Public officials sometimes make utterances they wish they could take back.
There are the select few who put their foot in their mouth and yet remain unapologetic.
The assembly man for Lower New Takora in the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly Emmanuel Edwin has displayed his stark ignorance of the public health nightmare associated with open defecation on the beaches.
Here are a few excerpts from his radio interview with Nana Adwoa Entuaah of Radio Maxx
“Whatever is going there the community is not seeing the essence of it.
“If I pay for my toilet and whatever is collected is used for the development of my community then I am prepared to… shit more get more money for the development of the community.
“I won’t shit for you to get money to use the money to serve your own interest. I will go to my god the sea. I will shit so that the fish will also use it,”
The assembly man is encouraging open defecation on beaches as an act of defiance against what he perceives as a lack of accountability and transparency by operators of public outhouses.
Mr. Emmanuel Edwin asserts that since it is also impossible to stop public defecation on our beaches the best alternative is to allocate stretches of land along the beach for residents of coastal communities to use as latrines.
In his opinion and by his astute deduction, the high tide will ultimately carry away the fecal matter.
The assembly man also believes that since people within the assembly do not benefit from the money collected by operators of the public toilet there is no need for them to patronize the public bathrooms
At a time where Ghana is struggling to contain the cholera epidemic, such ignorant statements from publicly elected officials must be condemned.
Fecal matter sometimes contain pathogens of highly communicable diseases that are easily spread by vectors like houseflies.
House flies are universally recognized as carriers of communicable diseases. The flies collect pathogens on their legs and mouths when they come into contact with decomposing organic matter such as feces, which they transfer onto surfaces and into the humans when contaminated food is ingested.
With any increase in open defecation, we as country will invariably become more vulnerable to epidemics compounded by poor hygiene.