The only 10-Seater toilet facility at Akplabanya in the Ada West District in the Greater Accra Region, which was locked up for months due to a nagging litigation between the traditional authority and the district assembly, is still not opened to the public for use.
The over 10,000 residents in the community who are not happy with the situation have called on the Chief to temper justice with mercy and open the public toilet for them.
Some residents of the area, who spoke to THE NEW PUBLISHER, reporter expressed anger over the litigation between the chief and the district assembly that had caused them the right to access the facility.
Currently the residents resort to open defecation at the beach and in nearby bushes.
In a desperate attempt to redeem his image in the saga, Nene Ankrah Kitcher Labia VI, the embattled chief, is singing a new song.
He says he is ready to forget the debt owed him by the assembly and open the public toilet for access.
“I’m now prepared to forget about the money, if the Assembly is not prepared to pay me and even if the Assembly has no money to fix the things that got damaged, I’m prepared with my people to get it fixed ourselves. As I speak now, I called a brother, who is a carpenter, to come and do an assessment and give us a cost for us to give him money to go to Accra and buy the materials so that we can repair the toilet for us to be able to access.
According to him, even though he personally did not lock up the facility, he initially refused to give the green light for the commissioning because he was not pleased with the Assembly’s refusal to pay what was due him.
Explaining the genesis of the debt, he told THE NEW PUBLISHER that government, after recognizing his commitment to the area, wrote to him to release lands for numerous projects in the community. He said even though he released the lands, no compensation was made for those purposes, hence his directive to the district assembly to compensate him with a paltry GH¢4,000.
He said he believed that some monies were paid by government regarding the lands he gave out, adding that he suspected some officials at the District Assembly had pocked the monies. He also accused the DCE of the area, Hon. Adzoteye Lawer Akrofi, of not handling the matter properly.
“The DCE never called me about issues regarding the toilet. It was me who rather sent my subjects to him and later followed up with telephone calls. My last engagement with him was during the commissioning of the Polyclinic at Sege about 2-weeks ago, where he promised to send officials from the Assembly to do some final repairs and also get it commissioned, but he never came”, he said.
Akplabanya is noted for its yearly Cholera outbreaks. The area has recorded two cholera cases in the last two weeks alone, which some community members blamed on open defecation.
“I agree that we are suffering and the only toilet we have is not enough, and because we are in the raining season, I fear, if care is not taken, we might suffer the consequences”. The chief admitted.