Mr Charles Awuni, the Regional focal person for the Community Led Total sanitation (CLTS), says communities’ investments in the construction of resilient household latrines is still low in the Garu district.
He said some households in communities implementing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) might be doing their best to build their own house hold latrines but were unable to use good and durable materials to build the ones that will stand the test of time.
He said the shallow toilets being built easily collapsed during the heavy rains.
Mr Awuni made this known in an interview with the Ghana News agency after four days of training of field implementers of WASH interventions in communities in Garu District, in the Upper East Region, where the WASH module is being piloted.
The training was on various WASH modules and also focused on latrine artisans, community Members and district Assembly field officers who would in turn identify people interested in putting up resilient latrines and help link them to business entrepreneurs in the business of selling sanitation wares and by so doing, reduce their burden when in search for WASH items.
He said the other objective was to enable the formation of a network of all stakeholders for the promotion of sanitation in the district.
Speaking of acceptance rate of people building household toilets, he said it was not encouraging as communities were not ready to invest in resilient latrines construction because they continued to look for subsidy which had its own challenges.
He said building household latrines was based on behaviour change and therefore discouraged the people from relying on external support.
He said such support was not sustainable and did not help to achieve good results and behavior change since beneficiaries of such projects would not rebuild the toilets when they collapsed.
He said though acceptance rate and the pace of building latrines was low, there was some level of behavior change in few people in some implementation areas.
“We want that where a house toilet is collapsed, the owner or person, at his own free will, will make efforts to rehabilitate or rebuild it”, he stressed.
He said the behavior change was good and places where the toilets collapsed, they were still maintaining ODF status since they maintained their latrines well.
“There are positive changes in a few people and even in communities where there is a relapse, people are trying to maintain their latrines”, he said.
“Now we are trying not to pursue them to rush into construction of latrines but we are engaging the communities to allow them to build at their own rate, for quality assurance unlike the previous ones’.