Health alert at ‘Circle’! …as indiscriminate urination becomes order of day

INDISCRIMINATE open urination at the Lapaz Mini Bus (trotro) Station at Kwame Nkrumah Interchange in Accra, is giving off a foul smell in the area, raising public health concern.

A warning, “Please do not urinate here. Offenders to pay GH₵5,000” written by the station authorities to stop the practice, is being flouted with impunity.

Drivers, bus conductors (mates), passengers, passersby, traders alike, have, for many months, turned an open gutter at the station, sited near the Las Palmas food joint, into a urinal.

Additionally, the gutter linked to the Las Palmas washroom and kitchen drains, has also been choked with plastic waste, while some unscrupulous people ease themselves in it, worsening the odour.

Until a bus is full and takes off, passengers have to endure the stench for several minutes and it gets worse when passengers have to wait in a queue for a bus to arrive.

As if that is not enough, the gutter is being overtaken by weeds and is also breeding mosquitoes that show no mercy to the already troubled passengers. 

Drivers, conductors and some traders, on the contrary, seem used to the atmosphere and  therefore eat, sleep and chat all day and night at the station, unperturbed.

Passengers who cannot stand the situation anymore have resorted to boarding Lapaz bound buses near the tip toe lane, about 200 metres away, at the risk of being victims of pickpockets.

“We used to be five friends who come here after work each day, but three of them have stopped coming here even though this place is safer than the tip toe lane.

“The stench is really awful. We have complained to the drivers several times, but nothing has changed,” Michael Sarfo a regular commuter told the Ghanaian Times.

Victoria Tetteh told the reporter that it is a “daily torture” but she had no option than to endure for “a couple of minutes”.

The Ghanaian Times, has over the months, observed that some attempts have been made to stop the practice, but they have been fruitless.

For instance, the Mantrac Ghana Limited behind whose wall the practice is ongoing, barricaded the area with metal mesh after it laid claims to the piece of land, but it was not until long that part of the mesh was removed.

Isaac Quartey, the station master, told the Ghanaian Times yesterday that the station authorities were not happy with the situation, but several efforts to stop the practice had been unsuccessful.

 He said the metal mesh erected by Mantrac could have helped to stop the practice, but they needed space, and, therefore, had to break a portion of it to enable them work.

To address the problem, he said the station executives were planning to cover the gutter.

When contacted, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) Public Relations Officer, Gilbert Ankrah, said the assembly said the issue had now gotten to their attention, promising that immediate action would be taken.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR                                                                              

PICTURES BY EBO

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