Providing sanitation in a rural healthcare clinic in Ghana

Providing sanitation in a rural healthcare clinic in Ghana
Elected projects
CHF 2,000
Set Up 20 days and then continuous benefit
Applicant Name: 
Ms Vessela Monta


As part of a larger project - Blue Schools in Ghana - the IRHA decided to work in a couple of the rural health centres located in the same region as the schools. This work will not only help to improve the health of the children attending the schools, but also the local population. For this project, the IRHA proposes to build toilets in a healthcare clinic in Northern Ghana to improve the sanitation and comfort of the clinic’s staff and visitors.

Gbullung Clinic is located in Tolon Sub-District, 20km from the town of Tamale, in the Northern Region of Ghana. It has 20 staff members:  15 health extension workers, 2 community nurses, 2 clinical nurses and 1 hygiene nurse. The clinic receives an average of 20 patients a day from the surrounding area. It is a day clinic, with no patients staying overnight in the building.

Currently, Gbullung Clinic has no toilets. This affects both the health and comfort of the clinic’s healthcare workers and visitors.

To improve the sanitation conditions of Gbullung Clinic, the IRHA and its local partner Rural Women and Deprived Children’s Programme (RUWADCP) will build a new toilet block with two toilets:one toilet for men and the other for women. Hand washing facilities will also be introduced to further improve the hygiene.

The toilets will be Urine Diverting Dry Toilets (UDDT). The main advantage of this type of toilet is that it requires no water to operate, thus saving water resources for other more urgent uses. UDDT toilets are also built in such a way that urine is separated from faeces.

In the long term, this project will help to lower the number of diseases related to poor sanitation conditions at the clinic. It will also improve the environmental quality around the building, as human waste will be dealt with in an appropriate manner.

Result report

“It is a great pleasure to have this toilet and the water tank. The toilet will make that we, the staff members, will be able to help us ease ourselves, without going far. Patients will also be allowed to have access to the toilets. The water from the hand-washing tank will be used to keep clean our hands after accessing the toilet. Thank you. “ Umar Saeed Ola, Gbullung Heath Centre, Staff nurse and facility in charge ------ Note from Vessela Monta, Executive Director, International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance IRHA In the background of the photographs, one can see the bushes where staff and patients used to use as toilet.



Alastair Coull's picture

Hygiene does not sound like a very fancy topic, but sanitation actually saves many more lives than most other interventions.
Andreas Pigni's picture

Agreed. "With more children dying from diarrhea caused by lack of access to clean water and safe sanitation than AIDS, malaria and measles combined, we all need to focus on these basic interventions that we know work," from the 2012 UNICEF report ( And from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "Global Water Fast Facts" (see "- Water, sanitation and hygiene has the potential to prevent at least 9.1% of the global disease burden and 6.3% of all deaths. - Worldwide, 780 million people do not have access to an improved water source. Many more obtain their drinking water from improved, but microbiologically unsafe, sources. - An estimated 2.5 billion people — half of the developing world — lack access to adequate sanitation (more than 35% of the world’s population)." An from this intersting article: "Our analyses suggest that access to water and sanitation independently contribute to child and maternal mortality outcomes. If the world is to seriously address the Millennium Development Goals of reducing child and maternal mortality, then improved water and sanitation accesses are key strategies."
Alastair Coull's picture

Very interesting links. Thanks Andreas!