Sustainable model for toilets and hygiene promotion in schools located in urban slums - update with User Experience Map and new photos
Providing affordable toilet services and hygiene education for schools in urban slum and use the faecal output in a circular system.
Working together with the local team and stakeholders to sketch out scenarios, design and usemodels for this project
A large amount of the faecal sludge is dislodged directly at the beach in Ghana without any treatment. In our proposal we will include the toilet produce in the Safi Sana model to generate green electricity, bio-fertilizer and irrigation water in a balanced, sustainable model.
Providing affordable toilet services and hygiene education for schools in urban slum and use the faecal output in a circular system to produce clean renewable energy, irrigation water and organic fertilizer.
Page 1: Experiencee Map with ideal user:
User 1: Abeku. 13 years old Ghanaian girl. Abeku attends school in Ashaiman a large urban slum settlement outside of Accra. She started her period 6 month ago. Before the new toilets where build she might have stayed home from school during her period, or she might get ill from using the toilets.
Page 2. Abeku uses the school toilet facilities, she finds them clean and safe. The toilets are for school children only and girls and boys are separated. The toilet attendant smiles at her and provides toilet paper. She washes her hands with soap after her visit and knows why that is important. When she is ready, she leaves the toilets as clean as she found them and safely returns to her class.
Page 3. It is a positive experience. In the past Abeku has stayed at home during her period. She will not suffer from sickness as a result of the visit. The feacal slush is used by Safi Sana to produce energy, irrigation water and organic fertilizer. The school uses the fertilizer in a garden project for hygiene education and awareness. During school time, Abeku has regular training on sanitation and health, she is also asked for feedback on the services.
School toilet in Ghana
EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA
For school children, access to simple toilet facilities and washrooms is crucial for health, attendance and gender neutrality. Faecal contamination is for instance the root cause of an annual average of 1,800 cases of cholera in Ghana. Adolescent girls also need safe, clean and private facilities to manage menstrual hygiene and dramatically lift their school attendance. positive side effect of using the faecal output in the process is that we can produce clean energy, irrigation water, and organic fertilizer. This can help reduce energy production from fossil fuels, water needs during droughts, and improve soil fertility of local farmland for increased food security.
a) A combined school and (commercial) public toilet service. A facility that is linked but has separate access to secure safety. Revenue from the public operations, and the combined supervision by operator, will help to cover operational expenses for the school toilets.
b) Integration of the school toilets in the Safi Sana model. Collection of faecal material and the production of organic fertiliser, irrigation water and green energy.
By focusing on children and social acceptance, and looking at faecal waste as a valuable resource we can harness the future generation with knowledge about the benefits of proper hygiene, establish an economically viable, locally run infrastructure, and hence increase resilience to the effects of climate change in the local society.
Slum school children will be healthier, attend school more and equipped with proper knowledge of sanitation - a basis to last beyond their school period and encourage a spillover effect on their parents. Local community benefits from a reduction in open defecation with the associated human and economic cost. Re-cycling of faecal matter reduces waste dumping cost for the local government and has a positive environmental impact. Where: Ashaiman, a big urban slum settlement near Accra.
HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF URBAN SLUMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?
The idea leverages government policy on accessibility of sanitation and will help reduce hygiene and sanitation related deceases (cholera, malaria, diarrhea). The knock-on effects of the proposed solution can help improve soil fertility (with organic fertilizer), reduce the use and dependency on fossil fuels with clean energy from biogas (we will deliver electricity as part of the renewable energy act from 2011), and give a boost to local private sector development.
By focusing on health and sanitation for children, we emphasize the need for health and learning to instill resilience, not just in daily life, but also for the future and when extreme situations hit. We also hope that hygiene awareness training can carry over from children to their parents. As in our existing solutions, we aim to design for systems to serve and empower. Only with long term ownership can we build solutions that will be accepted, used and cared for.
The solution will help increase gender neutrality by helping girls attend school and thereby providing them will equal opportunities.
The solution leverages existing facilities, local legislation and stimulates local ecosystems. It is flexible and can connect to existing infrastructure and other locally implemented programmes and logistical patterns or scale to cover future needs. For instance, feacal sludge is currently brought to the Safi Sana facility by local truck drivers as opposed to being deposited at dumping grounds outside of the city limits.
