Keep mentally challenged off streets

BY: Aafo Oye
library photos
library photos

Accra, the capital city of Ghana, has become a magnetic attraction for all citizens in search of a better lifestyle.

As a result, youth from all over the country head towards the capital with the hope of a better lifestyle.

In the absence of formal jobs, most of them end up in petty trading, encroaching on pavements, street corners and street hawking.

Though their activities create a nuisance, they must survive and, therefore, we tend to turn a blind eye to them.

However, there is another worrying trend in the city which needs immediate attention.

Street medians and corners have been taken over by mentally challenged men and women and sometimes homeless individuals.

These unfortunate members of our society have been left to roam freely, carving out portions of the streets to themselves. They pile up mostly garbage, discarded material and gadgets along the routes, adding up to the filth in the nation’s capital.

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Some of them also set fire indiscriminately, which could lead to a fire disaster.

While some of them are quite docile, others are highly aggressive, sometimes obstructing traffic flow when they choose to run riot in the middle of the road. They also pose a threat to life when they turn aggressive.

These mentally challenged persons are members of our society who need help and we must reach out to them. For most of these people, a little bit of attention and care can go a long way towards their rehabilitation.

The Department of Social Welfare and all well-meaning groups should extend a helping hand to these unfortunate members of our society to keep them off the streets.

Aafo Oye, Accra