Madam Georgina Kyeremaalo, a 75-year-old widow, has constructed a toilet facility for a household of 15 from money she borrowed from a Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) introduced by UNICEF to empower women.
The cost of constructing is estimated at GHS100.00 and covered the payment of services, roofing sheets, moulding of bricks and digging of a septic tank.
Narrating to the Ghana News Agency at Kunzokala-Katiilu, about the latrine construction in the Diffiama/Bussie/Issa District, Madam Kyeremaalo, who is also a farmer, said she took the initiative following the collapse of her household latrine.
The household used to practice open defecation, she said, which made the people prone to sanitation-related diseases such as cholera, especially among the children.
“We didn’t know the importance of owning a toilet, but now we know from the previous one we were using,” she said.
“If you have a toilet, you don’t have to go to the bush in the night, our animals will not also have access to our faeces. We don’t see house flies in the house like before. Our children used to run diarrhoea but now it has stopped”.
She advised colleague women to follow her footsteps and to construct resilient household latrines for their families.
The Kunzokala-Katiilu community was one of the 26 communities in the Daffiama Area Council that was Open Defecation Free (ODF) out of a total of 27 communities.
The remaining community was Saapari, which was designated as ODF potential and earmarked to attain ODF status by November this year.
Mr Murtala Mohammed, the officer-in-charge of the Daffiama Area Council and a Field Facilitator for the Kunzokala-Katiilu, entreated other women to emulate the example of Madam Kyeremaalo.
He also urged opinion leaders and community-based leaders to support the campaign against open defecation to improve lives.
UNICEF introduced the VSLA to the community with the optimism that it would help empower the women economically to meet their basic life needs.
The Diffiama/Bussie/Issa district was ranked fourth on the June 2019 Regional ODF League Table launched by the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), the Regional Inter-agency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation (RICCS) and other partners.