Conclusion of Upper West Latrine Project – Ghana

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Katerina Fella. To read about the start of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was designed to build 40 latrines in the community as the start of a community-wide effort to end open defecation.

Katerina reports:

Once the construction of 45 latrines in my community was completed a woman described the privacy she now has with access to a household latrine. No longer does she have to walk far distances in the morning to use the community latrine and to the dark bushes at night. She and her family now have a latrine located right in their compound. This one household latrine will stop 11 people from open defecating in the community, but also give them access to privacy on a daily basis. An additional 44 latrines were constructed throughout my entire community.

This project not only gave 45 households access to a private latrine but also trained 6 members in the community on the construction of a Mozambique VIP latrine. These six members have been contracting additional toilets outside of this subsidized project, and having access to a toilet is now becoming a healthy behavior in my community.

The project first started with the training of six community masons, carpenters, and laborers who were trained on slab making, slab placing, lining, and construction of the Mozambique latrine which requires fewer materials than most VIP latrines in order to make it more affordable when the latrines are not subsidized.

All of the members trained are part of the community and spent a week being trained under PRONET, a local NGO. The community was involved in every step of the way, from the digging of individual pits to collection of material, molding of the blocks, and assisting the labor work done.

The masons, carpenters, laborers, and community members all worked together to implement the project over a 2-3 month period. Each step was monitored because this was the community first time implementing a large scale latrine project to ensure that everything ran smoothly.

In the end, the money donated allowed for 45 latrines to be repaired, and constructed in the community, reaching out all across the community. The physical structures of this project are fairly visible as you walk throughout the community. To think that now a vastly large population has access to a latrine is inspiring. No longer will community members risk their health, or privacy when they have to use the bathroom.

The health implications that come with open defecation are great from diseases due to indirect fecal-to-oral transmissions such as cholera, typhoid, trachoma, diarrhea, and dysentery. These diseases affect mostly the children in the community leading to malnourishment.

This project trained community members on latrine construction gave 45 families access to a latrine and improved the sanitation of an entire community, and for this, my community is very grateful.

We extend our thanks to Katerina for completing this important project.