Residents of Danfa in the La-Nkwantanang Madina Municipality are in grave discomfort following the siting of a cattle ranch (kraal) in the centre of their community.
The situation has resulted in consistent insect bites, destruction of property and offensive odour emanating from the cattle and their ranch, causing great inconvenience for outdoor living and activities.
Majority of the residents, including children, have scars on their skins from bites caused by blackflies, tsetse flies and other insects that follow the cattle back to the ranch from their daily outdoor grazing.
The ranch is located at Adoteiman, a residential area near the Danfa Community Clinic, contrary to the bye-laws of the La-Nkwantanang Madina Municipal Assembly (LaNMMA).
The bye-laws of LaNMMA, among other things, stipulate that no person shall keep any pig, cattle, sheep, goats, grass cutters and other domesticated animals within the area of administration of the assembly without a permit.
It states that a person may keep the animals on condition that the animals are kept in pens or kraals, do not create nuisance to the neighbours, and attended to by veterinary officers and that owners are to ensure that sanitary rules, specified by the municipal environmental health officer, are maintained.
The Daily Graphic’s week-long monitoring of the community followed concerns raised by some residents who could no longer bear the suffering and nuisance caused by the presence of the cattle and their ranch.
The team observed that both adults and children put on clothing to cover the entire body as a means to ward off the insects when outside.
The ranch which has generated controversy
During the tour and monitoring, the team came across a five-year-old child in the community who was recovering from severe bites by the insects.
Also, the residents, who stay within the Adoteiman community where the ranch is sited, also complained that noise from the cattle disturbed their sleep and an unbearable stench from the ranch polluted the atmosphere when it rained.
The residents said they had reported the issue through several letters since 2021 to the LaNMMA, yet no action had been taken so far.
Residents in distress
A resident and lecturer at the Ghana Christian University, Samuel Agbenyefia, said he had been enduring the difficulties with his family ever since they moved into the community in 2013.
He said the owner had promised to relocate the cattle to the Central Region but that was yet to happen, leaving the cattle to cause a lot of nuisance in the neighbourhood.
“As we speak, my five-year-old child is the latest victim.
Initially, when we saw the rashes on the skin of the child, we thought they were normal until we realised that when the insect bites, they leave blood stains on the body.
“The hospital also confirmed that the child was bitten by harmful insects,” he said.
“Anytime we complain, the owner keeps telling us that we, the human beings, came to meet the cattle and for that reason, we should rather accommodate them,” a grocery shop owner, Rose Dzanka, who is also a resident, said.
The assemblyman of the Danfa Electoral Area, Charles Kotei, who corroborated the concerns of the residents, said his office had formally reported the issue to the Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit (EHSU) of LaNMMA for redress.
He said the assembly assured them that the issue would be resolved.
When the Daily Graphic contacted the Head of EHSU of the assembly, Joseph Quarcoe, he said the bye-laws frowned on the siting of the cattle ranch in a residential area.
He explained that cattle kraals were not allowed in residential areas and, for that reason, the assembly did not issue permits to owners of such animals.
He promised to investigate and take the necessary action on the issue.
Action so far
The Daily Graphic gathered that the LaNMMA had issued a notice on September 1, 2023 to the owners of the cattle, who are Nii Oseremwou III, Nii Adjatey and Fati Amadu, all residents of Adoteiman, to abate the nuisance within seven days.
The notice, which had since been handed over to the representatives of the owners, read in parts: “The nuisance complained of is (1) rearing of cattle within a residential area; (2) accumulation of cow dung exposed to flies and giving off offensive odour; (3) overgrowth of weeds serving as a breeding place for reptiles.
“You are to stop, relocate and abate the said nuisances and report at the Zonal Council on September 4, 2023 at 10 a.m. prompt for further action”.
Mr Quarcoe added that “we are waiting for them to comply within the specified time, failure of which they will be put before court.”