Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 2: The truth about latrines, and other things

Today we went to Obodan in the late morning to inspect the remaining latrine sites in the satellite villages. The one in Anoff had no superstructure, the access doors were not made, and one pit had a few inches of rainwater stagnating inside it. Bricks were scattered around the site waiting to be used for the superstructure. The latrine in Alatta had no clear path to the door, and the doorway was several feet from the ground. The substructure had some gaps in the walls and part of the roof was missing. The one in Kwasi Doi had no toilet seats, neither pit had an access door, and the pits were full to the ground level with stagnant water in which debris was collecting and bugs were breeding. The Akwakupom latrine site was almost complete, needing only doors on the access pits, completion of the urine diverting pipes, and backfilling. We were disappointed to see that after all our work last summer the latrines had not been completed and so sat unused for a year. Sammy informed us that many of the materials we would need to complete the latrines were still in Obodan so it was matter of coordinating skilled laborers to get it done. We expect to have them all ready to use by the end of our trip.

At lunch we got to eat Fan Ice, the legendary Ghanaian ice cream in a sachet. Steve Forbes helped us procure a cell phone for a low cost, so we can stay in touch with Sammy and any other local contacts, as well as Steve.

In the evening Sammy's wife made us a dinner of rice and fish stew. Sammy and the team went over what had happened at all the latrine sites since the Columbia team left last summer and we edited our itinerary to focus on completing the latrines.

Peacing out,

Mira, Kabir, Andrea, Caitlin, Kerri

 The mostly complete latrine at Akwakupom

 The team heading off to inspect the latrines in the eastern satellite villages

 Sammy Gamson and Steve Forbes

Group picture

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