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Press Release: Launching the Sanitation Revolution in Ghana - Nov. 1, 2016

Canada Supports “Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Market Development Project in Northern Ghana (RUSHING)”

November 1, 2016

For Immediate Release: November 1, 2016

Contact: KC Koch, iDE Director of Communications

TAMALE, GHANA — The Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Her Excellency Heather Cameron, formally launched the Canadian-funded project “Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Market Development in Northern Ghana (RUSHING)” yesterday at iDE Ghana’s office in Tamale. 

RUSHING uses a private-sector-led approach to increase demand for sanitation products amongst the rural population. iDE is implementing this 5-year project, valued at CAD $10.7 million. The project aims to produce and sell over 61,500 toilets and reach over 300,000 people in Ghana’s northern regions by increasing people’s demand for toilets while supporting local business investment in the sector to meet the demand.  Access to sanitation facilities is a major challenge in northern Ghana.

According to 2015 data, only 9% of rural Ghanaians have access to improved sanitation and 77% of people practice open defecation.  Approximately 19,000 Ghanaians die each year from diarrhea, including 5,100 children under 5 – nearly 90% of which is directly attributed to poor water, sanitation and hygiene.   

Sama Sama

iDE has just completed the design phase of the project which focused on building an in-depth understanding of targeted communities to ensure that the product would meet the needs of potential customers. Prototypes were tested by rural Ghanaians and the winning toilet design is now being produced by a small, local business in Tamale. iDE is marketing the toilets under the brand "Sama Sama". 

Ghana Wash Sama Sama Launch 1 44

During her visit, High Commissioner Cameron met with Brian Kiger, iDE Ghana Country Director, and the project team. The High Commissioner was impressed by iDE’s business model:

“iDE’s focus on creating local supply is important. In almost every area of modern life, companies market their products to the consumer. Applying business models to the sale of toilets can help build a supply chain, and a growing local industry, for better sanitation. Not only does the development of this supply chain provide Ghanaians with choices, it can help transform the health outcomes in many communities across Northern Ghana.” 

— Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Her Excellency Heather Cameron

High Commissioner Cameron was also able to speak with the first few customers of Sama Sama’s toilet. 

According to Mr. Ishawu Abdul Rahaman from Savelugu, a community located just north of Tamale, “as the first family customer of this newly-designed toilet, we feel pride. Since its installation in our house, everyone knows that our family no longer needs to relieve themselves in the open. Our purchase has generated a lot of interest from neighbours and friends, who now wish to know how to buy a toilet.” For Mrs. Aliatu Abdullah, another Sama Sama customer, the new toilet has provided her with a sense of safety as she no longer has to go wandering in the bush at night. 

See article in Modern Ghana News, November 14, 2016.

About iDE

iDE is an international non-profit organization dedicated to creating income and livelihood opportunities for the rural poor. As one of the first organizations to unlock the power of markets to fight poverty, iDE is a pioneer.  Today, market-based development is widely recognized as a sustainable, scaleable, cost-effective approach to alleviate poverty. iDE has impacted more than 23 million people globally to date through its WASH and Agriculture Initiatives, and has an ambitious plan to double that number by 2020. iDE works in Africa, Asia, and Central America, with a longstanding presence in 11 countries.

Learn about our work in Ghana.

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