There was visible improvement at the Avenor Slaughter slap in Accra on the second visit by AMA sanitation officers after an earlier visit last month.
The facility, which is the only functioning slaughterhouse in Accra, attracted public attention after it emerged that animals were being killed at the almost open-air slaughterhouse under highly unsanitary conditions.
In the past year alone, at least three visits had been made to this same slaughterhouse, with a caution for its operators to ensure adherence to sanitation standards.
But like the mouse when the cat is away, the departure of the officials also meant the return to flouting the regulations.
The team was greeted by open drains choked by excrement from the intestines of the slaughtered animals. As flies besieged us in the yard, the pungent smell from the gutters at the abattoir was also in a strong contest for our attention.
But the Director of Public Health at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Florence Kuukyi, ordered immediate cleaning of the slaughterhouse with a screening exercise scheduled for later.
“So as we are standing here, we are commanding all of [them] to go and get brooms to clean the place right now. If they don’t do it, we are closing down the place,” Florence Kuukyi screamed.
On the second visit, however, she said, “we can see about some 45 per cent improvement in the conditions here, and the operators have shown commitment to improving the situation”.
“It’s not all done. They have promised to tile the place and construct a fence wall to keep rodents, insects, and other animals out”, she added.
The workers on duty were observed to be wearing their facemasks and had stopped recycling dirty water to wash the slain animals’ carcasses.
“We are happy about what you people are doing. Cleanliness is next to godliness. Even if you live in a house, you’re expected to clean it when you wake up. How much more where you work,” one of the workers told the Joy Clean Ghana team.
“We came all the way from the North, and we now have a job. We don’t want it to be shut down, so we will obey all the regulations given”, another said.
AMA officials say they are impressed by the efforts being made by managers of the slaughterhouse to upgrade the facility.