The Komenda- Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA) Municipal Assembly in the Central region has decreed that marriage certificates of would-be-grooms in the municipality will only be issued to them after providing evidence of them having a toilet facility in their homes.
The move was described by many as an affront on the rights of the prospective grooms, arguing the assembly had no right to demand that as prerequisite in allowing marriages to take place.
But the chiefs of the area thought otherwise positing that the decree by the Municipality is a positive step in reducing the high rate of open defecation in the area.
In an interview with Starr News’ Central regional correspondent Kwaku Baah-Acheamfour, the sanitation officer for the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA) assembly, Alex Damptey indicates that the measure has been successful thus far in the fight against the scourge leading to the declaration of some seven communities in the area open defecation-free.
“You go to some rural areas people try to build a single room and start life with. With the single room they think they are worthy of marriage and so they go in for a wife and now we are saying that apart from the single room you need to get a toilet and kitchen as a basic facility in the house and it yielded much success,” he stated.
In a related development, the Elmina Magistrate court in the municipality imposed a fine on 10 people who were arrested for engaging in open defecation at the Elmina beach and salt fields in the area.
The 10 made up of seven men and three women have been asked to pay a fine of Ghc200 each failure which they will spend six months in jail.
They were charged with engagement in open defecation per the assembly’s laws.
The fine, according to the authorities at the local assembly, will help boost their fight against open defecation as a lot of landlords are going to be pressurized by tenants to fix toilet facility in their homes in order not to risk arrests and subsequent fines.
They added that the fine will ultimately instill fear in people from defecating in the open thereby preventing the potential of disease outbreak.
The KEEA municipality was not spared in the cholera outbreak that hit the country last two years and authorities in the area would not want to countenance a repeat of the outbreak.