Victoria and Benedicta attended a Women and Water Training in Ghana in February 2010, where they learned how to build compost toilets and gained the skills necessary to bring clean water education (WASH) back to their community.
Situation Before: Tongor-Dzemeni is a rapidly growing rural community with a population of a little over eight thousand. Ninety-percent of the population of Tongor-Dzemeni has no household toilet facility, and a lack of education about public defecation worsens the situation: infant mortalities caused by unhygienic conditions are currently attributed to “witches and wizards.” The community also holds the biggest lakeside market in Ghana, where people from all over the country come to do business. Although Tongor-Dzemeni is the commercial hub of the district, with four continuous days of market activity during the week, it has only one public toilet.
Vision for Change: Victoria and Benedicta intend to train fifty school children – 30 girls and 20 boys from five schools – on WASH programs and plan to construct Ecosan toilets in two schools. By turning children into advocates, Victoria and Benedicta hope to ignite change from the ground-up, depending on the power of the youth to increase the number of people using and demanding Ecosan facilities in the region. By doing so, Victoria and Benedicta hope to enhance environmental and personal hygiene in the community, decrease the number of deaths related to fecal-oral diseases, provide education in the local community, offer farmers fertilizer from the waste product, and provide an atmosphere conducive to teaching and learning in order to sustain the project in the future.