Implementation of Sanitation Marketing (SANMART) Approach to ensuring businesses in the sanitation value chain to scale up improved sanitation in communities is ongoing in the Garu District.
However, 47 out of 62 households have fully accessed and completed construction and upgrade of their toilets, with the remaining 15 households at various stages of completion.
Meanwhile 25 more landlords cannot access the revolving fund from the financial institution in Garu because they are outside the district.
Mr Juventus Asanyuure, Regional Director , Environmental health and Sanitation(EHS), in an interview with the GNA said SANMART was introduced since 2019 in the Garu District by UNICEF working in collaboration with his outfit and some private financial institutions namely Vision Fund.
The USD 20,000 fund which was implemented in 2019 uses a marketing approach to ensuring that businesses within the sanitation value chain thrive, and also for artisans specialized in building toilets to construct them well.
The revolving fund according to him was to provide financial support in the form of construction materials for people who expressed interests to put up toilets for use in their homes at the rate of five per cent.
According to him, the piloted fund in the implementing year was USD 20,000 in 2019/20 and also provided opportunity for capacity building of the artisans in the value chain in Garu district and changed behavior.
He said Vision Fund, the only financial institution in the disbursement of the fund was not stationed in the districts, hence the challenge of people accessing it and required regular follow-ups for the repayment process.
Mr Maxwell Kanwelbal, Garu District Environmental Health Officer (DEHO), who spoke to the GNA said Vision Fund had no staff designated for the Garu district for the SANMART fund, a situation that was slowing down the process.
Mr Kanwelbal said “it is not only one community that subscribed to the fund and if Vision Fund were fully on the ground, more subscribers could have been reached”.
He said the engineers to the projects were ready to provide the needed services, but called on the financial institution to up their game in the area and for full operationalization of the project.
Contacts with the Regional Officer of Vision Fund by the GNA affirmed that the recoveries had been poor and called for more sensitization to the communities to improve in the repayment.
Meanwhile Assistant Regional Environmental Health Officer,Mr Charles Awuni, reiterated that the district Open defecation status was high and alerted that almost all communities were done in terms of triggering and the area was a leading ODF community in the Upper East Region hence the Implementation of SANMART activities to support people in the township to upgrade and build resilient toilets.
He said the township was not organized in terms of its diverse nature and the population size for triggering earmarked for SANMART operations there.
“SANMART is targeted to support in that angle while the communities are also upgrading their toilets from Community led toilets (CLTs) toilets.