Owning and having access to her own toilet was a distant dream for Rita Ama Yeboah. “All my life I have been compelled to use a toilet which was also used by other people in my neighborhood,” she said. Due to this Rita was susceptible to diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, Hepatitis A and her worries exacerbated when she got pregnant with her first child.
The answer to her worries was in Ghana Health and Education Initiative’s (GHEI) Mother Mentor for Child Development Program (MMCD). GHEI constructed a toilet for Rita and her family. She is now better able to protect her family from sickness, diseases and other threats. “The biggest positive is that I have my own toilet now. It is clean and I don’t encounter bad odor anymore,” she revealed with a smile.
Constructing toilets has helped to reduce the spread of infections especially in pregnant mothers and provided them with an access to a private sanitation facility. In the past year, GHEI has adopted an eco-friendlier approach by constructing bio digester toilets. Bio digester toilets digest organic solids in an ecologically friendly way and is a totally maintenance free system. They prevent human waste and untreated water from contaminating groundwater. Since there are no existing sewage systems in the community, their solution is a good alternative to open defecation.
GHEI is enabling communities in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai (BAB) Municipality of Ghana to improve their children’s health, learning success and livelihood opportunities by building local capacity and providing necessary resources and support. Since 2004, they have created programs around the common goal of empowering marginalized children and alleviating poverty.