A post is pretty long overdue here, and as we come towards delivering ACF’s Final Report – watch this space – it’s been pretty exciting to see the great things ACF has done in its fifth and final year, as well as being reminded of some of the activities that were conducted previously in the programme and have had long-lasting effect.
In Ghana, the main thing we’ve been working on this last year has been WASH blocks in schools (toilets, hand-washing facilities and more). Support was given directly to Kumasi Municipal Authority’s (KMA) Waste Management Department (WMD) for the development of plans which would rehabilitate inadequate facilities or construct new facilities according to the need.
Assessments were made in 10 low-income area schools on existing facilities, as well as attitudes and practices – followed by a consultative design process and development of a financing strategy. Two schools were selected for the initial intervention with USAID funding, and these WASH blocks were completed last month.
These improvements are vital – one of the things that has struck me from the MyToilet project is the importance to which school children and their parents assign adequate sanitation facilities (see e.g. the story of Eunice in Kenya). Inadequate WASH facilities can lead to children missing school, especially in cases of diarrhoea and, for girls, during their period. The new toilets bring safety, inclusivity and desirability to the classroom, as the next generation of leaders is brought up.