USAID enables citizens to install toilets in urban homes
Basic sanitation and good hygiene are fundamental to health, survival, growth and development. However for a large majority of the people living in densely populated urban settlements these basic necessities are a luxury.
Nima is one of the largest unplanned urban settlements in the city of Accra. Nearly 70% of the population do not have toilets in their homes and either crowd the few public toilet facilities available or resort to open defecation. The situation poses serious public health concern for the citizenry.
USAID initiated a water supply and sanitation improvement project in Nima and four other unplanned urban communities in the Accra and Sekondi –Takoradi Metropolis. The project involves the promotion of household toilets, household water connections, private and public water kiosks, toilets for public places and hygiene and sanitation promotion in community and schools. Citizens who apply for household facilities such as a water connection, toilet or private water kiosk are expected to share costs to augment the project contribution.
Mrs. Yetesu Mahama a 44-year-old resident in the Nima East, said when she first heard about the project, she told herself, “this project may provide me the opportunity to meet one of my long cherished aspirations” that is building a toilet in her own home. She agreed to convert one of the habitable rooms in the house for the toilet. She did not have the money readily available to pay for her portion of the counterpart fund, so she took a loan from the project's micro finance partner organization called “ Y-SEF” to pay the counterpart fund. Although Mrs. Mahama is going to lose regular income by giving up a rentable room to build the toilet; she considers it an improvement for herself and her household. She is glad she will not go through the daily ordeal and agony of visiting the public facility with its attendant challenges for an aging person like her.