Residents living near the Bolgatanga Sports Stadium in the Bolgatanga Municipality, Upper East Region, have turned it into a place of convenience, making the public facility, which is the only sports facility in the Region, more deplorable.
The Municipal Environment and Sanitation Officer, Mr Evans Bornaa, who confirmed the situation, said a new task force instituted by the Municipal Assembly to enforce sanitation issues had observed same and embarked on sensitization activities in the communities, on the sanitation challenges in the area.
Responding to why arrests were not being made to bring the menace to a halt, he said preparation was underway to review and gazette the sanitation byelaws of the Assembly to punish offenders.
He pleaded with the Justice and Security team to help expedite action on processes to gazette the laws.
He said monitoring households in the municipality to check the availability of latrines for tenants had reduced due to heavy rains and hoped that the sanitation byelaws would help address the challenges.
Meanwhile, the Upper East Region has been ranked the worse performing Region in Open Defecation.
The Bolgatanga Municipality, according to the Regional environmental and sanitation unit in a report delivered at a workshop organized by Media Coalition Against Open Defecation, (M- CODe,) indicated that the municipality scored poorly with all communities in the area practising OD.
Mr Charles Awuni, the Assistant Regional Environment Health and Sanitation Officer, said the Bolgatanga East district ranked fourteenth out of the 15 districts in the region with just one community attaining Open Defecation free (ODF) status.
Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, who interacted with executives of M-CODe in the Region, expressed worry at how difficult it was to break cultural issues, “we know the problem and we are tackling it but we need the media to help stop the menace”.
“The main way of overcoming the problem is changing the cultural attitudes which education is key because the harassment that comes with it when one is caught in the act of openly easing oneself in the public is not the best,” the Minister said, citing the Bolgatanga Children’s Park as one other place people go to ease themselves.
He reiterated the importance of the byelaws and said, “Our problem is abiding by the laws because the laws were there and very clear.
Democracy does not mean that if you have freedom, you should do whatever you like,” he noted.
He also encouraged people to build toilet facilities in their houses and urged citizens who see houses being built to encourage the landlords to include toilets in them.