Open Defecation Landlords grilled in court over lack of toilets

Most of the landlords who were guilty of the offence had to quickly raise monies to pay the various amounts of fines slapped on them in order to avoid spending six months in prison.

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The Upper East regional branch of the Rent Control Department is being showered with commendations from sanitation inclined individuals and organisations following an exemplary enforcement of sanitation laws in that party of the country.

The department which is the sole agency responsible for rent related issues in the country has dragged 104 landlords in the region whose houses do not have toilets to the Bolgatanga District Magistrate Court.

READ MORE: Three schools turned into 'public toilets' shut down

Most of the landlords who were guilty of the offence had to quickly raise monies to pay the various amounts of fines slapped on them in order to avoid spending six months in prison.

Apparently, just like the national capital, Accra, the issue of houses without places of convenience and the attendant open defecation are serious challenges to local authorities leaving them with no option, but to get strict with enforcement of the bye-laws.

When given the options, one of the landlords, chose to pay a fine of Gh¢300 and yet construct a toilet within 3 months instead of serving a six-month jail term.

Another landlord had already provided a water closet but did not have them connected to the septic tank, yet he was not spared. He paid a mitigated fine of Gh¢240 and was further ordered to finish up the place of convenience within two weeks, failing which he would have to serve a three- month jail term.

Dramatically, one of the landlords exhibited smartness by urgently building a toilet facility in his house after the notice of summons was severed on him, but that did not save him completely. He also paid a mitigated fine of two hundred and forty Cedis (Gh¢240).

READ ALSO: Teacher commits suicide in public toilet

Upper East Regional Rent Control Manager, Adam Yaminu Kasim said “there are some of the premises we’ve actually visited and, in fact, it would have been better if they don’t have toilet facilities. You enter the toilet and it’s an eyesore. That alone scares the tenants from using that particular facility- especially the ladies. You enter a toilet within a [building] and there are maggots all over. These are pits types of latrines people do. It’s serious.”

Adam Yaminu Kasim further lamented that “You visit a very big compound house with about 13 tenants, enter the bathroom and it’s not properly floored. Somebody would have to bathe and come out and still wash his or her legs. You are bathing, accidentally your sponge drops and you can’t use it again because the place is looking so terrible.”

“In this country, people misconstrue the essence of rent. People just restrict rent to the four squares of the room where they sleep. Rent goes beyond the four squares. The rent actually includes any other facility that is supposed to come with decent accommodation- talking about kitchen, storeroom and decent toilet facility- not just toilet facility, but decent toilet facility,” he revealed.

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