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Communities say sewage from landfill site pollute their water

Residents of four communities around the landfill in the Sagnarigu Municipality of the Northern Region say sewage from a landfill site is contaminating their source of drinking water.

They allege that water from the site moves into a stream and finds its way into their wells and dams.

The communities of Gbalahi, Santugu Kontaliga and Kula are situated down the hill after the landfill which makes it easy for elements from the site to easily get into these communities.

The people said the situation is heightened during the rainy season making them sick most often.

They said diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid are the most common illnesses in the area.

A farmer within the enclave, Yamba Salifu, said during the rainy season the faecal matter overflows and runs into their water bodies.

“During the raining season the toilet overflows and runs to the stream contaminating the water,” he said.

He said farmers who have their farms around the area are forced to carry their sachet water anytime they come to the farm.

“You see that am carrying my pure water. We the farmers know the toilet runs into the water so we can’t drink it,” Mr Yamba said.

He said it’s an age-long problem that little has been done to resolve the problem.

A resident of Kontalga one of the communities said cholera is a common illness in the area.

He appealed to the government to intervene. “We do not have potable water here. The only water is this dam water which is polluted making us sick all the time and we do not have a clinic so you see the difficulty,” he added.

The Chief Linguist of Santugu said it’s a big problem facing the community but they have no option. He said they have been in and out of the hospital, especially this year.  Afa Abukari said the people most affected are women and children.

A midwife at the Kula CHIP compound, Isaiah Swad, confirmed that diarrhoea, typhoid and cholera are top cases they record for children under five.

“The most common sickness is diarrhoea and vomiting and its always among children” she said

Madam Swad added that typhoid is also common among the adult population.

She attributed these sickness to the contamination of the water the people drink.

Engineer at the Tamale Metro Assembly Manager of the Landfill site, Demedeme Emmanuel,  said the landfill site is an engineered one with all engineering technology considered for the running of the facility.

He said per their assessment and by the design, there shouldn’t be leachate that goes into the runoff water adding that pipes were laid to convey the water into the wastewater treatment facility.

Mr Demedeme said what is seen  could be excess water or rainfall that has been saturated around the premises of the landfill but virtually not from the landfill.

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