Enter the Northwest Washington Professional Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), located in Bellingham, WA.
Some of members had been in Axim on a water assessment project in 2009, and they couldn’t help but notice that lack of TOILETS is a major deficiency, especially at schools.
So, they researched, wrote proposals, made drawings, convened meeting after meeting, applied for funding…
And, finally---SUCCESS. EWB members Paul A Randall-Gutter and Jennifer Mueller travelled to Axim in late October 2013 to start construction. They brought back some great photos!
|Paul Randall-Gutter, Contractor Emmanuel Appiah, Jennifer Mueller, and James Kainyiah, Chair of Ghanaian host organization, Western Heritage Home|
|Fr. Paul Awuah Leading the Groundbreaking Ceremony|
They also trained students and teachers in the concepts behind this UDDT toilet, which is a new design for the Ghanaians in Axim and perhaps in Ghana.
|Students with their new raised garden bed. A Ghanaian National Service worker is coming to help them with a seed nursery and compost pile (Note: Ghanaian university students do a year of national service after graduation)|
|Students creating posters that explain the concept of the UDDT type of toilet|
This EWB chapter is doing an absolutely wonderful job on this project---not only seeing to the construction, but keeping costs within "Ghanaian parameters" for future locally-funded applications. They searched the world's best practices for a design that works without water or electricity, and has been tested in several similar countries, including several hundred schools in Kenya. They paid special attention to accommodate the needs of girls of junior high age.
Also, the team went to a lot of effort to include training and lots of involvement and input from the local folks who will actually use the new toilet. (You can read more about the team here).
We of Ghana Together (US) and Western Heritage Home (Ghanaian associates) are proud that we helped mid-wife the project.
Not our “baby" but we helped:
|JHS Toilet Leadership meeting convened by Maryanne Ward of Ghana Together and James Kainyiah in Jan 2012. James and Fr. Paul Awuah at far left. Mrs. Yawson, the Headmistress, center. Others include teacher and parent representatives.|
|Contractor Emmanuel Appiah on left with associates, James Kainyiah in blue shirt in center. They are holding copies of drawings and technical details (Feb 2013)|
James Kainyiah is especially to be thanked for tirelessly seeing to most of the details on the Ghanaian side...not an easy job.
|James Kainyiah on his cellphone, maybe talking with us!|
Stay tuned for the news update about the completed toilet!!