toiletThe poor man attends to nature’s call; so does the rich man. From this premise, I believe it is safe to say that having a place of convenience in one’s place of abode is basic; or rather should be basic.

I am sometimes compelled to ask if our problems are actually so much of poverty or more of a mindset problem (I think it is a mindset problem because even the poverty we so proudly lay claim to is a mindset problem we can change just by changing our thought patterns).

I visited a few houses in my neighbourhood (name withheld) in Kumasi. Amazingly, most of those homes had no toilet facility.

The irony of the matter which baffles me is that, the self-contained styled houses normally housing a single family have very good toilet facilities while the compound houses which houses not less than three(3) families had no toilet facilities.

It was to be realized later that most of the houses in the vicinity, which had tenants from who monies are being taken on a regular basis had to depend on three sparsely located public toilet facilities.

An early morning visit to one of the public toilets witnessed a long queue of children and adults in a contest to use the uncomfortable facility for a fee.

The practice of taking money from tenants and refusing to provide them such basic facilities is a gross disregard of their human rights and dehumanizes them.

These tenants may not have a voice for fear of being ejected from these houses.

The aspect of this whole issue that concerns me however is the fact that not all these “victims” are fans of the public toilet facilities. How then do they respond to nature’s call? The answer is anyone’s guess.There is no question about the fact that the health of the residents of this locality is being jeopardized.

The time has come for well meaning Ghanaians to put their hands to the plough and serve as a voice to the voiceless who are suffering in silence.

Why do people take particular interest in forming political pressure groups to achieve ends that are not largely beneficial to the masses instead of taking on some of these issues and ensuring that the right thing is done? If pressure groups succeed in politics then why can’t they succeed in championing basic health and human rights issues as this?

How come the grass root issues are not being tackled meanwhile government spends huge sums of cash trying to immunize children against polio, knowing very well its cause.

The legislation as we know is already in place and yet landlords and landladies break these laws with impunity and are allowed to walk away with it.

One of our major problems in this country has always been the lack of political will on the part of government to see to the enforcement of our laws. If laws cannot be enforced, why continue to make new ones?

It is time for the government of the day to show that it is committed to ensuring the well-being of the people through the enforcement of laws that contribute to the well-being of Ghanaians.

-Bernard Buachi

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