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Cape Coast youth turn storm drain into football field to check open defecation

The youth of Anaafo in Cape Coast, the Central Region capital, have turned a storm drain noted for open defecation and other unhealthy practices into a football alley.

The storm drain used to choke each time it rains as a result of the huge pile of rubbish that was being dumped into it, but it now looks clean. 

Residents living close to the storm drain no longer squat and ease themselves anymore. Instead, hundreds of spectators are treated to a good football match on weekends.

Joy News’ Richard Kwadwo Nyarko, who joined spectators to watch a game of football, reports that the participation of people in the game was unimaginable as over a hundred pairs of eyes fix their gaze on a match in the now clean storm drain.

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Kwesi Badu, a youth leader in the area, is excited about with the development.

He believes their new-found love will help the youth in the community give up on some unsanitary practices.

“We have resorted to change the situations and the circumstances. We have decided to stop the pouring of refuse in the gutter and also discourage people from openly defecating in the gutter. We have painted the gutter and we will play our own league here. No one dares come to defecate here or throw refuse in here,” he stated.

Nana Poku, another youth leader of Jackson Street in Cape Coast, is convinced using the storm drain this way will be environmentally beneficial.

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“We realized that this gutter was being missed. People throw in all sorts of things. You see people defecating in it (he points to about six people defecating at the other of the storm drain close to the sea.). We will change the narrative with the support of our leaders,” he said.

The Sustainable Development Goal VI targets 2030 for access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and an end to open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.

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