See you later, Ghana!


See you later, Ghana!


I had the intention to write this blog already before leaving Ghana. It’s been almost three months now since I have left, so high time to just do it. Before I forget! Just kidding. How can I forget? Living in Ghana and working for GNWP has been a great experience. It’s not often that you get the opportunity to shape such a large WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) Programme. GNWP is a very interesting programme with its focus on urban areas and innovative approaches such as the emphasis on private sector engagement.

What has been most striking for me in Ghana – yes, even more striking than “Lavender Hill” - is its wide-spread public toilets; not the phenomena of public toilets per se, but the fact that those toilets are meant for routine use for large parts of the urban population. And even more amazing is that those toilets are being used, especially knowing the terrible state these toilets are in. Their use is encouraging – at least it proofs the demand for sanitation – as well as worrying because the common acceptance of not having your own toilet and of using dirty ones may not drive the desired change.

Solid waste management was a relatively unexplored area for me before coming to Ghana. I discovered what a fascinating area this is where I believe GNWP’s PPP instrument, the Ghana WASH Window, can make a big difference.

I really hope to have the opportunity to come back to Ghana in a few years and see what the programme has achieved and what it is still continuing to further contribute to. Would my dream have come true that by then you can walk along the beaches of Elmina without fear of stepping on a “number two”?

Astrid van Agthoven

Delft, The Netherlands, 5 May 2015


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