A fortunate son
ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE: Improved toilets provide safety, dignity, and privacy in Ghana
It is the duty of the young to respect their parents, according to Ibrahim Adam, a young salaried worker in Ghana. This is why he was one of the first buyers of the Sama Sama toilet, which he bought for his elderly parents as a surprise.
iDE formally launched the RUSHING project in November 2016. RUSHING 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.
“My mother,” Ibrahim told us, “was always so tired, and she had to struggle to get to the public facility.” A toilet was his means of providing them some dignity, by enabling them to go to the latrine in private. He was very pleased with the process of buying the toilet, too, telling us that it only took four days between ordering it and having it installed.
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.
“The weather no longer has the right to dictate to us,” Ibrahim said. “Issues of cholera and dreadful disease are now over. And above that, friends, family, whoever visits the house, you have no problem at all. You feel proud.”