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Global Communities, an International Non-Governmental Organisation in collaboration with the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources and Duraplast Ghana, a plastic manufacturing company in Ghana has developed a plastic slab latrine they have christened “Digni Loo” to replace non-resilient wooden and unaffordable cement slaps currently being used in the construction of household latrines in most rural areas in Ghana. The invention was in response to the high incidence of open defecation (OD) and the challenges most households faced in the use of wooden slabs to construct household latrines which often get rotten and caves in during a short period of usage as well as the unaffordable concrete slabs.
In a presentation at the National Basic Sanitation Forum in Kumasi, the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Specialist of Global Communities Ghana, Madam Martha Tia-Adjei said the invention was also to make the construction and use of household latrines at the local level very affordable and hygienic to use as well as ensure that these latrines were durable, desirable, simple and sustainable.
The CLTS Specialist of Global Communities Ghana explained that the plastic slab latrine is very affordable, easy to install and durable. She said the “Digni Loo” has passed the Technology Assessment Framework (TAF) of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources and was further taken through a Bend Test (deflection) and Static Load Test of 160kg at 115 & 720 hours and passed by the Ghana Standards Authority.
Madam Tia-Adjei further urged stakeholders in the WASH sector especially the MMDAs across the country to promote the use of the “Digni Loo” in the construction of household latrines as it saves cost and has a lifespan of twenty years (20).
She said the plastic slab latrines, which included a slab, a drum and a vent were manufactured locally in Ghana by Duraplast Ghana and could bought at any Duraplast outlet and from accredited agents across the country at a unit cost of GHc330.00.
According to Madam Tia-Adjei only 15% of Ghana’s population had access to basic sanitation and was the fifth most cholera-endemic country in the world and that the only way to reverse the trend was to encourage the construction and use of household latrines at the rural level.
Madam Tia-Adjei explained that Global Communities in collaboration with its partners have developed Behaviour Change Communication messages under the refreshed Good Life Campaign to encourage communities and households to build, use and maintain improved household latrines, wash their hands with soap under running water before eating and after defecating as well as safely fetch, treat and store their drinking water.
The 2017 National Basic Sanitation Forum was under the theme: “Five years of Rural Sanitation Model and Strategy (RSMS) implementation in Ghana, learning for scaling up, Now and Beyond.”