Sarah Otoo, a 66 year-old native doctor from Ofankor in Ga West, Ghana, had been using a pit latrine until October 2015, when she decided to acquire a more hygienic toilet.
“The use of pit latrines was not good for our health, especially the women considering the potential infections we could easily contract from its use.”
She met officers from HFC Boafo, who catalogued the various toilet technologies and financing options available to her.
“I had been promised by an artisan that they would construct a toilet for me, but he kept delayed until I met people from HFC who showed me a list of toilets and how they could help me own one. I was excited about it but did not have money to construct it. In less than 2 months, they (HFC Boafo) raised a loan for me to construct my toilet.”
Since then, Sarah has been a proud owner of a 12,000 cedi (USD 3,076) 3-seater Samalex micro-flush toilet that serves her family of six.
She expresses her excitement and satisfaction after 11 months of using her toilet.
“I am really excited about getting the toilet because it is hygienic. I have also not had a problem with it and it functions just as it was explained to me. The good thing about it is that it takes a very small amount of water to flush: about the volume of a sachet (500ml), which is very good for our area where water is scarce. With this toilet, I feel dignified.”
Repayment of the loan, she indicates, has been smooth thanks to mutual cooperation between her and HFC Boafo, but she says that other stakeholders need to consider more financing options.
“Many of my friends are happy to see my toilet and want to get their own. But the reality is that they cannot afford the cost of the toilets, even with the HFC Boafo loan scheme. If the cost of toilets can be reduced and additional financial support given to people, many people can acquire their own compound toilets.”
Sarah Otoo is one of the 500 beneficiaries of WSUP’s compound sanitation programme in Ga West Municipality.