Open Sewers in Ghana: A Community Issue


The first thing I noticed when I walked the streets of Ghana was the presence of large open sewers. My Ghanaian friend said the locals jokingly call them "foreigner traps” because a lot of people from other countries accidentally fall in. From then on, I made sure to take extra care walking over them. Back home we have sidewalks that cover the sewage system, but I did not know the value of these sidewalks until I arrived in Ghana.

What community need did I learn about?:

I learned about Ghana’s sewage system. Ghana is behind with their sewage infrastructure as they still use open sewage drains. This is detrimental to the community because it contributes to the spread of diseases throughout the country, especially in rural areas. A change that the country could benefit from is a closed sewage system along with better sanitation practices.

Why does the community have this need?:

Sewage systems properly dispose of waste, especially waste such as feces that can spread diseases like cholera. Since sewers here are open, they attract malaria carrying mosquitoes that infect locals. Additionally, closed sewage systems prevent flooding which is especially important in a tropical environment where rainfall is abundant.