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Opinion Poor sanitation around food joints needs to be addressed

Some Ghanaians have gradually embraced the idea that the best “waakye” joint is located around gutters and other food vendors like “koko” sellers, kenkey sellers, red red sellers have tapped into this unwholesome practice.

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Poor sanitation around food joints needs to be addressed play

Poor sanitation around food joints needs to be addressed

A colleague once told me the best “waakye” sellers are located around gutters. Violations of food safety rules I observed across some popular food joints in Accra saw men in white collar, school children and even some mothers queuing to buy food in “dirty” surroundings.

Some Ghanaians have gradually embraced the idea that the best “waakye” joint is located around gutters and other food vendors like “koko” sellers, kenkey sellers, red red sellers have tapped into this unwholesome practice.

For the want of a better word, gutters in Ghana consists of polythene bags, left over foods, faeces and dirty water, breeding mosquitoes each passing minute.

Why do people buy roadside food situated in a dirty surrounding? Are they buying the food because they want to fill their stomach or they want to promote their wellbeing?

As I deliberated on these questions and more the only conclusion I deduced was that some Ghanaians are too ignorant of their own well being, including some mothers who are suppose to teach their children about hygiene.

Right from crèche to junior high school, pupils are educated on all types of hygiene but students fail to implements them.

Those who were not privileged to be schooled are constantly taught in their various worship centres about cleanliness, likewise such fellows are contributing to poor sanitation in various communities.

Regardless of the rampant increase in cholera and malaria cases, some Ghanaians are still not adhering to food hygiene.

It is an eyesore whenever it rains. Containers, kiosks, and tables on which these food vendors sell their food, the surroundings gets very muddy. The vendors and their assistants are drenched in mud, yet some people find this environment very appetising to buy and eat.

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Gutters will be choked, flies moving to and fro; who knows where they are coming from to settle on the food people are queuing to buy.

Some food vendors ‘try’ to sweep their surrounding but refuse to collect the rubbish making it a cos 90 job. The sieve in which fried yam, kelewele, koose, and  turkey tail are hardly cleaned thoroughly every morning.

Meanwhile, authorities are always parading around collecting taxes and other statutory bills from these vendors not worried about the situation.

Assemblymen, DCEs, MPs and others political figures in these communities with the power to effect positive changes have done nothing about the situation.

Public health officers are very busy with other ‘important’ matters presumably.

Occasional television and radio broadcasts about the need to keep our surroundings clean started since time immemorial but have yield no results.

If truly, our “our greatest wealth is health” as stated by Roman poet Publius Vergilius, then you and I must rally on the streets and educate the ignorant ones about the need to observe personal and food hygiene for a better and cleaner Ghana.

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