In recent times, issues of sanitation have been reduced to waste management and personal hygiene only, with the latter most probably greatly attributed to the presence of Covid-19 and the need to maintain distance between oneself and others.

In the midst of the brouhaha that surrounds the highly contagious nature of humanity’s rival virus, the state of events at a section of the Tema Station in Accra is both appalling and horrendous.

Late night commuters of the road between Accra Metropolitan Assembly Head Office and the Tema Station would have been put in the obnoxious position of having to struggle to look away from quite a sum of female head porters or “kayaye” bathing along the stretch of the road at least once.

Adding to the trauma travellers have to face upon coming across this sight is the fact that the head pans that are employed in carrying goods belonging to customers serve the purpose of “bathing pans” at night.

A visit to the bus station a few meters away reveals that bathroom and toilet facilities have indeed been made available to these head porters in addition to a constant supply of water. These provisions nonetheless have been ignored by close to 50 adamant women and teenagers, who maintain that the price of GhȻ1 is exploitative and too expensive.

Speaking to an assumed leader of the group, she complained: “having to pay 1 cedi or 50 pesewas to take a shower or visit the toilet is exorbitant, considering how much we make in a day. My money would have totally been spent by end of day should I make a journey to the toilet at least thrice. Until something is done about it, our best option is to wait for dark, in order to bath at the roadside”.

It is well obvious that this practice is passed on as tradition, due to the presence of teenage culprits who happen to be daughters and relatives of older parties. This goes contrary to Article 15 (2) b of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which states that “no one shall be subjected to conditions that detract or is likely to detract from his dignity and worth as a human being; a provision, which among others, seeks to protect the privacy of every individual.”

Furthermore, the inappropriate convention of head pans used to serve daily customers as bathing equipment is an issue that needs immediate address.

With this in mind, I will urge the A.M.A to take drastic measures at ensuring an instant discontinuity in the matter at hand.

The writer Kingsley Amedegbe-Doe is an intern with JoyNews.

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