Report on assessment of school sanitation in two Ghana villages

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  • Linda2019
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Report on assessment of school sanitation in two Ghana villages

I am a trustee of a UK charity that fundraises to support the work of Dream Big Ghana, an NGO in the Volta Region of Ghana.  We have just completed a survey of school toilets in two of the villages we serve, including taking a look at the EcoSan toilet block we have recently completed.  Conditions are pretty grim, but the NGO has already started remedial work based on the findings of the survey. Please take a look at our work - all comments welcome!
Dream Big Ghana School Sanitation Survey
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  • Chaiwe
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  • Independent consultant (strategic planning, project management and M&E in WASH, climate action and, gender and HIV) and Part-time Solid Waste Management Lecturer at the University of Zambia.
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Re: Report on assessment of school sanitation in two Ghana villages

Dear Linda,

I had a read through the survey document. Just to give a small background about the Ecosan for anyone who is new to this type of sanitation option, Ecosan toilets are above ground units that safely store and recycle human excreta, using natural processes to transform that waste into a safe, organic compost and fertilizer.  Once the chamber is emptied of all compost inside, the back slab can be sealed with cement once more and the toilet is ready to use again. The compost can then be used for agriculture purposes.

As stipulated by the research on the criticism of Ecosan which is the high cost of implementation required to build the facilities. The Ecosan toilets that DBG builds in schools cost approximately $15,000. Critics of Ecosan state that high initial costs severely affect the long-term sustainability of any Ecosan projects. It would be great to hear more about how DBG has looked into project sustainability in this regard?

Regardless of its costs, Ecosan’s appropriateness in rural areas lacking sanitation facilities and featuring high levels of agricultural employment make it an attractive technology if the subsidies are available. An improved sanitation facility such as a VIP with a sealed slab or an Ecosan toilet requires regular emptying once full. If it is emptied the correct way, then it can be classed as providing the school with a safely managed sanitation service. However, if it is not emptied appropriately then only basic sanitation service is being provided. From what

I noted in the analysis of research question 1 of the survey, that Dzita Basic School is being provided with a safely managed sanitation
service because the compost is emptied from the chamber once the process is complete. Agbledomi and Philio Basic Schools confirmed that the latrines are emptied once they fill up, therefore, providing the schools with a safely managed sanitation service. On the other hand, Anyanhui Basic School scored 0 for Q18, meaning the school’s sanitation facilities are only providing a basic service. Philip recorded the lowest ratio of students-to-toilets for males and females, However, the male ratio is still half over the recommended ratio, the female
ratio over approximately 100% over the recommended ratio. This I found quite interesting, and echo’s further the need for inclusiveness in respect to MHM needs for girls' facilities.

Overall great study! And thank you for sharing.

Regards,
Chaiwe
Co-moderator SuSanA forum
(Under consultancy contract with Skat Foundation funded by WSSCC)

Chaiwe Mushauko-Sanderse BSc. NRM, MPH
Independent consultant located in Lusaka, Zambia
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @ChaiweSanderse

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