Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Catherine Ablema Afeku has bemoaned the extent to which the tourism industry has suffered due to an uncultured and social deviance demonstrated by actions of Ghanaians to resort to open defecation, mostly along our beaches.
A troubled Catherine Afeku, noted, media reports on these uncivilized behaviours is an opprobrium to the country, and worst, the industry players in the tourism sector.
“It went viral on the internet, how people [Ghanaians] openly defecated on our beaches. The area behind the Fort St. Anthony in particular was used a place of convenience. It is very disgraceful for our country. It mars the tourism industry”, she cried.
She mentions the Ministry after some deliberations have constituted an inspectorate committee to undertake some assessment and sensitization in all coastal districts in the country.
“We have constituted a committee to champion this change. We know the exercise must be inclusive. We can’t be in Accra and do this work”
Catherine Afeku, acknowledged such exercises needs the committal efforts and minds of the traditional authorities, MMDA’s, Media, celebrities and volunteer groups.
She adds “the committee with the authority of the traditional leadership will enforce bye-laws and sanction persons found defecating on the beaches”.
“Sanctions will be given without favor, no political colour” she fired.
In respect of that, she stressed a taskforce will be formed to champion the cause. She avers the project is tasked to redeem a once reputable and enviable cultural heritage in all beaches and tourist sites from this unhealthy tags. The project is dubbed; “Say No to Open Defecation”
For his part, Paramount chief for Lower Axim Traditional Area, Awulae Attibrukusu III, noted open defecation has been a major canker along their coast. He is appalled by manner with which some residents of the Axim community defecate around the Fort St. Anthony, a historical monument to the trans- Atlantic slavery.
He bemoans the deviancy has driven several favours and investments away from them. Awulae urge the locale to arm up to construct decent places of convenience in these coastal communities, stressing government along cannot fulfill every need for the citizenry.
“We must note that government can’t do everything, we must also contribute. If they say don’t defecate on the beaches, why do you go there”, he emphasized.
He however urge government to support communities with decent toilet facilities, as he explained “there wouldn’t be any excuse for persons who indulge in such acts”.