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Some residents of Atima within the La-Nkwatan Madina municipality of Accra have complained of high toilet charges, claiming it has become expensive for them to use public toilets in the area.
Within this year alone, they claim the charge for public toilet use in the area has gone up from 50 pesewas to 80 pesewas and now one cedi.
Though they admitted the public toilet facilities are cleaned, the one cedi being charged them is not something most of them can afford.
The residents made the complaint on Accra-based local radio station, Onua FM, as part of Media General’s sanitation campaign which among other things, seeks to set and start a national conversation on sanitation with the view to effecting attitudinal change in communities.
“Sometimes getting money for food is a problem, then you pay 1 cedi for toilet?” one resident who declined to give his name said.
He added: “Imagine if you have a running stomach and you have to visit the place like five times. That’s a lot of money. The price was 80p and now they have increased it to 1 cedi”.
Reacting to the concerns of the residents, one of the public toilet owners at Atima who gave his name as Annan, said it the waste management companies, popularly referred to as “toilet pullers” have increased their charges, hence the upward adjustment in toilet charges.
“The price increment is not from us. First the price was 70p and we increased it to 80 pesewas and those times the toilet pullers charged us 250 cedis. But now the toilet pullers have increased their charge, that is what necessitated the rise in our charges,” he explained.
“What the toilet pullers say is that, the usual place they used to dispose the toilet at Zoomlion is not in operation; they have been banned from there. So, they have to travel far away Nsawam, Adjen Kotoku to dispose it. They increased the charge from 250 to 500 and some are even charging 600.
“So, we have also increased our charge to 1 cedi. Even with the one cedi, we are making loss but we are in to help the community so, we have chosen to maintain the 1 cedi,” he added.
Mr. Annan said the number of clients on daily basis has reduced due to an affordable toilet facility built for households by the Chinese coupled with the increment.
“The affordable Chinese toilets have already reduced the number of people coming to our place and now the increment has also added up. The Chinese toilet is being constructed for people in the municipality at a cost of GHȻ1,100 and in some cases 600 cedis. So, it has affected our business, but it is not everyone that can afford to do the Chinese toilet, so for those people they come to the public toile”, he said.
He appealed with the government to find a way of helping them stay in business, noting some owners of toilet facilities have been forced to shut down because of the increment from the toilet pullers.
By Marshall KM Bobobe |3news.com|Ghana