Soak-Away Pit Construction Project – Ghana

This is a project to build soak-away pits in the village of Tali, in the Northern Region of Ghana. Tali, with a population of about 2,000, is located about an hour west of Tamale on the Tamale-Daboya Road. The people are of the Dagomba tribe and they speak Dagbani.

Soak-away pits can play a significant role in malaria prevention by eliminating the standing water that creates an environment for the proliferation of infected mosquitoes.

The project will be implemented under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Andrew Head.

House - Ghana

Very few bathrooms in the community currently have soak-away pits. This leads to wastewater accumulation and the pollution of public spaces. The sewage problem is intensified during the rainy season, which means that the project must be done before the rains come.

One way to prevent malaria is to reduce mosquito populations by removing breeding grounds. By digging the pit you allow the excess wastewater to sink into the ground instead of polluting the surface.

Once the pit is dug and filled with stones, the mosquitoes can’t get to the water to breed, therefore eliminating or reducing the threat of malaria.

The project will promote the construction of soak-away pits by building one in the home of each participating junior high school student. Over a period of several weeks students will find stones, and then build the pits.

For the construction of the pits, the students will measure sticks that are about three feet long. Then they will essentially make a three-foot cube (three across by three wide by three deep). The pits are then filled with what are called cooking stones and then a pipe is run from the water drainage spot to the pit. The rocks are then covered with plastic or sack material and the dirt is placed back on top. Ideally, when finished, the pits should only be seen as a pipe coming from the house and going into the ground. In that way all the water is kept below the surface.

Andrew Head - GhanaThe implementation of this project will allow the students to create a drama which will educate the community on malaria prevention. They will also engage in a competition for which the best-constructed pits will be recognized and prizes will be awarded.

Funds for the project will be used to purchase the materials for the building of the soak–away pits.

Over 50 pits will be built, serving a population of at least 300. In addition, other villagers who see the results of the project and learn the technology will copy the process and build many more pits.

This project has now been fully funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Peace Corps Volunteer Andrew Head of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Andrew and/or those of his counterpart PCVs in Ghana.

This project has been completed. To read about the conclusion of this project, CLICK HERE.