Days and Nights of Freetown – “Nor scatter Kaka Fita-Fata”

We saw an example of this as we headed back from the defunct bridge.  A rusted sign was set in amongst the fields near the road.  Put up by the local community it said “Open Defecation is not allowed.  Please use the latrine, latrine use is free”.  It seems bizarre to most people that a community has to be told not to defecate anywhere, and that the idea of the dirt and spread of disease is not an innate reaction (and I imagine my disgust to know you might walk in human faeces almost anywhere is not just a western learnt reaction).   I suppose the habit comes from past years where communities were small and you could head off into the bush and defecate and by the time you next went back to that area natural processes had cleaned away the evidence.  Also the connection between faeces and disease may not be clear amongst at least some of the community.  But as populations become larger and more tightly packed it is no way to deal with sewage.  I found the number of hygiene and sanitation projects around staggering and still surprising that there was a need for reinforcing the messages so often.

As much as there was a serious point to the sign, I must admit what most attracted me was the Krio translation of the English.  It was much more onomatopoeic and lyrical “Nor scatter Kaka Fita-Fata”.



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