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General News of Thursday, 5 April 2018

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Taskforce set up to stop open defecation

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has set up a taskforce to patrol coastal areas to check open defecation along the beaches.

The sector Minister, Mrs Catherine Afeku, said the taskforce, which would be headed by workers in charge of dungeons and forts along the coast from the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB), would be pivotal to ensure that the shameful and unhygienic practice was eliminated.

“We are also collaborating with the ministries of Sanitation and Water Resources, Local Government, Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Information, ministers of coastal regions, chiefs and assembly members of coastal communities to make this a success,” she said.

Mrs Afeku made this known last Tuesday during a tour of beaches, castles and forts in Cape Coast and Elmina in the Central Region to ascertain the state of open defecation along the coastal areas.

Commitment

She said the ministry was reinforcing its fight against the menace to make the beaches clean to promote tourism.

“We have to come together and fight this menace, as it is an attitude that can be eradicated through the commitment of all stakeholders.

“It cannot be something we leave and say it is the attitude of the fisher folk. Nobody was born with this upbringing and so we will work with stakeholders to fight to end it,” she added.

Stakeholders

Mrs Afeku said her ministry was working with some selected celebrities to sensitise members of the coastal communities to the need to end open defecation, adding that a campaign on behavioural change was also in the offing.

She added that logistics needed to curb the practice would also be provided to help the cause.

The Omanhen of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, said chiefs were committed to ending the menace, as it had become a deeply worrying situation.

He said together with other chiefs, he had set up a similar taskforce of young men from the Asafo companies in the communities to arrest people who were found defecating in the open.

“Open defecation calls for drastic education and urgent action to change the attitudes and behaviours of the people,” he said.

The Central Regional Minister, Mr Kwamena Duncan, stressed the need to urgently eradicate open defecation because the practice was dehumanising and costly to the country.