By Ernest Addo
What is supposed to be a noble gesture from a man of God, at a time when world-wide, all hands are on deck to fight the ravaging coronavirus disease, has sparked fierce agitation from residents of Spintex Road, in Accra.
Bishop Titi Ofei has offered his school facility located around DSTV junction in Baatsonaa to government, to be used as Covid-19 isolation centre and the residents are upset because they claim, given the closeness of the facility to their residence, someone close to any of them could be affected.
So intense is their resistance that yesterday, when the Bishop went to the facility to collect some furniture and other leftovers, he was confronted by some of the angry residents.
One minister (name withheld) in anger asked the Bishop why of all his houses, he would donate the school facility and not the one he and his family lived in.
The concerns of the residents are that:
They have had cause to report to the Tema West Municipal Assembly about the deplorable nature of the sewage system of the facility and have witnessed on several occasions when the facility was in use as a school; that faecal matter were discharged into the gutter and that all fluids from the facility also passed through the same gutter from the facility.
Their other concern is that the gutter itself has also been blocked by another developer along the stretch of the facility with wood chippings and sand, which means for a while now all fluids and faecal matter from houses along that gutter are now spilling onto the street; which also means should the facility be used all the fluids will end up where the contractor has blocked the gutter.
“There are too many squatters and children who play around especially the children of squatters like to play in the gutters”, they lamented.
Sn isolation or quarantine center, doctors say, is also meant to be a containment centre so if its sewage network is a mess, it exposes the community to higher and more concentrated risks especially for children.
“The facility is like a boarding school with shared toilets and restrooms – how will covid-19 patients cope,” the resident wondered.
The residents are therefore rejecting the use of such facility for treating Covid-19 patients and insist that before it could be used, that is, if authorities still deem it fit to ignore their warnings, they must be consulted and assured about safety measures being put in place especially to deal with the sewage and blocked gutters.
“Whilst these are times of crisis and we need to improvise, we should be careful not to embrace curses that are worse than the disease,” the residents cautioned.
The New Crusading GUIDE’s independent checks on why isolation centres are far from residence in other jurisdictions revealed it is to avoid creating a mass contamination situation which could accelerate community transmission.