Godfred Abayateye, expert in ‘human waste’ disposal

Godfred Abayateye, expert in ‘human waste’ disposal

Godfred Abayateye inspecting a truck after collecting human waste to ensure there is no spillage

One of the common questions people ask when they meet a new person is his profession.

Usually, when people have ‘presti­gious’ jobs, they are quick to respond. They are usually the first to mention their professions in a conversation and then ask others about theirs.

For Godfred Abayateye, a toi­let waste truck driver whose job basically entails collecting and disposing of human excreta, one could have imagined the dis­com­fort with such a question. But, interestingly, he is not embarrassed at all about the job he does.

• Abayateye and his colleague John on duty

He said, the fact that his wife was very proud of him and appreciated him for his ability to shoulder their respon­sibilities as a husband and father that serves as a major source of motivation for him.

In an interview with The Spectator last week about his life and job, the res­ident of Ashaiman disclosed that he had been in the business of going to homes and premises of businesses to collect their waste for 12 years.

“There are no regrets for being some­one who collects and disposes human waste of hundreds of people on daily basis.”

He said on a good day, he was able to serve four clients but when business goes slow, he struggles to get a single client. “In all honesty, I think it’s a good job which I’ll would recommend to anyone willing to join.”

Mr Abayateye who is in his 40s said he was in the business not just to make money but also keep the public clean.

He said although people disrespected them and liked to treat them without dignity, he was not perturbed.

He mentioned instances where clients even avoided talking to them when they went to their homes to offer their services because in their minds, the “toilet man” is not clean.

The father of four said some of their clients looked at them with contempt and would not even allow them to use their buckets to fetch water to help the process.

“These are the people who fails to appreciate that without us, their health can be compromised.”

In his view, persons in the waste business helped to curb open defecation, prevents diarrhoea and other health issues.

He said he was always happy to wake up to a new day of going round to take waste from people’s homes because he was able to give his children education and pay his bills to give his family a decent life.

He shared a joke about how some road users tried to avoid them on the road for fear of the collected waste spill­ing on them, the road or on their cars.

He said he tried ensuring that all the parts of the vehicle which could be used as a point of entry was well secured to prevent any air pollution or incon­venience to the public but reduce the danger to its barest minimum.

Mr Abayateye appealed to the gov­ernment to prioritise sites for disposal of such waste to make the job more attrac­tive and also keep the environment safe.

He also appealed on authorities to grant a subsidy on the cost of toilet waste trucks to attract more people into the profession to reduce the unemployment rate.

 From Dzifa Tetteh Tay, Ashaiman

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