Dear Parent

Inspiration for WASH Project

During the first meeting with my CAS Coordinator, I was challenged to remain committed to the provision of service to my community and, at the same time, positively impact my community through my CAS initiative or project. Upon accepting this challenge, I wondered what the “perfect” CAS project would be. At first, I thought about my personal interests and thought; providing a nearby community with footballs and jerseys would be the “perfect” CAS project for me because my interests would keep me motivated to finish the project. However, after informing my CAS Coordinator about my idea, she informed me that my interests may not necessarily coincide with the interests of the community and she reminded me to bear in mind the CAS Stages, (investigation, preparation, action, reflection and demonstration) as a framework for my CAS project. Therefore, I decided that in order for me to effectively assist anyone, I would have to listen to their concerns and needs rather than impose a project on them.

After much reflection and understanding of the requirements, the process of starting this project was not made any easier. The first challenge faced while embarking on my WASH project was to obtain a location in need of such a service. Many suggestions were given about probable locations. There was an area in Ada where we would have had to cross a river before arriving and an area within the Volta region which is within an arm’s stretch from T.I.S. However, I finally settled on Gomoa Brofoyeduru, my Dad’s village, after visiting that region during Christmas and realizing that no toilet facility could be found anywhere for personal usage. I then thought to myself that I could not let my family and friends go through such an inconvenience. Therefore, I wrote a proposal seeking funds from Global Environment and Technology Foundation (GETF), Coca-Cola System (Business Unit and Bottling Company) with the help of my Dad and lastly organized crowdfunding campaigns to raise funds. Currently, we have been able to raise approximately US$40,000.

Project Quick Facts

Location: Gomoa Brofoyedru, Central Region, Ghana, West Africa
Budget Required: $60,000
Project Duration: October 2017 – August 2019
Number of Beneficiaries: 1,500-2,000 people
Implementing Partner: Beta-Construction Engineers

 

Existing Challenges

Gomoa Brofoyedru is a small town located in the Central Region of Ghana. Access to clean water and sanitation in this part of the region is scarce. To access water, the residents rely on a hand dug well which requires urgent maintenance repairs (Image 1).

The current facilities used for personal hygiene are intolerable, and they pose significant dangers to users. The perimeters of the toilet facilities are made of overlaid palm branches which do not provide adequate privacy (Image 2). Women and girls often wait for the darkness of night before getting the required privacy for their menstrual hygiene. The toilet facilities are also located outside, making users vulnerable to threats at night. The amenities consist of wooden slabs laying over a pit (Image 3) and young children are at risk of falling into these open pits.

There is an urgent need to address the current challenges faced by this town. The current conditions pose safety risks and potential disease outbreaks if adequate measures are not taken.

Solutions to the existing challenges of Gomoa Brofoyedru

After observing the town’s conditions, together with the help of my Dad, we were able to mobilize funds to begin construction.

  1. This includes two sets of 5-seater squat pan water closets built over leach pits which will hold waste.
  2. Construct a mechanized borehole to provide water for hand washing and flushing the toilets.

Sustainability of Project     

To ensure sustainability, a maintenance system will be put in place comprising:

  1. Involving chosen members of the community in the construction process.
  2. Developing and running a behaviour change programme for the community prior to commissioning of the facilities.
  3. Training selected members of the community in the operation and maintenance of the basic components of the system.

Pictures of Current state of Gomoa Brofoyedru

Image 1. Hand pump well in need of rehabilitation

Image 2. Perimeter of an existing toilet facility

Image 3. Initial visit taken to survey the land of Brofoyedru to assess the best possible toilet technology and area for construction.

Image 4. Schematic diagram proposed for construction

Conclusion

All in all, the WASH project has helped me to grow as an individual. Throughout this process I have learnt how to write proposals soliciting for funds and many other more. I am grateful for the opportunity T.I.S. has given me as it places Community Service at the heart of its education curriculum in the form of CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service). The construction for the project will commence in the second week of June and we hope to finalize the project in the last week of August so we can officially present the 10-seater toilet facility to the people of Gomoa Brofoyedru during their Annual Akwamboh Festival. In order to achieve this target, I will spend most of my time during summer, visiting the construction site regularly so that I can complete the project before the beginning of my College life at the University of Toronto, where I will read Economics.

Alistair Kirk

IB Class of 2019