Major streets and intersections in the once ‘Garden City’ have been taken over by stray animals, especially, cattle.
The age-old phenomenon appears to have worsened due, perhaps, to high demand for livestock for Christmas festivities.
Beside the public nuisance and danger, sanitation is a major worry as the animals leave their droppings along the streets, with little or no action by authorities.
Environmental Health Officer at the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Isaac Basayin told JoyNews those who are seized with the responsibility to arrest [the Cowboys], are failing to do so.
According to Mr. Basayin, the fees the Cowboys want to charge per arrest is too high, therefore they’re in talks with them to reach an agreeable amount per animal.
“They were trying to charge about GH₵100 per arrest, which we think is too high. We are saying, they can charge about GH₵50 cedis per animal, and we will do that. So that is the only problem we’re facing and we hope after Christmas we are going to tackle the problem.”
The story, however, is different in the Eastern Region town of Banka, where community leaders generate income from stray animals for communal benefit.
In Banka, traditional authorities have set up a prison-like pen where stray animals are “arrested” and kept till the owners come to reclaim them.
The owner pays a fine of GH₵50 per animal, of which GH₵20 goes to the affected party and the remaining GH₵30 is kept in the local coffers for development.
The Odikro of Banka, Nana Kwame Sarpong Kumankuman, says the law has come in handy to control the once rampant attacks on farms and crops of local farmers by stray goats and sheep.
He says, ”It is about time we strengthened the law. We’ll have to ensure all livestock keepers have pens. Those without pens would not be allowed to keep livestock.”