Residents of the Oti New Site in the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi are threatening to hit the streets over continuous dumping of untreated faecal matter in streams and drains close to their homes.
The residents are living perilously with the risk of contracting cholera and other sanitation related diseases.
The land fill site which was a distant away from the residencies has now caught up with them spilling over waste into their homes.
The situation has become more disturbing as tankers with faecal matter are now depositing their waste in drains crudely dug through trenches close to their residencies.
These drains which spill over the feaces into their environs links to a nearby stream which deposits itself into the Oda River.
This untreated faecal matter ends up in other communities like Esreso, Adegya, Sokoban, Odaho, Ntenanko, Barekese, Bekwai and Anwia Nkwanta where the Oda River travels.
Some residents in the worst affected areas who spoke to Ultimate News’ Julius Caesar Anadem are threatening to demonstrate and block the roads used by the waste-carting-trucks if nothing is seriously done about the situation.
An opinion leader in the Oti New Site Sampana Charles indicated that they would not have bought the lands if they knew that this fate awaited them.
“For the past three years, I have been here but we were not facing these challenges. If it were like this, we wouldn’t have bought the land. It was a very nice place but now there is refuse and toilet spillage flowing all around here and it pains us too much”
“There are a lot of diseases here and especially the children are at risk because the mosquitoes are all over the area day and night,” he bemoaned.
Another resident Collins Asiedu who complained about the stench and the disgusting sight of faecal matter in their homes pointed out that the landlords association in the area have petitioned the chief and the assembly member in the area, but to no avail.
Piles of rubbish heaped by the landfill site uncollected also emits a pungent odour worsening the plight of the residents of the Oti New Site.
The communities around the area early last year embarked on a massive demonstration to compel the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), to call the operator of the land fill site – the Stanley Owusu Group to order.
But the opinion leader Sampana Charles warns of another massive demonstration soon to hit the area.
“Some eight months ago, we gathered here and did a big demonstration because we were facing this same challenge. Right now, we have gathered the people and had a meeting. We are all going to come together to stage a very big demonstration if they don’t stop it and whatever will happen should happen. We will not allow anybody to bring any refuse here. We are very very serious and we will block the roads.” he threatened.
Meanwhile, responding to the concerns of the residents, the Director of Waste Management with KMA Prosper Kotoka admitted that the assembly has secured a three hundred and fifty thousand dollar ($350,000) grant from an NGO the Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WASUP) – to begin constructing a facility to manage the dumping of the faecal matter.
He told Ultimate News’ Julius Caesar Anadem, “the facility has ran down and we should have done this rehabilitation some time back but due to some challenges, it has delayed. But the good news is that we have been able to mobilize some funds through Water for Sanitation for the Urban Poor. We got some consultants to work on the facility and out of the $755,000 needed, we have secured $350,000. The designs are ready, adverts were made and a contract has been signed and a contractor has moved to site.”
On account of the heaps of garbage, the Waste Management Director Mr Prosper Kotoka indicated that the assembly has responded by constructing three new cells to manage different segregation of waste generated in both the wet and dry seasons.
Until all these drawings and projections of the KMA takes shape, the resident of the Oti New Site and the adjoining communities lined along the Oti River would have to either abandon the area or bear with the health hazards.