Sanitation in Ghana: A Disaster or a Challenge?

Ghana 3After many years of independence Ghana is one of the countries in Africa facing waste disposal, recycling and poor drainage problems.

Original article published in Huffingtonpost.com by Karen Curley

When one walks down the streets in Makola Market, you are overwhelmed by all of the trash that litters the streets. Trash and waste are everywhere. Accra is the capital of Ghana and is a modern city, yet there is garbage all over. There are many reasons for this:

Lack of Proper Sanitation Only 77.5% of homes have toilets. Only 30% have flush toilets. The average person in Accra has to share toilets with 10 or more persons in public latrines. Lack of plumbing has led to huge amounts of water being dumped on the streets.

Lack of a Working Sanitation System Waste removal is for the wealthy because they can afford it. Only 60% of the population has regular waste collection. As of June 17th, all 3 refuse dump sites were closed down. Because of this open sewers and rains are full of trash. Most of the pipes are in polluted gutters. Broken or vandalized ones are open to germs.

Lack of Public Awareness and Proper Education about Causes and Prevention of Diseases There is a lack of information to the public about how diseases spread because of germs and poor sanitation.

Most people are not aware that Accra’s trash problem is a growing cause of many of its diseases. In 2008 over 700US million dollars was spent on treating malaria in Ghana. That figure has not slowed down. Malaria is the number one health problem all over Ghana, especially in Accra.

Malaria accounted for 53% of Accra’s illnesses last year. According to the National Malaria Control Programme, “During 2009, a person in Ghana died from malaria about every 3 hours. This means about 3,000 people died of malaria in Ghana that year alone, most of them children. Cholera is another big problem in Ghana. As of November 2011, cholera has claimed 101 lives.

There have been 10,002 cases reported in Ghana. The cholera outbreak has been directly linked to a lack of proper refuse dumping sites and improper disposal of waste. Deputy Health Minister Rojo Mettle Nunoo has asked assemblies to implement their sanitation by-laws.

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When will Africa or Ghana rise above this? Ghana needs to embark on underground drainage system. 

He has stated that Accra and other larger cities face a 13% chance of a cholera epidemic. He also stated that frequent occurrences of the outbreak happen because many homes, work places, and public places do not have facilities.

So where does Accra go from here? The biggest problem facing Accra is that of mindset. Accra’s people need to adjust their mindset to the changing times. It is no longer ok to throw trash on the ground and in their gutters.

People must educate themselves on the dangers of inadequate sanitation and begin using garbage containers. Authorities from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) must implement proper sanitation planning. Without, the above Accra will continue on its course with disease and death.

The Writer

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Karen Curley is an international photographer based out of Los Angeles, CA. Her pictures have been seen in many publications including Spin Magazine, US Weekly, and InStyle Magazine.

Her pictures have also been featured on the Conan O’Brien show. She has worked internationally for The Accra Mail in Ghana Africa. Her passion is urban photography. Her work with the homeless has been shown in galleries all over Los Angeles.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-curley/sanitation-in-ghana-a-dis_b_1197217.html

Green Planet: A Poem By Lori Triggs

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At one time our planet was colorful as lush with plants even flowers 

And towering trees beautiful I can see,

The planet was filled with animals even birds more species that was plentiful

While the mammals and fish filled the oceans even waters majestic,

The oceans with lakes even rivers as the waters where aqua or

Torques blue lovely green was a fantasy.

 

Now our planet is filled with tons trash on the streets even

At the garbage dumps filled to the top to no end,

The planet not colorful or lush with plants even flowers

And towering trees it becoming a waste land of dirt and mud,

Even homes plus businesses filled with humans to see

The animals even birds is getting scarce means no food or wildlife,

While the mammals and fish are finding up dead in the waters

Or land means no food or sea life.

The oceans with lakes even rivers as the waters are brown,

Or nasty green will be unsafe to drink this is not a fantasy.

 

We should help the planet even ourselves by recycling

bottles, paper, cardboard, cans even glass in recycling centers,

Make green homes by using reused materials granite, tiles, wood,

Bottles, paper, cardboard, cans even glass solar tubes, & solar energy

Plus solar water, everything energy officiant,

The cars we use should be hydrogen, solar, electric or hybrid

So go green not brown if we keep what we are doing we are all dead!

Copyrighted July 17 2008

The Reason I Forget My Birthday Every Year

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Many people worldwide, happy or satisfied about whatever they have achieved in life, wished to be thankful by celebrating birthdays. Many spend thousands of dollars, including celebrities, to celebrate birthdays in grand style, giving expensive gifts, including cars to their loved ones.

I may be lost in this world, even though I’m part of this generation, because every year, I forget my birthday. Either my son or wife comes to ask me “Do you know that today is your birthday?” Before checking the calendar to remember that I was born 19th of January. This may sound stupid, but it’s true, because I don’t value birthday.

As a father, the rapid decaying of the society, terrorism, immorality, the decline of Christian activities, the influence of negative activities and the encouraging of all bad things by head of churches and world leaders are my concern, the reason every year, I forget my birthday. I may die today and be gone tomorrow, but what about the life of our children?

Many African children born or raised in Europe are bold to tell parents that there is no God, when in Africa; your child can’t tell you such nonsense. Who are they following and what is influencing them? When I make up in the morning, after asking for God’s protection, I ask God to protect my three sons and lead them to marry women when they grow, because I don’t want to die of shock.

As a writer, my passion lies in writing and reading. Sometimes I forget that the whole day I haven’t eaten. Like every writer my ambition is to create something different in the world of literature, thus; what’s the significance of birthday celebration when I can’t even remember the day I was born?

I don’t think I will ever celebrate my birthday, because it a normal day for me, above all I think children deserve birthday not adults. During birthday parties across the world, plenty of food are thrown into the trash, yet the poor are starving, while thousands go to bed without food.

Not at all, birthday celebration is not part of, but I will be very glad, when my social media friends remind me when it’s my birthday. That’s genuine love, because I love them too.