Nine people in Sekondi/Takoradi are in trouble with the law for open defecation.
A task force formed by the Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) made the arrests during a dawn exercise to arrest persons infringing the assembly’s bye-law against open defecation.
The dawn exercise found the offenders hiding in the darkness defecating at unapproved places.
They would be put before court in due course, officials said.
According to the assembly officials, the task force visited places such as the ECG office, GSTS road, Paa Grant and the beaches where they saw people defecating into drains by the road side and other places.
It said many of them took to their heels but they managed to arrest nine offenders made up of eight males and a female and would be charged for open defecation and put before court.
Though the managers of the metropolis claimed there were enough public and household toilets, some residents preferred defecating at the beach, gutters, and open spaces for no apparent reason.
A section of the STMA bye-laws on solid and liquid waste management states that: “No person shall defecate or urinate in any public or open place other than in an approved toilet facility.”
The Public Relations Officer of the STMA, Mr John Laste, said for sometime now, open defecation and people urinating at unauthorised places had marred the beauty of the metropolis.
“We at the assembly know and encourage landlords to provide household toilets which will add up to several public toilets dotted around the city to make the metropolis clean,” he said.
Mr Laste said it was sad that in spite of the measures put in place to ensure a sound environment, some people refused to use the community toilets and preferred defecating in the open.
Defecating in polythene bags
In some of the communities, instead of paying to defecate, some people defecated in polythene bags and threw them into the gutters thereby polluting the environment.
“One thing we must not forget is that keeping the city clean is a collective responsibility,” he said
Mr Laste warned that the assembly would not allow the people to behave irresponsibly.
The assembly’s task force , he said, was highly motivated to carry out its activities and added that the assembly would not announce the next community they would visit.
The metropolis’ beaches, he said, should be places for recreation but they had been turned into toilets.
“In some jurisdictions, the beaches are gold, generate a lot of income and jobs for inhabitants and local authorities.
“But in our case, people freely defecate to mar the beauty of the beaches. I must say that the days of “free-range” are over so people should get used to the change by using the household or the public toilets,” he said.