November 19, 2018 | Toronto, ON

Love Africa Project continues to act against open defecation on World Toilet Day

Open defecation is the practice of defecating outdoors and Love Africa Project is continuing to act against this practice by raising funds to build toilets in Ghana, West Africa. The organization that was founded by Kwame Ben Eden, a Canadian Civil Engineer and Construction Manager, was born out of a jog along the beach, while on vacation in December 2014. Ben Eden witnessed open defecation first hand and vowed to do something about it.

Public washroom build in Lower Saltpond, Ghana
Front of public washroom being built in Lower Saltpond, Ghana.

World Toilet Day means a lot to Love Africa Project

In December 2017, three years later, Ben Eden and the newly founded Love Africa Project went back to start their first public washroom in the beachfront community of Lower Salt Pond in the Central Region, located in between Accra and Cape Coast.

“This is what I want to do for the rest of my life” Kwame Ben Eden, Love Africa Project Founder on building access to toilets.

Still under construction, the grassroots organization is looking for $6,000 CDN to complete the facility that will house 20 washroom stalls (ten male and ten female), along with sinks for hand washing. The communal washroom will be equipped with running water and waste will be diverted to Bio Fill Digesters, a Ghanaian invention that will naturally decompose waste.

Ghana is ranked 2nd in open defecation in Africa behind war-torn South Sudan. Ghana is known as a stable, safe country that has all the amenities of any “first world” nation. However, open defecation has proven to be a problem. According to the Resource Centre Network Ghana, the practice costs the country $79 million per year.

Backside of public washroom with water tank in Lower Saltpond, Ghana
Back of public washroom in Lower Saltpond, Ghana

What are all the costs?

Beyond monetary costs, the toll it takes on the health of Ghana’s citizens and its healthcare system is significant. About 16 million Ghanaians use unsanitary or shared toilets. Approximately 4.8 million people don’t have access to a toilet at all and resort to open defecation.

The result of this practice is illnesses like cholera, which results from human feces and urine contaminating waterways, common places where people defecate. In 2014 and 2015 30,000 cases of cholera were reported, along with 250 deaths.

Public washroom build to end open defecation in ghana
Washroom stalls being built in Lower Saltpond, Ghana

Not to mention a lack of access to toilets has resulted in premature deaths of children. About 63,000 children have died in Ghana since 2000 due to a lack of access to toilets.

On this World Toilet Day, the Love Africa Project is working hard to change this reality and do their part to reach the UN Millennium Development Goal of ending open defecation worldwide by 2030. It’s a lofty goal and one that’s being achieved mainly by grassroots fundraising efforts, but Love Africa Project’s founder calls ending open defecation and building access to toilets “what I want to do for the rest of my life.” When nature calls the Love Africa Project wants to answer the call with a toilet.

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About the Love Africa Project

The Love Africa Project is a not-for-profit corporation based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with a mission to end open defecation by building access to toilets and building dignity in West Africa. Co-founded by two Canadians, the Love Africa Project aims to help improve health, wellness, sanitation and hygiene in communities that need and so richly deserve to have proper washroom facilities.

For more information please contact

Kwame Ben Eden
Love Africa Project
(647) 772-9945

Marshalette McTyson
Communications and Marketing
Love Africa Project
(647) 981-8604