea from Europe, was also suffered attacks by cholera overland from the United States. Mexico was similarly attacked, and a ship carried the disease from New Orleans to Panama late in 1849.

There was a severe cholera attack in Egypt and along coastal North Africa. Most of Europe, including areas affected in 1850, was once again infected. Believe it or not for the first time, Sweden and Denmark and the Maltese and lonian islands were all affected. However mainland Greece remained untouched, as in 1837. To think that in the 21st century Ghana is still lag behind is frankly embarrassing. Ghana does not need to be in this current state, with the new money coming in soon we can set an example for the rest of Africa. This is sewerage system, which keeps the filth underground and stops the pollution of our streets! I’m amazed that the previous Government would rather build golden Jubilee house rather than a sewerage system but that is in the past and this is the present. These is open for everyone to see around places like the Tema roundabout at the Accra/ Ashiaman tro tro station, Kwame Nkrumah circle around Kaneshie trotro station and many more. Many of our homes do not even have soakage system. Should this also be the norm in our efforts not only to encourage healthy living conditions thus making our communities clean and inviting but eradicating cholera and malaria?.

We need to think of the number of people who would be spared when we have closed sewers to mosquito breeding ground in open sewers? Is it impossible to dream that one day Accra may be a no Malaria zone? If this is what you want then a sewage system is the place to start. Yes! We have always lagged behind the developed nations but this does not need to be the case any longer as we have the money and with that the ability to shape Ghana, as we see fit not the way nature makes it. Is it Ghana’s destiny to lag behind no!

It is our destiny to development, to overcome the barriers of the past, to be an example once more of what it means to be an African state, to show to the world that we Ghanaians are a people to aspire to and have much to offer the world.

A sewage system would be a small step (yes it would be an impressive undertaking but who would all this money wasted?) to creating a new type of Ghana. A place where we where seen as taking the initiative a creating a future for our children (the future rulers of this nation) that we can be proud of creating, to make it easier for them to develop in the way that they see fit. Think of Ghana our economy is set to grow in double figures this next year, we are a stable democratic country in a region known for instability.

When the first African-American president came to our continent where did he go South Africa? Nigeria? No! It was Ghana. That should speaks for itself about the potential people abroad think our nation has.

As an end note, I say this to President John Mahama, please do not think not of grandiose plans and expensive schemes which may look nice (golden jubilee house) but do not bring benefit to ordinary Ghanaians who voted for the party to into office. Instead consider plans, which bring prosperity and success to the average Ghanaian so that Ghana will be the African nation to invest in by the end of your office.

Having a clean air, welcoming surroundings would not only improve the lives of the population but also attract more tourists into the country. This ambience of cleanliness translates as more job creation for many of our youths and entrepreneurs and better opportunities for the general public.

Long-term vision of sanitation is desperately needed as this would mean Ghana young people’s future would be secure. Thereby ensuring that people begin to have a sense of being proud of their own communities resulting in lesser migration to other countries for a better future.

Open sewerage is no longer the accepted norm in a so-called oil rich civilised country like Ghana. Do you agree?

Should we bring back the sanitation inspectors back on our streets? This is debatable?