WUZDA Ghana is pushing for households in the northern part of Ghana to appreciate the use of the Ecosan type of latrine to help end open defecation, and help improve farm yield.
The Ecological sanitation, commonly abbreviated to ecosan (also spelled eco-san or Ecosan), is an approach which is characterized by a desire to safely “close the loop” (mainly for the nutrients and organic matter) between sanitation and agriculture.
Ecosan systems safely recycle excreta resources (plant nutrients and organic matter) to crop production in such a way that the use of non-renewable resources is minimized.
When properly designed and operated, Ecosan systems can strive to provide a hygienically safe, economical, and closed-loop system to convert human excreta into nutrients to be returned to the soil, and water to be returned to the land.
According to a survey conducted by WUZDA Ghana in May last year on its latrine credit facility, over 350 households have been provided with latrines, between 2011 and 2015.
In the survey, questions asked ranged from the design of the various ranges and types of latrines, utilization, management and difficulties, to the flexibility or otherwise of the latrine credit module in terms of repayment.
Beneficiaries expressed happiness about the latrine credit facility and WUZDA noted their concerns based on the usage and management of the various types of latrines provided.
The survey was to provide a community response approach to WUZDA’s WASH service provision in the latrine module.
The organization also aims at using outcomes from the survey to craft content for education, sensitization and awareness creation on the need for households owning latrines and the consequences the opposite may have on their health and wellbeing.
Following a project WUZDA is now embarking on which aims at improving food security through the cultivation of vegetables by households, the Ecosan type of latrine has become necessary because of the use of the faecal matter as manure by the farmers.
The Ecosan latrine type is part of the designs WUZDA has introduced in the latrine credit facility for households to take advantage of.
The organization has also considered the rearing of animals by the farmers, where their faeces could be used as manure to help in the vegetable growth.