One of the recruits at the Police Public Safety Training School (PPSTS) in the Upper East region has suffered a snakebite whilst answering the call of nature in the bush at night.
A chronic water crisis at the school has rendered its flush toilets inoperative whereupon close to a thousand recruits, more than 400 of whom are females, now have to squat dangerously in the bush to ease themselves.
“We have recorded one snake bite,” the Director of the school, ACP Adusah Poku, told Ultimate News Thursday. “He was taken to the hospital. We also have anti-snake venom here; so, we took it along. Now, the bush is overgrowing. If you go there, you can have problems.”
He disclosed further: “We have a 20-room toilet facility but we cannot use it because we don’t have the water to flush it. As for bathing, the recruits can get some water to bathe. The only water we have is for their feeding and for their bathing. But for the flushing, we don’t have the water. So, they have to go into the bush to ease themselves.”
A number of recruits rushed into the bush after the recruit (name withheld) gave a shout of horror during the snake attack, but the poisonous reptile had slithered away through the bush. The victim, whilst in pain, could only describe the snake as thick and short, as he pointed in the direction the snake went and grabbed his leg where it had sunk its fangs.
Meanwhile, authorities have advised all recruits to get a torch to lead the way when they are heading for the bush at night and a cutlass to use for burying the waste when they are done.
“Fortunately, the recruit survived the snake attack. But we’ve made them (the recruits) to acquire torchlights and they go there with a cutlass. If they go there without a cutlass and they defecate around, you can’t go there the next day. Over 800 recruits going to the bush, can you go there every day? That is why they have to dig a hole and cover it so that the next day they can still go there,” the Director said.
The good and the ugly
The institution, established in 2005, was formerly known as the Pwalugu Police Training School, training only recruits.
It was converted in 2014 into Police Public Safety Training School to groom recruits into police officers and to conduct international training programmes for both junior and senior police ranks on how to effectively counter cross-border terrorism attacks, armed robbery operations and illegal mining activities among other high-risk security missions.
Despite the upgrade, the school still lacks some requisite structures that befit an institution of that status. Its dormitories and classrooms need seriously expansion so trainees can be conveniently accommodated. The school’s computer laboratory is big but boring. The 30 sets of computers found in the laboratory are not internet-connected. The administration wants a barbed-wire fence wall but that dream is yet far from start.
But the good news is that a road network with drains is being constructed on the campus. The old lamentations over the lack of security lights are also over. The area is now well lit with photo-sensor skylite lamps. Besides, a contractor is about to finish and hand over a brand new 100-metre parade ground to the administration.
Above all, the UniBank Ghana Limited is making efforts to provide the school with a concrete overhead water tank to bring an end to the water crisis.
ACP Poku spoke of the UniBank intervention: “We have brought experts and a contractor. They have taken the measurements already. We Community Water and Sanitation officials also came and took the estimates. They are studying it. We are only awaiting approval for the construction to start.”