Clean Team: Promoting Improved Sanitation and Waste Management in Kumasi, Ghana

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A very interesting and informative short video on Clean Team, an initiative targeted in Kumasi, Ghana to address urban sanitation needs by providing household toilets to paying customers. The project, still in its pilot stage, is a collaboration between Unilever, Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), IDEO and the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly. Check out the video:

The project, called ghanasan (as in Ghana + sanitation), focuses on improved sanitation through collaboration and design. Learn more about the project at the project blog.

  • What a fantastic idea; it is true that the human waste is a real problem in Africa; Personal toilets are also a good thing for not spreading germs; people need to realised that evrybody doesn't have the “same sense” of hygiene;

  • Manga, I think you bring up an excellent point I'd argue that not everyone has the same ability to pay for improved sanitation sources – so what I like about this collaborative project it is is trying to address the situation by tailoring a solution that fits with local conditions.

    If you're really interested in sanitation, I'd recommend you check out a book that I'm finishing up at the moment: “The Last Taboo: Opening the Door on the Global Sanitation Crisis” (check out the Google preview here: It provides a great history of the sanitation crisis in Europe (focused on London), and how this has been tied successfully to public health and hygiene. A really great read!

  • Another quick point — I think that there is a very strong sense of hygiene here in Ghana, but the challenge is finding affordable solutions. Many people, even at lower income levels, have excellent hygiene, and it's just as important here as it is in the West, say in the United States, somewhere in Europe, etc. One of the major challenges is that many cities lack an integrated, city-wide waste management system, so it is often up to individual households to work on these issues themselves (whereas say, in the United States, everything is hooked up when you move into your house or apartment, and you just pay the bill and government agencies take care of the rest). A major challenge. When you think about it, individual household do a lot to manage their own sanitation and waste – quite impressive.