STMA considers jail terms as spot fines not deterring offenders from open defecation

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The Environment and Health department at the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) in the Western Region is considering a review of its by-laws on sanitation.

Section 14 of the STMA by-law on solid and liquid waste management states that, “No person shall defecate or urinate in any public or open place other than in an approved toilet facility”.

Head of the Department Abdul Karim Hudu appears to be convinced that spot fines seem not to be deterrent enough as people continue to engage in open defecation despite numerous fines imposed on them.

“Only last week, we arrested 11 people for engaging in open defecation. Nine of them were fined. However, despite the numerous arrests and fines people continue to defecate in the open. Interestingly, the cases keep coming from the same communities. So we plan reviewing the punishment.”

He indicated “the next people we arrest will spend the night at the police cells. After which we will send them straight to the court and argue for them to be given heavy sentences including a jail term. If we don’t add more punishment, we may not see an end to this canker because we have realized that people do not want to change”.

Abdul Karim Hudu gave the hint after the Environment and Health Taskforce arrested 12 individuals for engaging in open defecation at separate parts of Sekondi-Takoradi on Tuesday, March 22.

“They are Prince Debiasem, Francis Ainoo, Tamimu Iddrisu, Abdul Ganiu, John Ackon, Simon Abugir, Collins Adu, Emmanuel Eshun, Enoch Nelson, Ernest Agruah, Kwabena Ackon and Benjamin Ofori. They were arrested at the Jubilee Park, Ekuase, Kojokrom, Essikadu, Tanokrom, Ekuase-Essaman. Majority were arrested at the Jubilee Park.”

Mr. Karim Hudu stressed that while they look at a possible review of the by-law, “the Assembly’s commitment to eradicate open defecation is still in force; hence, the task force will continue to arrest and fine any persons caught openly defecating”.

By Eric Yaw Adjei|Connect FM||Ghana

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