26 Arrested for defecating into drains (Saturday, 18 October 2014 )

Twenty six people have been arrested in the La-Dadekotopon municipality for defecating into drains.

They were arrested in the early hours of last Thursday in a joint exercise by the municipal assembly and the Cantonments Police.

 The move is part of efforts to eradicate cholera in the municipality, which is among the hardest hit by this year’s cholera outbreak.
Some of the culprits arrested by the LaDMA taskforce for open defecation.
The culprits were arrested while they were openly easing themselves into drains around the Aviation Social Centre, the Civil Service Secretariat at Cantonments, the Trade Fair Cemetery, the Wizard Park, near the Rangoon Camp Cluster of Schools, and the Africa Lake.

Eighteen others were arrested in a similar exercise in the municipality last month.

Cholera figures

Ever since the first case of a patient with cholera was reported at the La General Hospital in July this year,1,726 patients with the disease have been treated at the hospital, with 16 deaths. Ten out of the 16 were brought in dead.

The cholera outbreak has so far claimed 187 lives, with more than 20,000 people hospitalised.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Dadekotopon Municipal Environmental Officer, Mr Victor Acquaye, said the assembly was taking all the necessary steps to ensure that people who defecated outside, particularly in the storm drains, stopped.

“We are doing this to send a strong warning to the people who are fond of defecating into our storm drains. It is a war on cholera and we are making sure people stop this practice,” he said.

To find a lasting solution to the problem, he said the assembly had issued notices to all landlords in the municipality without toilet facilities in their homes to provide them within three months or face prosecution.

Waste management

Over the years, cholera outbreaks have been blamed on the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies for their failure to properly manage the tonnes of refuse generated within their jurisdictions.

Others have also been blamed for not monitoring the performance of waste management companies operating in their jurisdictions.

In that regard, the Assistant Chief Environmental Officer of the assembly, Mr Gordon Akoriyia, said the assembly was keeping a close watch on waste contractors and any of them who failed to achieve his targets would be fired and replaced with others who would do the job better.

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