Sanitation in ‘Zongo’ Communities

A school of thought believes that Ghanaians are the most religious people on earth. That is arguable anyway. But we believe that Religious leaders have a role to play in our fight for clean communities.        

Starting from the Islamic religion, do you know that according to the Qur’an, when a Muslim is dirty, Allah moves away from him or her?

For some reason, ‘Zongo’ communities, places dominated by Muslims, within the country are ironically perceived to be unhygienic.

Clarifying this on Joy News, MultiTV’s sanitation campaign program, Clean Communities, Imam Ishmael Okota Badu, the Chief Imam of the Kaneshie Mosque insisted that Muslims are not dirty people but their communities have rather been deprived of some social amenities.

He said most communities are without access roads and drainage systems.

He blamed the situation on poor planning of ‘Zongo’ communities, which has been a contributory factor to their poor hygienic condition. He said because the roads are not accessible, waste disposing vehicles find it difficult to empty waste bins there.

The Imam said Zongo residents would also need education on the importance of having sanitation facilities in their households.

Touching on toilets, he said residents do not have toilet facilities in their homes due to the lack of access road, making it almost impossible for residents to have their septic tanks emptied. “Those who are staying around the roadside can get a WC toilet if they have where cars can come and collect the toilet,” he said.

He reiterated that most of the zongo communities need planning. He made reference to the Muslim community in Pokuase, called Dar es Salam, which has been properly planned and organized. He said it is possible to have planned Muslim communities.

He added that the word ‘Zongo’ does not mean a dirty place. He explained, “it’s because of the nature of the religion. We need the people to stay together so that we can pray together like the Quran prescribes”.

Imam Ismail Okota Badu said, notwithstanding all these, they would accept proper planning of their communities. He advised Muslims who defecate openly to put a stop to it.

He called on all Muslims to practice good hygiene in order to attract people to the religion.

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