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# Gushie Soak-Away Pit Sanitation Project – Ghana

Location
Gushie, Northern Region, Ghana

Community Description
Gushie is a small farming village in the Northern Region of Ghana, approximately 50 km north of Tamale, the regional capital. Gushie has a population of just under 1,000 people, and does not have electricity.

The village is mostly comprised of people from the Dagomba and Fulani tribes, and Islam is practiced as the primary religion. November to May marks the dry season in the region, after which the rainy season brings rains and humid weather from June to October.

Because villagers live in compounds consisting of several family members living in small mud huts connected by a large communal area, the bathing area for an average compound must support at least 10-15 people. These areas are often little more than a half wall of mud with a small hole in the corner for run-off water, and families use these areas both as a place for bucket bathing and as makeshift latrines for liquid waste.

The lack of basic sanitation facilities and proper water management has become one of the most urgent threats to the health of the village, particularly during the rainy months when flooding is a common occurrence. The excess water and waste from bathing areas simply flows outside onto the ground and, collects in stagnant pools of liquid waste that often intersect with footpaths or other living areas. The overall health of the village is compromised throughout the year because these brackish ponds provide an ideal place for the breeding of mosquitos, disease-carrying flies, and waterborne parasites.

Project Description
This project consists of the building of soak-away pits for twenty households in the Gushie community.

The pits will be constructed behind the bathing areas of these compounds using PVC piping that will feed the excess water and liquid waste into deep, covered pits filled with rocks, so that the water is properly disposed of. This will deter contaminated flooding and the accompanying breeding of insects.

The majority of households in the community are participating in the project, which will begin with pits being built in areas that directly intersect often-used walking paths and places where villagers spread their crops for drying.

This project is being led by a group called Fara Je Maahim, which is comprised of young adults from the community who meet regularly to organize small projects such as community clean-up days and to financially support fellow members in the village in times of death or other hardships. The members of this group range from 15 to 25 years of age, and have consistently set an example of leadership in Gushie by initiating educational programs and carrying out small but effective health projects that have addressed issues like trash removal and malaria prevention.

The group has committed to lead the project efforts by identifying which households currently have improper water drainage systems and sponsoring training sessions to educate the community on the gravity of current sanitation deficiencies. Members from this group will also assist and oversee each household in the construction of the pits from start to finish.

Community members will provide all of the labor for each soak-away pit by digging the holes, collecting rocks to fill the pits, constructing the drainage pipes, and covering the pits so they can be used for liquid waste management for many years to come.

Project funds will be used to purchase the materials for the project.

Project Impact
This sanitation project will directly benefit 400 people in Gushie. However, this project will more broadly improve the health and sanitation of the entire community of 1,000 by minimizing the existence of stagnant water and thereby reducing the presence of mosquitos, flies, and waterborne parasites.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Katie Kirouac

$300.00 Donations Collected to Date$300.00