Improving sanitation and basic hygiene education to protect public health and local ecosystems
With our sanitation-composting toilets project, we aim to improve access to sanitation and provide basic hygiene education in communities near forest reserves in order to improve health, prevent disease, and protect local water bodies, such as creeks and rivers.
In rural communities like those in the Ghana/Togo border region, people have no access to sanitation facilities and have to use bushes. This can contaminate local water bodies which individuals and nearby communities may use as their primary water source. This exposes them to risks of potentially deadly water-borne diseases caused by bateria and parasites, including cholera, typhoid, Guinea worm, schistosomiasis, amebiasis, cryptosporidiosis, and giardiasis.
We intend to build composting toilets and inform users of the benefits of good hygiene practices, starting with the 19 Ghanaian and Togolese villages in our target area, and expanding our efforts to communities throughout the region. Each toilet will serve three households, approximately 25 people.
As well as being durable and easy to use, the toilets turn what is usually regarded as waste into a safe, affordable compost and fertilizer, returning valuable nutrients to the soil and increasing crop yields.
The composting toilets we will build comprise a raised platform above two chambers, one of which is composting whilst the other is in use. Organic material is regularly added to the chamber to introduce carbon for composting, to oxygenate the process and to neutralize odors. It takes roughly five months for pathogen-free compost to be produced. To help prevent the toilet from smelling, feces and urine are not allowed to mix as a chemical reaction between the two produces ammonia.