People Standing Up Against Open Defecation
Clean Kumasi places signs in spots
in the community where open defecation,
flying toilets, and dumping occur.
The signs ask residents to flash a number
if they want to join the effort to stop
open defecation. They receive an automated
voice message with information on how to get
Sparked by Clean Kumasi organizers, residents come
together to confront open defecation.
Natural community leaders emerge to
demand and mobilize solutions to improved sanitation.
Sites of interest to the community
Trotro station by affordable housing
Official dump & old markets
Zongo Central Mosque
Opposite the market toilets
Two Water Tap
Kwaku Tailor & Mallam water taps close to corn mill
Sakafiya Suna Mosque & environs
Ayigya Market Toilets
Massasa's new & old public toilets
Unofficial dump behind Ayigya School
Aboabo Station, T-junction by Tafasoft Cafe
Open toilet & closed toilets
SMS ACTION UPDATES
DAYS THE PROJECT
HAS BEEN ACTIVE
WHAT IS CLEAN
Clean Kumasi is a tool to assemble and activate residents to eliminate
open defecation in their communities. It is a living experiment to see
if a digital platform relying upon phones, maps and databases can solve
the riddle of how to bring together the different kinds of residents of
bustling urban neighborhoods to tackle, well, the shit situation.
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WHY CLEAN KUMASI?
Nationally, over half the population of Ghana uses a shared latrine;
the highest rate in the world. That means half of all Ghanaians wake
up each day, leave their homes, wait in line and do their business in
a place where they have no control over cleanliness or privacy. Changing this
reality begins with individuals and their communities.
It begins in neighborhoods like Ayigya, where the pilot takes place.
Clean Kumasi is a living experiment in building social capital to tackle
the problem presented by open defecation. For the individual, it can be
much nicer to shit outside when pay-to-use public toilets with limited
hours are your only alternative. Even in the best of situations, the
accessibility needs of women, children and the infirm often go unmet by
public toilets. For communities, the health effects of unconfined feces
are devastating. Shit carries serious diseases that affect poor children
and the vulnerable the hardest. It is the unsolved public health crisis
that kills a child through diarrhea every 20 seconds.
A transformative methodology called Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)
has arisen to trigger rural communities to become certifiably "free from
open defecation." Adapting this approach to cities poses its own challenges,
including defining who the community is and recruiting leaders to take action.
This initial step to CLTS is the focus of Clean Kumasi.Because informal community
leaders may be harder to identify in urban environments, Clean Kumasi
capitalizes on the prevalence of mobile phone amongst Kumasi residents to recruit
digitally. Residents can use their phones to join Clean Kumasi, receive notices of
community meetings, and get updates on CLTS-inspired activities. The ring of a bell
to gather the village becomes the ring of a mobile phone telling neighbors about an
action near them.
The American people, through USAID, have funded the community organizers
of Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) and the public interest
designers at IDEO.org to partner with residents of Kumasi for sanitation
innovation. These organization have been working together with residents
to create more choice and freedom in the sanitation sector with the aim of
delivering dignifying solutions to one of the world's least glamorous and
most pressing problems: the safe disposal of human waste for the urban poor.
This is not our first collaboration. We've also worked on the social enterprise
to provide in-home toilets
and the maintenance service to support them.
Ultimately, we are people — organizations and residents — that believe innovation
starts locally and spreads globally.
This project is made possible by the generous support of the American people
through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents
of this story are the responsibility of IDEO.org and do not necessarily reflect
the views of USAID or the United States Government.
The Clean Kumasi website and all
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