EcoSan is short for "Ecological Sanitation".
EcoSan Ghana is an Amsterdam-based non-profit NGO (KvK #7433316 ; RSIN #856987682) with ANBI status that aims at providing ecological toilets and clean water supply to rural Ghana (see Legislative Act), for now particularly in Atiwa, Fanteakwa, and Upper Denkyira East.
According to Unicef, worldwide every day about 1800 children (under the age of 5) die as the result of contaminated water and unhygienic sanitation. “If 90 school buses filled with kindergartners were to crash every day, with no survivors, the world would take notice. But this is precisely what happens every single day because of poor water, sanitation and hygiene.”
According to water.org, in Ghana only 13% of people have access to improved sanitation, 3 million people lack access to safe water, and 23 million people lack access to improved sanitation. Dependency on unsafe water sources is particularly high in rural areas. As a result, in Ghana 25% of all deaths in children under the age of 5 are attributed to diarrhea.
EcoSan Ghana is now working on building dry-composting toilets, and has succesfully drilled for water in Modaso, Tekyekrom and Kwameprekrom, using a human powered percussion drill tower. As the ground water in Kwameprekrom appeared to be contaminated by sewage water, we are building a spirulina raceway to purify the water. Future projects are planned in Adasewase, Obompe, Nsutem, Anyinam, Anyinam-Ankaase and Bunso. (Beleidsplan)
All expenses are 100% public. But only the refunded/refundable expenses are listed (paid for by EcoSan Ghana). Not the non-refundable (paid for by volunteers). Nobody on the board of direction gets a salary. Not a single cent. No expenses are refunded regarding time, travelling, webhosting, fundraising etc. Even if one of them goes to inspect the projects, he/she buys his/her own plane ticket, and this money is not refunded. It is all for the good cause. No salaries are paid, whatsoever. The ONLY costs paid for, are costs made for directly getting the job done; building materials (cement, steel rebars, etc) and equipment (pipes, pumps, etc). The costs (for EcoSan Ghana) of each project are listed on the "accounting page", and are specified on the page dedicated to that project.
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Cheap or Durable?
It is said that durable is better, because standard water pumps break down within a few years. That is because in practise, proper, regular maintenance is often simply not doable, because all money locally available is used for investing in things directly related to their own food, such as seeds etc. It is about survival of the individual, and his/her family. Less about something that the community as a whole needs. The ultimate durable waterpump is the Fairwater Blue Pump. They do not come more rigid than that. It costs 2500 euro to replace a dysfunctioning pump with a BluePump. But even the BluePump needs some maintenance. And you can buy a cast iron water pump in China for 50 euro. So, for 2500 euro, you can buy 50 pumps in China. For just a little over 100 euro, you can buy a more durable Clasal cast iron pump, in Belgium. For boreholes deeper than 9 meters, we need solar powered waterpumps, which cost a little over 400 euro per set. This means that if you adopt a network of waterpumps, it is far more cost effective to replace any dysfunctioning pump with a cheap new one, than doing maintenance, repairs and/or install the BluePump. This also means that you can never abandon the pump that you installed, but that was already true. That is why we are working on a manageable network of pumps, so that a dysfunctioning pump is readily replaced with a new one. Hence only the districts of Atiwa, Fanteakwa, and Upper Denkyira East for starters.
Public toilets are a entirely different ball game, but they have at least one thing in common with waterpumps; you cannot abandon them. Hence the network.