We maximize limited resources and embed waste in a circular value system
Yes, for two or more years
I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for at least two years
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
Safi Sana has experience in Ghana since 2010. Safi Sana is active in the target community for this project and has all the necessary links to national and local government and the School Health Education Program (SHEP). In Ashaiman. http://www.safisana.org/en/
IS THIS A NEW OR RECENT IDEA FOR YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION? HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM WHAT YOU ARE ALREADY DOING?
We have experience building sanitary services and recycling waste. The challenge here is new and includes the change of habits, social acceptance and the economic sustainability of running the facility
HOW IS YOUR IDEA DIFFERENT FROM OTHER SIMILAR INITIATIVES? WHAT ARE YOU DOING DIFFERENTLY? WHAT UNIQUE ADVANTAGES DO YOU HAVE?
Many school projects focus on the user only, and do not appreciate how the local community reacts. This can lead to unwanted situations; school facilities are used by other people than the students, are vandalized or ill maintained. We will include a combined school/community facility in our model to increase the impact of improved sanitation to the slum community, minimize building and operating costs for all involved stakeholders and look for sustainable operating models to tie it into the waste treatment capacities of the Safi Sana facility. Agreements on use and operation of the facilities will be made with school and public stakeholders. School management will be supported and and trained in financial management of their hygiene programs and Wash facilities. With Football for Water (www.footballforwater.nl), a Wash, we will tie in the concept of Life Skill Education to school children in which football play is used as a vehicle to accelerate the effect of important hygiene messages. Local champions (Teachers and Community Volunteers) in the schools are trained to become Life coaches who provide weekly football practice and Hygiene education to children and their parents.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR IDEA?
Building and maintaining sanitary facilities require initial and on-going funding and care to succeed in the long run. We need to find ways to improve toilet designs based on demand and habit, minimize construction cost, extend the live-cycle of local toilets and educate future generations on sanitation matters. Another challenge of providing school and public sanitation is that it often causes friction and vandalism. Schools stand central in their communities and therefore we need to look solutions that are accepted by all people involved.
WHY DO YOU THINK THE PROBLEM YOUR IDEA SOLVES FOR HASN'T BEEN SOLVED YET?
The interaction with users and stakeholders is not simple and the monetary challenge of keeping toilets clean are a tough nut to crack. Schools are part of a public sector that has limited funding available to support schools in sustaining Wash facilities. The connection with the private sector for sustaining school wash has proven to be successful in other countries like Kenya and in some other Best Practice schools in Ghana, but requires a paradigm shift that can only be made through testing and showcasing this approach to local governments involved. We aim to do that in Ashaiman.
HOW HAS YOUR IDEA CHANGED BASED ON FEEDBACK FROM YOUR COMMUNITY?
A recent In Depth field assessment to schools and communities in Accra, Elmina and Tamale has shown the following relevant findings that we will take into account in our approach and in the establishment of the concrete institututional school/community model.
*When community members, parents and local businesses and markets, do not have access to adequate sanitation and knowledge on hygiene behavior, schools are unlikely to ensure sustainable use and maintenance of these facilities.
*Interviews with local stakeholders and community members indicated both schools, parent, local governments and local entrepreneurs are highly interested in re-use of faecalsludge and waste on a community level.
*private sector engagement is possible in schools in Ashaiman, as long as proper and sufficient alignment is made with public stakeholders such as the Ghana School Health and Environmental program (SHEP) and the municipal assembly (MA).
*The type and preferred choice of technology for urban school children is different than the need of rural school children and community members. As a result the design of the Toilet building and will take these conclusions into account. The school toilets will have to be separated from those of the community and different technologies will have to be tested in the model.
WHAT WOULD YOU ULTIMATELY LIKE TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS IDEA? WHAT IS YOUR NEXT STEP TO GET THERE?
Our dream is to provide sustainable sanitary services that promote a healthy living for school children and their families and create equal opportunities while connected to a positive self-sustaining cycle of making green energy, organic fertilizer and irrigation water in Ghana and in other places where Safi Sana starts projects
How does your idea connect to the broader system of the city where you plan to implement?
Lack of sanitary servies are estimated to cost 30% GDP per capita above the age of 5 in Ghana. This project ties in with the Ghana School Health & Environmental program (SHEP), the focus on the local Ashaiman Municipality to improve general sanitation and waste management, the work of Football for Water to improve hygiene knowledge with school children and the local school looking to up attendance and reduce gender differences.
Interview with Ibrahim Baidoo, The Municipal Chief Executive for Ashaiman on the fit with Safi Sana and the strategy for improving sanitation