Bats invasion: Asuboi teachers’ bungalow, basic schools overrun by mammals

A colony of bats has invaded the only teachers’ bungalow and classrooms at the Asuboi Municipal Assembly basic schools in the Offinso South Municipality of the Ashanti Region.

Some teachers of the school are already contemplating vacating their posts if the situation remains unchanged.

Asuboi, a farming community, came to the limelight in 2010 after investigations by Nhyira FM’s Ohemeng Tawiah revealed more than 70 percent of residents were infected with river blindness as they battled invasion of black flies, carriers of onchocerciasis.

Ohemeng visits the community again after four years and reveals teachers have been forced to live under inhumane conditions.

Teachers there share habitation with bats as a 4-unit each teachers’ bungalow housing twenty teachers in the local primary and junior high schools serve as the home for a colony of African fruit bats.

It is common to hear the screech and squeal of the bats who defy the presence of their human hosts as they make their way the ceilings, their hideouts during the day.

Because their huge numbers parts of the ceiling in the rooms have been destroyed.

Living in the teachers’ bungalow is a misery as life there has been reduced to the strong odour accompanying the presence of the bats.

The bats, according to the teachers, easily drop faeces in their rooms – bringing with it parasites, as well as insects that sting them at night.

The teachers have no option than to coexist with the mammals though in protest.

A distressed teacher revealed: “Their [bats] faeces are everywhere and then the odour too is too bad. You can’t even stand it within a minute or two. So sometimes we have to come out and sit outside because of the odour from the animals.

 ”Most of the time, they come out in the evening so if you don’t eat early and you wait for them to come out, those animals can enter the food or drop some faeces in your food. When you are sleeping in the rooms, sometimes they drop their faeces in the rooms that we sleep and sometimes too we find them on our shirts”. 

After weeks of petitioning the Municipal Education Directorate, the situation remains the same as the bats have now begun invading the classrooms and headmasters office as well.

Teachers fear is heightened by the outbreak of Ebola along the West African coast with bat believed to be hosts.

“Sometimes we do think of leaving the school and maybe going somewhere because of the conditions we have here…It’s not easy.  And then, now that there is an Ebola virus or outbreak, sometimes it becomes difficult for us”, a worried teacher said.

Headteacher of the local Primary school, Amponsah Antwi, wants support for the teachers.

 ”In the night you can’t sleep. They [bats] make a lot of noise. We wrote a letter to the District Assembly and the Ghana Education Service to come and assist us but still. So we want somebody to help us so that we can have a nice stay”,  Mr Amponsah appealed.

But Municipal Chief Executive of Offinso South, Baffuor Kesse-Amankwaa claims the teachers’ concerns have not come to his attention.

He has assured the assembly will address the challenge.

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