Bongo district is increasing its reliance on small town water systems to provide safe water in areas where the population is more concentrated. Deep boreholes provide water to storage tanks and standpipes across the area – with the potential also to make household connections.
Material prepared by a team from the Ghana National Development Planning Commission and IRC Ghana
In the town of Bongo Soe three mechanised boreholes pump water to a single overhead tank which distributes the water to eight standpipes, currently used by about 6,000 people. They pay small amounts 10-20 pesewas (US$ 0.17-0.35) depending on bucket size to collect from the standpipes.
So far only 15 households are directly connected but the Water and Sanitation Management Team has a target to increase household connections to at least 100 with a second overhead tank to meet demand. Households buy the parts (pipes and meter) they need for connection costing from 300-500 GHS (US$ 52-88) – but do not pay a connection fee. They are billed monthly for water they use.
In the heart of Bongo Soe is a market site which is currently being redeveloped. There is already a tap in the market square. When traders return they will also find an immaculate suite of toilets.
Cynthia Azure has a cloth stall at the market and is also the water vendor. She will look after the toilet block and collect a small fee from everyone who uses it. There can hardly be a market place anywhere with nicer toilets than these! Looking proudly around the new facility, she says: "The way they have done it is nice. That is what we want. We should not be defecating outside."
Daniel Canyase, Bongo Assembly District Co-ordinating Director, agrees. "A toilet is very important for every public space and more especially for a market where we have so many people coming from outside the community and we are still battling with household toilets. Otherwise what is going to happen is they will free themselves in any case and where will they do that? They will end up polluting our markets and our communities."
Cynthia Azure water vendor and market trader will look after the toilet block designed to keep the market defecation free