You are here: HomeNewsRegional2021 11 24Article 1408714

Regional News of Wednesday, 24 November 2021


Abandoned toilet facilities turned brothel in the Eastern Region

The public toilet has been abandoned for three years The public toilet has been abandoned for three years

The three-year-old abandoned public toilet facilities which were under a public-private partnership have been turned into a brothel and ‘wee’ smoking joints in the Eastern Regional Capital, Koforidua.

A visit by Starr News to some of the facilities observed that some unscrupulous persons have taken undue advantage of the about 70% completed but abandoned toilet facilities to engage in illicit activities including marijuana smoking and indecent sexual activities. Pieces of marijuana, cigarette, and condoms as well as feces were seen in some of the facilities.

“These toilet facilities have been abandoned for many years, now it has turned into wee and cigarette smoking ghettos and breeding grounds for criminals engaging in all kinds of activities.

Meanwhile, we are struggling to have a decent place to ease ourselves since the closure of this old toilet, people are engaging in open defecation. Sometimes you see grown-up men and women defecating all over the place as soon as you see them then they run away,” a resident of Betom lamented.

Assemblymember for Railways electoral area, Daniel Ahiale said, he was compelled to brace the gate of the abandoned toilet facility due to similar deviant activities that were festering in it.

“I noticed that they were engaging in a whole lot of bad stuff in the facility so I braced the gate with wood preventing people from entering. My major headache now is how to get a place for my people to ease themselves since they pulled down two old toilet facilities here that they were going to build some within six months but it has been 3 years now. We are now putting up an emergency one because we have lost hope in the Ghana First toilet project. The open defecation in the community is alarming”.

The Assembly Member said Ghana First Company Limited [GhFCL], a waste management firm owned by Mr. Frank Akulley, with its German partners signed a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with the Government of Ghana in 2018 through the Local Government Ministry and the Sanitation Ministry to construct 20,000 units of modern automated toilet facilities across all Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts across the country at cost of $300,000,000.

The CEO said the facility when completed would directly employ five people each to run a 24-hour shift. Subsequently, the company awarded the first batch of 2000 toilet facilities on contract across the country but the contractors abandoned the projects due to non-payment having gone for loans to pre-finance the project to the near completion stage.

The Vice President of Ghana Dr. Mahamud Bawumia during his presentation on infrastructure during the heat of the 2020 presidential election campaign, captured the uncompleted Ghana First Toilet facilities among government interventions which have increased access to toilet facilities in Ghana from 14% in 2017 to 21% by 2019 due to huge investment by Government.

The Vice President explained that 1,900 toilet facilities were being constructed under the Government of Ghana Household Toilet program while 40,348 were under the Rural Sanitation Model and Strategy program.

According to the over 500 aggrieved Ghana First contractors, the government initially dissociated itself from the project when it backfired therefore shocked that it was captured in the list of government infrastructure achievements in the sanitation sector.

“Almost 70% of the projects mentioned were all our projects. if you see any project titled ongoing modern 16 seaters, 20 seaters, or 14 seater or ongoing Ghana First Toilet all these projects are all our projects so we don’t understand why Government will go and hide and then come back later to say the projects are his but yet they are not paying us” Yaw Tawiah Dickson, Public Relations Officer of the aggrieved First Ghana Contractors Association stated.

Atiemo Listowel -General Secretary of the Association said over 1500 Communities across the country have been affected by the delay in completion of the project since their toilet facilities were pulled down for the construction of Ghana First Toilet facilities scheduled to be completed within six months.

Residents of the railway electoral area in Koforidua corroborated that “We don’t have any place to defecate before you go to Ogua or Mallam to attend to nature call then what will happen has happened. My worry is the old women and men in this Community ” a resident said.

Another told Starr News “If I want to defecate, I do throw away that is I defecate in a polythene bag and throw it away. We are told government says the project is completed it is a lie we are suffering here”.

The story is not different in Nsawam Adoagyiri as none of the 82 toilet facilities under Ghana First have been completed compelling residents to engage in open defecation.