THE Ghana Police Service has begun a programme to phase out the use of pan latrines at the various police barracks in Kumasi after persistent pressure on it by the Environmental Department of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to discontinue with the antiquated practice.
The Head of Public Affairs at the Ashanti Regional Police Command, Chief Inspector Yusif Mohammed Tanko, told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi yesterday that the process of phasing out pan latrines started from the central barracks where the pan latrines had been replaced with water closets.
He said contracts had also been awarded for similar facilities at other barracks to bring some comfort to policemen and their dependants.
Even though the KMA banned the use of pan latrines about four years ago, the police continued to use it, a situation that did not go down well with the Environmental Department of the assembly.
In Accra, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has started enforcing the ban on pan latrines following a Supreme Court ruling.
A legal practitioner and now Chairman of the Lands Commission, Nana Adjei Ampofo, filed the writ at the Supreme Court praying it to ban the use of pan latrines in Accra, since it was inhuman for people to carry human excreta.
According to the Environmental Officer of the KMA, Mr Paul Akanaba, the practice was outmoded and came along with environmental consequences and wondered why the police continued to use pan latrines.
He said, for instance, that those who carried the human excreta dumped it into streams and rivers, creating a health hazard for people downstream who depended on those water bodies for their water supplies.
“They dump the faecal matter at odd hours to avoid being caught,” Mr Akanaba added.
He stated that his outfit wrote to remind the police of the existing bye-law on the use of pan latrines “but the police always complained of lack of funds”.
He expressed the hope that the police would do the right thing in their own interest and that of the people in the metropolis.
Mr Akanaba further indicated that the use of pan latrines had implications on human rights because it was wrong for people to carry the excreta of their fellow human beings for a living.
He said apart from the police barracks, his outfit was also aware that some landlords had resorted to the use of pan latrines in their houses.
“We shall go at them to ensure that the law takes its course,” the officer stressed.