Police authorities in the Upper East region have brought to light the plight of recruits at the Police Public Safety Training School (PPSTS) in the region who are compelled to ease themselves in the bush whenever the school’s flush toilets run short of water.
The crisis, according to the authorities, strikes mostly in the dry season- when all the sources of water the school depends on dry out. It happened last year, as it did in the years before. The school looks worried again as the region enters the threshold of another eight months of dry season—eight months of crisis and of the same open defecation practice the recruits are being trained to condemn in the future.
“It’s very, very difficult to get water when the dry season sets in. They go to the bush. Over 800 men and women here have to go to the bush to ease themselves because we don’t have water to flush the waste. And if you allow them to enter the toilet, they are going to choke it.
“We are trying as much as possible to see if corporate bodies, corporate institutions can come to our aid and we have had a positive sign from the UniBank Ghana Limited and I pat their back for that,” the Director of the school, ACP Adusah Poku, told newsmen shortly after 134 recruits were graduated into constables Wednesday.
He added: “We have a borehole but the borehole dries up from January. We expect that UniBank is going to build an overhead water reservoir, a concrete one. They will draw water from the White Volta which is about two thousand metres from here, process it and it will be distributed throughout the school.”
Four of the 134 police trainees were honoured at the event for some outstanding results acquired at the end of the training programme, with Abraham Obeng Amoh emerging as the best recruit.
Two of the awardees, a male and a female, slumped in a faint one after the other whilst standing on parade. Observers attributed it to the intense heat of the sun under which the recruits had stood for about two hours and performed a variety of drills that took the crowd’s breath away.
“It’s not something that we don’t expect. About two to three percentage of casualties on parade is normal because we know that the sun here is very hot. And if you are unfortunate you do the parade after 9 o’clock, you should be expecting more casualties,” ACP Poku told Starr News.
The graduation ceremony, graced by security chiefs and witnessed by families of the new constables, saw 61 females and 73 males graduate after a six months basic police programme that covered such areas as Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Law of Evidence, Practical Police Duties, Basic Officer Skills, Professional Ethics and Human Rights, Community Policing, Criminal Investigation and Map Reading.
The Director General in charge of Special Duties, COP Christian Tetteh Yohuno, who reviewed the parade, issued a strong caution to the recruits against irresponsible use of the social media and deviation from the principles of the police profession.
“You are going out at a time when many lives of our officers have been taken away by violent robbers. That is why it is important to be extra circumspect in your daily duties. Most of these deaths could have been avoided if we had observed the basic tenets of our noble profession. The rudiment of our job is summarised in the Police Handbook and I would [urge] you to make it your ‘Bible’ if you want to stay away from trouble,” COP Yohuno warned.
He further admonished, “I also need to caution you about the use of social media. Social media is good and interesting but it can also serve as a recipe for self-destruction. As officers, we need to be mindful of the power of information not only of its evidential value but its traceability. It can easily expose you to public ridicule and wreck your career forever. That is why I will entreat you to be wary of it, especially our ladies. A word to the wise is enough.”
The Commanding Officer of the National Police Training School, ACP Deborah Addison-Campbell, was among the dignitaries in attendance. COP Yohuno commended General Recruit Abraham Obeng Amoh for his exploits as well as the other award winners. He advised them to see their achievements as “a platform to strive for greater success stories”.