Thirty landlords in the Northern Regional capital, Tamale, who refused a directive to construct toilets in their homes, have been put before court for sanitation offences.
They have all pleaded not guilty and were granted 2,000-cedi bail each. They will reappear on September 20.
Prosecuting officer, Saani Mohammed, told the court the landlords who have no toilet facilities in their houses, were given two months ultimatum to construct one but they failed to do so.
He explained that the Assembly through the environmental health department constantly engaged residents in the Tamale metropolis on issues of sanitation, including the need for household latrines.
Mr Mohammed stated “The Assembly through its partners UNICEF and others have done a lot to get landlords to put up latrines but this has fallen on deaf ears”
Environmental health officers of the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly in the course of their routine checks at Lamashegu, Kobilhimagu and Zogbeli communities found that the homes of the suspects did not have toilets.
They were accordingly given two months to construct toilet in their homes but upon the expiration of the deadline, they had failed.
According to the Assembly, several efforts to get them to build toilets in their homes also proved futile, prompting them to summon the 30 landlords before court.
But in court, the suspects explained they failed to build the toilet because they do not have the funds.
The magistrate Amadu Issifu, lamented over how Ghanaians are consciously thwarting government efforts in ending open defecation, indicating the open defecation should be seen as a security threat.
He has advised the prosecution to gather and present all necessary evidence before the court to enable hearing to begin to determine whether the landlords are guilty.
“Go to their houses, gather more evidence so that when I am putting them behind bars, they won’t have anything to say,” the judge advised.