Sammu (not his real name) had been waiting behind for God knows how long to collect the waste and fling it somewhere before dawn.
He (Sammu) could not wait any longer and therefore decided to prickle Tom on his buttocks with the broom for scrubbing the receiving receptacle.
Sammu had woken Tom. He pulled the receptacle, murmured many things, but his ˜angry scrubbing™ made the murmurs indistinct.
Wafts of the stuff rose into Tom™s nose, flushing him out of the room.
He (Tom) went into the living room of the detached apartment for a while for Sammu to leave before he came out to have a bath.
Tom had been crouching on a pan latrine at the Junior Staff Quarters owned by government in Ho, the Volta Regional capital.
This incident happened in 2012 and is an indication of the seriousness of the sanitation situation in the country and access to toilet in Ghana, with particular reference to Ho.
In Ghana, the latest statistics published by the World Health Organization (WHO)/United Nations Children™s Fund (UNICEF) in 2012 shows that only 15 per cent (3.7 million) Ghanaians have access to clean, safe and improved toilets in their homes, 58 per cent of the population share toilets with their neighbours or use public toilets and another 4.6 million Ghanaians defecate in the open daily.
The statistics is updated every year at the celebration of World Toilet Day in Ghana. The situation is not getting any better.
The issue is deeper than one can imagine. Though the law says every home must have a toilet, the mindset of most Ghanaians is that the state must provide public toilets.
The scene at public toilets across the country every morning is intriguing. Long queues of people clutching different types of material to clean themselves and these include newspapers, rags and even polythene sheets.
Many normally look tensed up. A few actually agitated, depending on the urgency of the "call".
The urgency of the "call" brings back memories of an encounter at a public toilet years ago.
There was this man who was the second person in the queue to go into the six sitter water closet toilet. He was restless. The man would peep into the toilet and chuckle.
The man moved, peeped again. This time after his chuckle, he dashed inside.
From outside one could hear clearly.
"What do you think you are doing here, playing when there is along queue outside? "Get up, yes I mean up," the man said.
There were some muffled protestations and silence.
In less than two minutes the man came out and walked away.
The above narration is a depiction of what happens in Ghana in the early hours of the morning everyday when people™s bowels dictate the pace of activities.
Statistics show that majority of the people do it not at the right place. In alleys, bushes, into polythene bags, at beaches, along banks of rivers, brooks and streams.
Perhaps that is why a beach community decided to demarcate their beach for the purposes of defecating into that for males and females.
A worker of the Ghanaian sanitation giant, Zoomlion, told the GNA that wrapped polythene sheets inside public garbage bins sometimes contained human excreta.
"This situation creates a lot of difficulty for us while loading garbage for transportation to the final disposal site.
"Even if I am present when they bring their garbage I cannot ask to inspect what is inside," the Sanitation worker said.
Mr Francis Abotsi, the Volta Regional Director of the Environmental Health Service, told the GNA that there were improvements. He said the number of pan latrines had reduced but said he was sad at the growing number of households without toilets.
Mr Abotsi said attitudes remain the biggest problem to tackling sanitation issues.
The writer was among a group of journalist who were taken with others attending a workshop on forestry to a woodlot near Xevi, in the Akatsi-North District.
The group was served with snacks and almost everybody dropped his or her parking case in the settlement near the forest.
A German elderly woman working with the NGO that organized the workshop brought out a sack and packed all the garbage into his vehicle.
After an Independence Day parade, a selected group of school pupils were invited to the Residency in Ho.
They were given soft drinks in plastics and biscuits and they decorated the streets leading to the Residency with the plastics and wrappers of biscuits as they left the premises.
The filth left behind when churches hold conventions, political party rallies and sports fields after event, depicts Ghana's state of environmental awareness.
In the markets and street sides, ready-to- eat foods are not covered and are picked for buyers with bare hands.
Hypertensives on drugs which make them urinate often would appreciate the problem. While in some other countries lavatories are all over, in Ghana you hardly see them.
The situation is not getting better generally for sanitation and the experts must act now.A Feature by Sepenyo Dzokoto