Ashaiman Latrines Construction

Back To Projects

Focus Areas: Water & Sanitation

This project, which began in 2012 sees the construction of one hundred (100) household toilets in informal settlements throughout Ashaiman. Micro-flush toilets are being provided. These rely on 3 ft wide and 3 ft deep digesters, which recycle waste into usable fertilizer. Throughout the process partnerships have been developed with city authorities and community mobilization efforts around pro-poor development and savings have increased. 

Location: Ashaiman, Ghana


To date sixty (60) toilets have been installed and are in operation. An additional nine (9) are in the advanced stage of construction. The toilets are situated in forty-eight (48) houses. Approximately one thousand two hundred (1,200) people benefit directly from the use of these facilities.

Community capacity:

The project has seen increased community mobilization around pro-poor development and increased local savings. Four (4) Federation members have undergone three month on- and off-the-job training on building super structures and maintenance of the facility. An additional eight (8) members are being prepared to go through similar training to ensure that there are enough skilled individuals to handle the high demands of the facility.

Three (3) savings groups have been formed through this project and Federation membership has increased. Relationships between local authorities and the Alliance have improved. Ashaiman Municipal Assembly has started engaging with Federation members, including the Development Planning and Social Services Sub-Committees on reviewing slum upgrading projects in Ashaiman. 


The Ashaiman Municipal Assembly together with the Traditional Authority and the Federation has formed a special committee to oversee to the start up of the second (2nd) phase of the Amui Djor Cooperative Housing. They are in an advanced stage of relocating settlements around the land for the project.


Some of the bigger impacts of the project include the establishment of a partnership with city authorities; increased community mobilization around pro-poor development platforms, and; increased local savings mobilization for improved living conditions of the poor. 


SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$110,000.00

Resources Leveraged:

The Federation was able to get funds through collaborating with the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly (AMA), from the Urban Development Fund. This fund is set aside by local authorities to undertake local initiatives.  Construction-related permits were also issued speedily for construction of each toilet by the Municipal Assembly. 

The Tema Ashaiman Municipal Slum Upgrading Fund (TAMSUF) has been approached through the project and has indicated the willingness to support the city wide upgrade with GHS230,000.00 (US$120,000.00). 

Market Generated Returns:

None to date.

Costs recovered from community:

None to date.

Farouk Braimah (+233) 21 682 896 View Website
Project social media channels:

Project information updated: 19 February 2016

Project in depth

Detailed Information

The process was started in 2011 by the the Ghanaian Allince of the Ghana Homeless People's Federation of the Urban Poor (GHAFUP) and People's Dialogue on Human Settlements (PDHS), in response to the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly’s (AMA) resolution to ensure that every household in Ashaiman city has a household toilet. This is in keeping with the Federation’s objective of improving access to water and sanitation for communities. 
Following an SDI citywide upgrading conference held in Kampala in 2011, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between two officials from Ashaiman Municipal Assembly (AMA) including the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), two members of GHAFUP and the Executive Director of PDHS who attended the conference. The MoU was signed to build upon existing projects and to ensure that all houses within the Municipality have in-house toilets. The aim of the MoU was also to complement the AMA's work in slum upgrading. The Federation selected Ashaiman as one of 7 cities to spearhead SDI’s citywide slum upgrading.  


Sixty (60) of the one hundred toilet facilities have been installed and are being utilised. An additional nine (9) toilets are in an advanced stage (super structure) of completion. These toilets are situated in forty-eight (48) houses. This is so because six (6) of the beneficiaries opted to have two toilets because of the size of their houses and the number of households residing there. With an average household size of more than five (5) in Ashaiman and an average of about five (5) households in a house, the number of direct beneficiaries is approximately one thousand two hundred (1,200) persons. 

Community capacity:

Federation members have been co-opted into the Development Planning and Social Services Sub-Committees of the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly. They are, therefore, invited to review sessions on slum upgrade projects in the city. These committees are part of the highest decision-making bodies in the Assembly. It must be noted that the work of the two committees directly affects the Assembly's pro-poor agenda. Consequently, the participation of the Federation in their deliberations is essential.


