Ms Rosemary A.E. Gbadzida, Senior Environmental Health Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), has called on Ghanaians to take environmental sanitation seriously to avoid malaria and cholera.
“The filth that we create around us affects our health and causes a drain on the nation’s coffers. There is, therefore, the need for every Ghanaian to play his or her role to keep our surroundings clean to avoid communicable diseases,” she said.
Ms Gbadzida gave the advice at a community sensitisation programme on disaster prevention organised by the Osu-Klottey Sub-metro of the AMA at Adabraka on Wednesday.
Resource persons were drawn from the National Disaster Management Organisation, Fire Service, Metro Health Directorate, Social Welfare and the Department of Community Development.
Ms Gbadzida said cholera is caused by bacteria from excreta of infected persons and, therefore, people should stop defecating indiscriminately in their communities and advised landlords and landladies to provide toilet facilities in their homes.
“People should wash their hands thoroughly with soap before taking food and always ensure that they take in warm foods whilst persons affected by cholera should be immediately sent to nearest health facility,” she said.
She advised parents to keep Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) in their homes to serve as first aid before affected persons are sent to the hospital.
Mr Jonathan Kwaku said flooding occurred through human factors like dumping of refuse into drains and putting up structures on water ways and advised the people to desist from such habits.
He asked the residents to organise bi-monthly communal labour to clean their surroundings to avoid diseases and move to safe areas in the community whenever flooding occurred.
Madam Alice Danso, General Officer Two of the Ghana Fire Service, said most fire outbreaks were caused by ignorance and that every house had to be re-wired after 20 years.
She said gas cylinders which had been used for 10 years must be disposed off as well as avoid buying second-hand ones.
Madam Danso urged the gathering to take note of the leakage of their cylinders and immediately replace them and avoid overcrowding their rooms with personal belongings as these worsened the situation when there was fire outbreak.
She advised men to stop smoking in bed as they could drop the lighted cigarette on their beds which could spark fire.
Numo Blafo, AMA Public Relations Officer, briefed the gathering of a contract the Government of Ghana and Conti Group of Companies signed to construct drainage facilities in some parts of Accra to prevent flooding adding that Adabraka would also benefit.
He, therefore, asked the residents to cooperate with the contractors and desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
Nii Tetteh Adjabeng I, Adabraka Atukpai Mantse, who chaired the function, said apathy towards communal labour had been a problem in the area.
He said there were difficult people in the community and asked the assembly members to deal ruthlessly with any person who flouted the law.