Cholera outbreak looms in Kumasi as heaps of waste are left uncollected

wasteHeaps of uncollected solid waste within the central business district of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region have triggered fears of a possible cholera outbreak in the area if immediate action is not taken. Though city authorities have expressed commitment to rid the Kumasi metropolis of filth, pockets of refuse remain uncollected for days in parts of the central business district, especially in the Kejetia market area. Traders around the Kumasi Zoological Gardens at Kejetia say timely collection of waste from waste containers in the area has been a challenge over the past two months despite paying for such services. They have thus had to battle with unbearable stench and the breed of mosquitoes from the overflowing waste container, situated few metres from their trading area.waste1They fear a possible outbreak of cholera if authorities fail to collect the waste from the containers. “We spend most of our time here because this is where we our daily income but the sanitation condition here is posing a serious health risk to us. Most of us often complaint of malaria,” one of the traders said. “The insanitary condition in the area has affected our sales as the unbearable stench drives away potential customers” another trader stated. The director of waste management department at the KMA, John Gorkeh-Miah, is pointing to waste management firm, Zoomlion Ghana Limited, for failing to collect the waste for disposal. “Zoomlion has been contracted to evacuate refuse around that area and the refuse container belongs to the company. The untimely evacuation of refuse in the area has not come to my attention but I will find out from the management of the company why they have been delaying in evacuating the refuse when they are being paid to do so”, he said. Mr Gorkeh-Miah advised the public to refrain from indiscriminate loitering as the department gets tough on enforcement of sanitation laws. But managers of Zoomlion in Kumasi declined to comment on the uncollected waste. Goal six of the Sustainable development goals expects Ghana to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030. City authorities need to tackle sanitation issues from both domestic and commercial angles to achieve the goal.

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By Ibrahim Abubakar||Ghana]]>