The people of Nzulezu, a village in the Nzema area in the Western Region built entirely on stilts in a lagoon, now have a modern sanitation facility.
The 10-unit facility, the first of its kind in the world, allows the community to use the toilet without contaminating the lagoon, which is the source of livelihood of the people.
Called the Biofil Toilet System, the modern technology uses a digester with an aerobic decomposition system which treats toilet waste and flush water in the chamber. It then breaks down the toilet waste completely with oxygen in a way that odour is not generated.
The project, which was initiated in 2013, was sponsored by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), through its STEP programme, and the government of Ghana, with additional support from the Minister of Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah.
The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, inaugurated the facility for the Nzulezu community at a ceremony which brought together members of the community, traditional leaders and public officials, including assembly members, district chief executives, ministers and officials from Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts and the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA).
She also used the occasion to inaugurate a cultural group for the area,
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said the project was in line with the government’s policy to develop tourist destinations across the country and was hopeful that the putting up of the toilets would tackle the long-standing problem of indiscriminate defecation and also address complaints by tourists over the non-existence of a toilet facility at the village.
She said the ministry was committed to making the village very habitable for the more than 400 inhabitants while increasing its fortunes as one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country.
She said plans were far advanced for the construction of separate walkways for tourists and visitors in order to curb the situation where tourists run into inhabitants in their homes and rooms.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said the government would embark on a campaign to provide clean toilet facilities and visitor reception centres at all tourist destinations to boost tourism in the country.
She tasked the people of Nzulezu to take very good care of the facility to encourage the government to do more for them.
How the system works
Explaining how the system works, a co-production manager of the project, Mr Caleb Kwaku Ansah, said: “The chamber itself is a filter and when you flush the water closet, the digester filters the liquid through sand and porous concrete.
“This will allow non-toxic water to drain out to a garden, leaving the toilet waste in a suspended environment where oxygen gets to every part of it. Under those conditions, millions of environmentally friendly micro-organisms and bacteria feed on the toilet waste till it disappears completely.”
In his speech, the District Chief Executive for Jomoro, Mr George Somiah, said the construction of the facility was a manifestation of the government’s mission to collaborate with development partners to bring development to the people.
He said it was undeniable that the facility had come at an opportune time, as sanitation remained one of the government’s top priorities and, more especially, in the area that had become a tourism hub.
Source: Graphic Online