Looking at the Whole Sanitation Picture
The challenge with a wide scope of opportunities is that the system which links them must be robust enough not to breakdown at any point.
We had a series of great expert interviews in with Safisana, Relief International,CHF and Boafo in Accra. All of these organizations are tackling the issue of sanitation – offering us valuable insight to their operations.
A common thread throughout all of these conversations is the importance of considering how to add value at every step of the process – from education about sanitation to thinking about getting a toilet to financing to installing the toilet to maintaining it to emptying it to transporting the waste to disposing of it safely. Each of these steps provides an opportunity to create money making (or at least not profit losing) enterprises which will create jobs and improve living conditions. The challenge with this spread of opportunities is that the system which links them must be robust enough not to breakdown at any point.
The conversations left us thinking more about the systems level design that needs to happen. We realised the need to look at our challenge through the lenses of desirability, fesability, and viability – including long term environmentally responsible practices.
Read more from the Ghanasan Team at: http://ghanasan.wordpress.com/
Ghanasan was a collaborative project between IDEO, Unilever and Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor to explore sanitation issues in Ghana. It pursued sustainable sanitation concepts for poor urban areas like Kumasi, the nation’s second-largest city, with a population of more than 1.5 million people.