One thousand and forty-nine bio-digester toilets have been provided for households within the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area (GKMA) under the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources’ Project to increase access to improved sanitation and quality water supply for low income families in the country.
The World Bank funded project,which started in 2015, is aimed at increasing access to improved sanitation and improved water supply in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) and GKMA with emphasis on low income communities and to strengthen management of environmental sanitation in the GAMA and the GKMA.
Under the project,about 30,000 household toilet facilities will be provided for people with low income in the GKMA, while about 5,000 households would also get connected to water supply support.
The project beneficiaries are the eight Metropolitan and Municipal assemblies in the GKMA, which include the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Asokwa, Oforikrom, old Tafo, Suame, Kwadaso, and the Asokore Mampong Municipal Assembly (AMMA).
It is part of Government’s determination to providing pragmatic measures to find a lasting solution to the water and sanitation problems in the Greater Kumasi.
In a presentation on the provision of the bio-digester toilets in GKMA,Mr.Kwadwo Antwi Gyasi, Sanitation Engineer with the Ministry,indicated that 23 were constructed in November 2021 and 237 for December 2021.
For 2022, he said, 391 were put up in January, 295 in February and 205 in March.Mr. Gyasi was giving the presentation at a two day training organized by the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources for some selected journalists and information officers drawn from eight Metropolitan,Municipal and District Assemblies(MMDAs) to equip them with skills in sanitation advocacy to influence social behavior and attitude toward enhancing improved environmental sanitation.
He explained that,unlike the septic tanks, the bio-digester produces micro organisms that feed on the fecal matter while the water goes into a soak pit.
The system could be used by 10 people but it could get full if more people used it, according to Mr. Gyasi and that, it is suitable in communities with a good drainage system.
Participants were also taken through City Marketing and Sanitation, key ingredients for city marketing among others.
Dr. Benard Abeiku Arthur,Chief Executive Officer of Niewtree Ghana Limited,said one could not market a city that is full of filth, stressing that “poor sanitary situation, lack of access to water and toilet facility faced by the country, therefore,necessitated the introduction of the project”.
He said though government’s responsibility was to provide a befitting living condition for its citizenry, issues related to sanitation could not be shouldered all alone by government.
Dr.Arthur urged the media to help educate the public to embrace the project to improve access to good sanitation and water supply, management of environmental sanitation and the attainment of sustainable development goal 6 of the United Nations, whic relates to provision of good sanitation to all ny 2030.
The program afforded the participants opportunity to visit the Adiembra community where the toilet system have been provided, and the beneficiaries were full of praise for the government to ensure descent toilet facility for them.
Though access to water to flush down the excreta after defecation is currently a big challenge for some users in the area, a resident named Rahmatu Seidu said the facility has relieved her from the dilemma of waking up in the middle of the night and early hours of the morning to visit a public lavatory situated far away from her house.
She was amazed there is no bad smell or any bad odor emanating from the septic tanks some of which have been constructed just in front of rooms of beneficiaries.
Ms.Elizabeth Akomea also reiterated the same challenge. She however applauded the ministry for extending the project to GKMA.
The provision of the toilets could cost about Ghc4,000.00 but are subsidized by the government to the extent that beneficiaries only have to dole off few Ghana Cedis; and according to Ms. Rahmatu and Ms. Akomea, they paid Ghc700.00 each.
Credit: Kingsley E.Hope