The people of Donkoase with a population of 1,200 and other 25 farming communities in the Amansie Central District, as well as six other districts, can now heave a sigh of relief after years of engaging in open defecation and enduring lack of access to clean water.
The beneficiary communities would now have access to household micro-flush toilets to replace the old dilapidated pit latrine, following an intervention by Rotary Club International.
The World Bank report of 2020 indicates that 17.78% of Ghana’s population had no access to decent toilets, thus resorting to open defecation.
The report further stated that as at 2015, only one rural household out of ten was using improved household toilets, while three in every ten practiced open defecation.
The report also revealed that no district in Ghana had achieved an open defecation-free status, and for that matter, there was limited private sector interest in rural basic sanitation investment, since there was a perception that investments in rural sanitation businesses were not profitable.
It suggested that improved sanitation technologies such as the household micro-flush toilets were affordable, hygienic, devoid of flies and environmentally friendly.
As a result, the Rotary Club of Obuasi, in collaboration with the Clean Water and Sanitation Ghana project, has cut the sod for the construction of a mechanised borehole and household micro-flush toilets for the people of Donkoase.
Under the project, Rotary Club seeks to replace old pit latrines with micro-flush toilets in Ghana to address these challenges, which have compelled Rotary Club of Obuasi, partnered by the Rotary Club of Cape Coast Central and Rotary E- Club Premier 7040, Montreal, Canada, to construct 30 mechanised boreholes, ten toilet facilities for schools, as well as 160 household toilets for 25 communities in six districts of the country.
The project, which is expected to be completed in one year, is estimated at a cost of $160,000, with funding from the Rotary Foundation, through Rotarians in Canada, USA, India and Ghana, to impact 25,000 livelihoods.
Sarwan Kumar, the outgoing President of the Obuasi Rotary Club, said at a sod-cutting ceremony that the club, after undertaking the necessary assessment exercises, resolved that the major challenge facing most communities in Ghana was lack of access to clean drinking water and proper toilet facilities.
Accordingly, Rotary Club of Obuasi and its partners decided to pool resources together to assist the communities, as they believed that such an initiative would go a long way to improve sanitation and prevent water related diseases within the beneficiary communities.
He emphasised that the members of Rotary Club of Obuasi were committed to helping the less privileged in society to improve their living standards.
The President-elect of Rotary Club of Obuasi, Elizabeth Hamenoo, also emphasised that as a humanitarian group, they had always supported impoverished communities to have access to the basic social amenities.
She gave an assurance of the Club’s commitment to provide clean water and sanitation in Ghana, and focus on ending open defecation in the local communities.
Madam Hamenoo appealed to users of the facilities to protect and maintain them when completed, so that they could stand the test of time.
Nana Kojo Ntosuo III, Chief of Donkoase, lauded Rotary Club of Obuasi for coming to their aid, and reiterated that accessing potable water and decent toilet facilities had been a major challenge for the community.
He further pledged to support the project throughout the construction phase, and ensure the proper maintenance of the facilities when completed.
Richard Osei, Assembly Member for the area, recounted the ordeal his people go through accessing clean water and decent toilet, and lauded Rotary Club of Obuasi and partners for the kind gesture.
He appealed to Rotary Club to consider extending the initiative to the surrounding communities.