INDEPTH was present during all of the stages. It was responsible for the community’s ongoing training in the technology and enabled direct follow-up. From the very beginning, plans were in place to replicate the experience so that when the training ends, the leaders can become multipliers and move to nearby communities to share their new knowledge.
The rational use of water and the state’s capacity to provide sewage systems are highly relevant. Consequently, training in building a prototype composting toilet and building them were identified as key steps to address the environmental and social sanitary challenges in Nyapienya and Langma. This training promotes collective and participatory activities among community members, where traditional knowledge is recognized and promoted, as is proper residual management, and where accessible, new, low-cost technology is introduced that can be replicated for proper management of human waste. As a result, the composting toilets were decorated with symbolic elements of the Nyapienya and Langma communities.
In Nyapienya, the communal leaders of each of the churches bring together the community, the group of assembly men who make important community decisions, members of the local government such as the chief of water and sanitary conditions, INDEPTH Network local directors, teachers in nearby communities and 40 women and men of the community.
In Langma, the tribal chief of the area is responsible for communal development. There, the main beneficiaries of the project are members of the Jamestown zone and members from distant communities. Th project also engages young volunteers from Rojal NU- the Network of African Youths for Development - in charge of project replication, and 44 women and men who received training to build three prototypes of compost toilets for their communities.
All new technologies, whether alternative or intuitive, must be supported by an appropriate study of social context and a high level of awareness regarding the need for and how to use them. A strong educational programme and training are needed to ensure the design, construction and correct use of the composting toilets, which will be used daily, in keeping with local resources. Accordingly, the Organizmo Foundation developed three stages for project implementation: (i) implementation; (ii) awareness; and, iii) follow-up.
Today, around 120 people use these toilets daily. This contributes to the proper management of sanitary conditions (SDG 6) and to improving the communities’ health and wellbeing conditions (SDG 3). Additionally, the implementation of dry toilets contributes to the end of poverty (SDG 1) and gender equality (SDG 5) because there is a direct link between female school leaving and the precarious conditions that women from these towns faced due to the poor sanitary conditions they faced when menstruating, which can cause urinary or vaginal diseases.
The original proposal to implement this project in Ghana was made by the Colombian Embassy in Ghana, under the aegis of its humanitarian cooperation programme. The Embassy received strong support from Colombia’s international cooperation agency, APC Colombia, which established an alliance with the Organizmo Foundation2 based on its experience developing educational models for green building techniques and alternative technologies. Later, the Organizmo Foundation went to Ghana and taught these communities how to build and use the composting toilets properly. INDEPTH Network and Rojal NU provided support during the initial stages of the project and carried out follow-up actions to ensure the project’s impact and sustainability. The Colombian Embassy in Ghana contributed to the construction of an additional two toilet prototypes, thereby guaranteeing the replication of the project.