Two sanitation facilities have been commissioned in Anwona and Ayokoa, two cocoa-growing communities in Adansi Asokwa district in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Funded by Nestle and implemented by the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), these facilities were constructed to support pupils’ access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities (WASH). 

The facilities in each community include a block of 10 toilets, complemented by a mechanised borehole, handwashing sink, waste bins and a changing room for girls and female teachers, and were handed over to the schools at the end of May.  

Ayokoa has only one public school; Ayokoah District Assembly (D/A) Primary and Junior High School (JHS)) while Anwona also has a primary and a JHS (Anwona D/A Primary and JHS) which is accessed by 5 other neighbouring communities. 

Mr Osman Kwasi Mensah, the head teacher of Ayokoah D/A Basic school, explained how the new facilities will benefit the school children and encourage them to attend school. “This facility will be of significant help to the school. Sometime ago, a child could ask for permission to go and ease him/herself at home while class is in session and then never return. But with the new toilet, this will cease.” Abigail Asante, a JHS student who lives in a different community and commutes to school daily, revealed that at times she did not have the desire to attend school sometimes due to the lack of a lavatory.  

Mike Arthur ICI’s Country Director for Ghana explained that the project was possible through the collaboration between ICI’s partners, Nestle, Beyond Beans and Cocoa Merchants Ghana Limited, emphasizing that putting up the facility formed part of measures to eradicate child labour in the cocoa growing communities. “The facility will go a long way to help children, especially the girl child. During their menstrual period, if they do not have a convenient place to change themselves, they end up staying at home and going to the farm to work. The new facility will therefore encourage them to attend school comfortably and learn,” he added. 

Mr Ebenezer Ayisi Ntow, District coordinating Director for Adansi Asokwa commended ICI for its support to the district, particularly for providing school desks to about 300 pupils. He further advised management of the schools to practice good maintenance culture to sustain the facilities.  

Obaapanyin Abuyaa I, Queenmother of Adansi Anwona also expressed appreciation to ICI and its implementing partners for its numerous development projects in the community and promised to see to maintenance and upkeep of the sanitation facility.