The project initially tested three different types of toilets: WC, pour flush, and bio digester toilets. Due to challenges related to limited space and high cost of WC and pour flush toilets, bio digester toilets were selected as the household toilet to implement. Concurrently, citywide profiling has been undertaken. As part of this second project, a profiling manual has been drafted as part of the Cities Alliance Ghana Land, Services and Citizenship (LSC) program. The information collected by the community during the profiling exercise can be used to demonstrate the need for further interventions to improve sanitation conditions in the area and advocate for the scaling up of the project. The fact that not all slums could be profiled presents a significant challenge to the scaling up of the project. This is compounded by the fact that a detailed enumeration of the pilot site is still lacking.


Broadly speaking, the project has had the following impact:

- It has brought the Federation closer to the Local Assembly through a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which was signed between the parties in August, 2012. The MoU was signed by the Municipal Chief Executive on behalf of the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly and witnessed by the Municipal Planning Officer. The chairperson of GHAFUP signed on behalf of the Federation and the Executive Director of PDHS signed on behalf of the support organisation.

- The project also constituted a Local Project Implementing Agency (LPIA)

- As part of the MOU, the parties agreed to set up a working committee to see to the Seven (7) City concept and implementation of the household toilet facility being the entry strategy of the City wide upgrade. The committee was officially inaugurated in October, 2012 and are mandated to meet bi-monthly to, amongst other things, assess the progress and the intended outcomes of the project. The LPIA is chaired by the Municipal Coordinating Director with sixteen (16) other members from the Federation, Metro Education Office, assembly members who are representatives/chairs from the various sub-committees of the assembly and heads/representatives of the various departments in the assembly. 

- The in yard toilets are just an entry to the city wide upgrade. The city wide upgrade project has opened the door for other interventions now going on in Ashaiman including in yard water connections, drainage construction, housing improvement and improvement of sanitation and water facilities in schools.

Ashaiman Municipal Assembly now recognizes slum upgrading in specific interventions such as water and sanitation in its Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP). 


SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$110,000.00 of which US$10,000.00 was used to cover project-linked technical assistance costs.

Resources Leveraged:

The Federation has leveraged support from the Assembly members and AMA as a whole, particularly with respect to the waiver of permit procedures. The assembly has also allocated GHS 70,000 ($35,000) from its share of the Urban Development Fund (funds set aside by local authorities to undertake local interventions in their jurisdictions) into the project. The assembly also facilitated permit (block) issuance for the implementation of the project.

Plans are in place to set up a Sanitation Fund with oversight from the World Bank and Water and Sanitation for the urban poor. The 7 City Project has become the prototype and referenced success story for this initiative.

Costs recovered from community:

Federation members have mobilised non-Federation members into saving groups and some have even started saving. Repayment plans have been designed and the Federation members as well as the councillors have shown greater interest in the project. The project will recover its cost through weekly or monthly loan repayment from beneficiaries and managed by the Federation of urban poor. The repayment component include the capital cost of the facility plus interest. Currently the repayment is going on steadily. The recovered funds will be used to scale up the project in other cities.

Ayekoo News. (2015). Landlords of Homes without Toilets to be Prosecuted. [Online]. Available:
Cities Alliance. (n.d.). The Ghana Land, Services and Citizenship for the Urban Poor (LSC) Programme. [Online]. Available:
UN-HABITAT. (2011). Ghana Housing Profile. [Online]. Available:
People's Dialogue Ghana. (2011). Changing the Face of Slums in Ghana. [Online]. Available:
People's Dialogue Ghana. (2013). Changing the Face of Slums in Ghana. [Online]. Available:
Turelinckx, S., van Puyvelde, E. & Vandenbempt, A. (). Compound Culture Revisited: A Lived-in Assessment of Low-Income Housing Strategies in Tema and Ashaiman through Tenure, Value and Mobility. [Online]. Available:

Funding Information



Funding type:

Grant funding

Implementing Partners

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Ghana Homeless People's Federation

People's Dialogue on Human Settlements

Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs