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Regional News of Saturday, 19 February 2022


Residents of Okperpiem, Agomanor living with dirty, stinking gutters

Stinking gutters play videoStinking gutters

Correspondence from Eastern Region

Residents of Okperpiem, Agormanor and some communities within the Yilo and Lower Manya Krobo Municipalities in the Eastern Region, are unhappy with local officials for what they say is their failure to construct proper drainages and de-silt existing gutters in the areas.

Contrary to expectations that choked and stinking drains will be de-silted of filth and floods will not be experienced when it rains, some residents say the dumping of refuse into the gutters has choked the gutters and called on local authorities to come and see things for themselves.

They are demanding more from the two Assemblies.

At Agomanor, a wide, dirty stinking gutter runs right through the heart of the community. The open drain filled with dirty water and garbage including tons of used plastic bottles, polythene with flies hovering over, etc. shares boundaries with open-house compounds with household activities conducted right at the edge.

Fowls were also seen, scavenging on the filth and thereafter possibly make their way into homes with the filth, posing further health risks to the inhabitants.
Children were observed eating in homes just three meters away from the gutter. Residents trace the source of the sewer to Yohe, another community located about two kilometers on a highland.

Auntie Korkor who has lived in the community for the past fifteen years said in an interview that the situation is a major problem for the community.

“The problem is that this gutter is from Yohe. During the construction of the road they diverted the gutter through this area so garbage dumped into it from the top ends up here and this is of major concern to us,” she said.

The situation, she added is breeding a lot of mosquitoes in the community. Their children, she added also frequently fall into the gutter.

Residents say though they occasionally organize self-help activities to de-silt the stinking drainage, the situation returns to same days later due to the actions of irresponsible residents who continue to dump garbage into the open drains.

She chided the Assemblyman for the area for his lack of proactivity to help them and appealed to the Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Assembly to initiate steps to address the drainage and sanitation challenges in the area.

The situation is no different at Okperpiem, a suburb of Somanya where waste water sprawls through parts of the community on the bare grounds.

Describing the problem, Nene Kofi Djaneh Adiemra IV, Djase of Okper said, “It is very bad because when it rains like this, you find it very difficult to move around and then without any management and proper caretaking, I think the people are really suffering.”

Appealing to the local Assembly to come to their aid, he furthered that his position as a traditional leader of the area places a responsibility on him to seek government intervention to address the drainage problem.

Nene Kofi Djaneh Adiemra IV bemoaned the health implications of the situation on the community. He noted, “It is not helping at all, because sometimes, they [members of the community] fall sick out of this…malaria and all this kind of troubles they often get.”

Assembly Member for Okperpiem Electoral Area, Honourable Felix Ofori said efforts to get the Municipal Chief Executive and Member of Parliament for the area to address the problem have proven futile.

MCE for Lower Manya Krobo, Simon Kweku Tetteh when contacted said efforts were underway to initiate works on notable drainages in the municipality.

According to him, works are going to be carried out on the Manaan drainage under the Secondary City Support Programme in due course to ease the flow of water in the area.

Mr. Tetteh said other drainages in the municipality were also going to be addressed as soon as possible.

On his part, the MCE for Yilo Krobo also admitted that drainage is a major problem in the municipality, but added that the situation was beyond the capacity of the Assembly.

He however added that discussions were being held with the minister of works and housing to ensure that steps are taken to address the problem.