Achimota School’s antiquated sewerage system, never upgraded since it was installed decades ago, has finally collapsed. It is spilling sewage, including human waste, into some of the gutters, streets and open areas of the campus. This has created a public health crisis that could easily spread deadly communicable diseases throughout the Achimota community of more than 4,500 students and staff, not counting others.
On January 19, 2010, Government health inspectors ordered the school to resolve the problem or shut down. The problem is that Achimota, once Ghana’s leading secondary school and a pacesetter in West African education, is cash-strapped. The school is in a state of general decay and has no money to fix what has now become a huge and expensive sanitation problem.
The clogging and bursting of the sewer pipes has been accelerated by aggressive encroachment by private individuals, who have built homes illegally on school land, often almost directly on top of the sewer system's main lines.
Despite the risks to health caused by the ongoing spillage, there has been no discernible movement toward resolving the crisis. A sense of outrage and frustration is beginning to build among parents, students and alumni, especially since Achimota is a fully government-owned school. As such, it cannot decide, on its own, to raise school fees to expand its maintenance budget. Its hands are tied.
We believe that the Ghana Government has a clear duty to undertake major repair projects such as sewer system replacement at government-owned schools, especially when the school has been ordered by the Government itself to contain an ongoing and escalating public health crisis.
As concerned parents, alumni, teachers, staff and friends of Achimota School, we therefore urge the Government of Ghana to approve funding to enable Achimota to upgrade its broken sewerage system to prevent groundwater contamination, the spread of communicable diseases, the potential loss of life, and potential disruptions in the school year.
The Solve the Achimota School Health Crisis petition to The Government of the Republic of Ghana was written by The Achimota School Foundation and is in the category Education at GoPetition.