Reporting back from the field visits

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Today was another exciting field experience in rural Ghana communities. We were split in two groups and it took our group two hours to reach the first community, Amaful. This is a village with a population of around 1,200, quite a big size compared with most Sub Saharan countries. Plan Ghana is working with a local NGO named TREND to promote sanitation and hygiene through CLTS approach.

Upon arrival we were given a warm welcome and it is our first time to observe that the village chief is not supposed to speak during public meetings which was the case for the two villages we visited and we were also told that today was “Taboo day” where the communities don’t engage in any activities but stay at home.

However the sharing and lessons were of valuable take away. The village was triggered and is now ODF. However most of them are sharing latrines and using communal latrines having only one super structure and 8 squat holes where all the 8 users are visible to each other. We observed that the communal latrines offered very little privacy. It was apparent that sharing of latrines is part of their culture and only a few households have their own latrines. The situation was the same in the last village of Namanwura that we visited.

Sharing of latrines is not recognised under the JMP indicators and it very important to see how communities that achieve ODF through sharing of latrine are supported to sustain the status and improve to more convenient use of latrine. This might be viewed in terms of distance and time to communal latrines and also increasing household latrines that are more convenient for use by children and women at night.

Mary Namwebe, CLTS Project Coordinator, Plan Uganda
Ulemu Chiluzi, Program Manager WATSAN, Plan Uganda

Date: 1 March 2012