The siting of drinking spots in the Upper East has over the years been a worry to residents and although they are affected by the activities of such spots, they seem to be quiet about it and continue to suffer.
Such is the story of residents of Pobaga. In the heart of the area stands a drinking spot called ‘injection spot’ which only does not pollute the environment with noise but also has made all residents of the area secondhand smokers.
With the spot’s strategic location in the heart of the community, patrons of the place who start to troop in around 4:00 am to drink and smoke their heart out and saturate the air with smoke from their cigarette.
Residents and especially people staying close to the spot have had to suffer this pain on a daily basis and this have caused them a great deal and left them worried about the state of their heart since it is an open secret that secondhand smokers stand a higher risk of been affected by respiratory diseases than the people who smoke.
One resident who spoke to a1radioonline.com on condition anonymity said: “boss we are suffering here but what can you say, it is their land so you cannot complain about what they use it for. As for me, I stay close to the spot so it’s just like I also smoke the cigarette because it enters my nose directly when they smoke it. Sometimes, I even get drunk as a result of their cigarette smoke. I know the effects of this but my brother, what can I do about it? That is the work they do so you cannot complain but inhale it like that”.
Zakia is an SHS graduate who leaves a stone throw from the drinking spot; she tells a1radioonline.com that the spot plays loud music deep into the night and the patrons sometimes sing along loudly just to disturb residents of the area. On the smoking, she mentioned that every day, her area’s air is dense and is always filled with smoke from a cigarette. “As for here we are all smokers, on a daily basis we have to inhale what they smoke so I can tell you we even smoke more than the people who smoke,” she said.
Another resident, an aged man who would not want his name mentioned said: “my son, I may die before my time. You see, I stay just behind the spot and since the weather is hot I always have to come and sit here and when I do, I inhale whatever thing they smoke here. My son, I may go before my time because of these people. It is very worrying, what they are doing is hurting us badly. We have had to suffer for years”.
Like the residents in this community, other places in the Bolgatanga Municipality are suffering a similar fate. Drinking spots and pubs are scattered all over the place with some sited in people’s houses and tenants and other family members have become secondhand smokers and risk respiratory diseases such tuberculosis.
However, the siting of drinking spots is the mandate of the Environmental Protection agency but they have become a White Elephant which cannot see through their mandate of protecting the environment by ensuring proper siting of drinking spot to protect the people.
The world on Friday celebrated world tuberculosis day with a call for the protection of the heart to avoid tuberculosis because a deadly one has been discovered but until the Environmental Protection Agency do their work, residents of the and the Bolgatanga Municipality cannot protect their heart and may die as a result of their negligence.
By: Offei-Akoto Ayeh/a1radioonline.com/Ghana