Tenants On Towel, Sponge Renting Spree

It may sound shocking but it�s true. The rippling effects of erecting buildings without bathhouses and toilet facilities by landlords in the national capital, Accra, has created a culture where people rent towels and sponge for their bathe at public bathrooms popularly known as �showers.� This practice is predominant at James Town, a suburb of Accra, where some residents prefer renting towels, sponge and soap for their bathe. One would have to pay an amount of GH�1.00 for the towel and sponge. Those who wish to purchase hot water for their bathe also pay GH�0.5p. Nii Kumah, a resident of James Town who spoke to The Heritage newspaper in an interview laid the blame at the doorsteps of his landlord. �It is easy waking up early to the bathhouse; rent everything you need for your bath, after bathing you come home. You are relieved of the burden of carrying your sponge dish and towels to these places. Sometimes it is embarrassing,� he observed. �I have not had any diseases as a result of bathing with these sponges. I have been doing it for a number of years,� he said. He blamed landlords for converting toilets and washrooms into rooms for rental, and city authorities for not being proactive enough to hold homes and shop owners without toilets accountable. �The fact still remains that if people are not compelled to build bathrooms and toilet facilities in their homes and landlords are not held responsible for the absence of such facilities, then people will continue to soil the environment,� Kumah asserted. In areas like Chorkor, Jamestown, Nima, Maamobi, Ggbegbeise, Avenor, the predicament of tenants hopping from public toilets and bathhouses was equally common place. Over twenty thousand households in Accra are without toilet facilities. The Assembly has also prosecuted 3,432 house owners for failing to comply with the AMA�s policy of one toilet per house. Lack of toilet facilities in many homes in Accra is something that cannot be ignored, and as a result, people form long queues early in the morning to have access to the few existing public toilets, putting extreme pressure on these facilities.