Fisherfolks Run Riot; Beat Up Environmental Taskforce

FISHERFOLKS in Elmina Bantuma, a suburb of Elmina in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) municipality of the Central Region, on the dawn of Friday, February 24, 2017 beat up officials of an Environmental Health Taskforce.

The action of the fisherfolks stemmed from attempts by the taskforce to arrest the former for answering to nature’s call in the open.

The environmental health taskforce has been set up to arrest residents in Elmina and its environs who indulge in the practice of open defecation at the beaches in the area.

The fisherfolks were angry at the environmental health taskforce for invading what they said was their ‘privacy’ and depriving them of the ‘joy’ of defecating on the beach.”

And following that confrontation, the fisherfolks assaulted the taskforce.

Briefing our Central Regional Chief Bureau, Magdalene Abrobrah, in a telephone interview after the incident, the KEEA Environmental Health Director, Mr. Alex Kwame Damptey, lamented that he was saddened by the incident, stressing that in spite of the numerous toilet facilities in the area, he was surprised people still defecated openly.

He narrated that the taskforce against open defecation was undergoing their usual duties last week Friday when residents in the area ambushed and prevented them from arresting people they caught defecating at the beach.

According to him, that development resulted in a scuffle between the taskforce and the fisherfolks.

This standoff, Mr. Damptey continued, compelled his taskforce to call for more officers from the assembly to remedy the situation.

He pointed out that although no serious injuries were recorded, some of his staff members were beaten with sticks and other offensive items resulting in one officer being severely wounded.

The incident, he disclosed, has been reported to the Elmina Police Command for further investigation and arrest.

Mr. Damptey explained that sanity was gradually being restored at Elmina beaches with the setting up of the taskforce, adding that no amount of intimidation from the fisherfolks will stop them from executing their duties.

“We are going to reinforce the taskforce and go there with armed police officers on our next visit.  Until they stop defecating at the beaches, we are not going to relax because it is an offence to openly defecate,” he warned.

Meanwhile, fourteen (14) people have so far been prosecuted by a magistrate court in the area for indulging in open defecation.

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