Mr. Divine Kporha, an alumnus of the University of Health and Allied Sciences has, through his foundation DK Charity Foundation and other philanthropists, cut sod for the construction of a new ten-seater dry toilet facility for residents of the Cured Lepers Village in the Ho municipality. DK Charity Foundation is liaising with Kporha’s alma mater UHAS, as well as University of Newcastle, Australia and the Mental and Wellbeing Foundation to bring relief to the Cured Lepers Village within four months.
According to Mr. Kporha, the plight of the residents caught his foundation’s attention when they visited the village last year and leaders of the village appealed for a dry toilet facility to decongest the one they had. The Foundation, with no funding in sight, set up a GoFundMe account to kick-start the project after a land was secured.
“The goal of the fundraising initiative was to construct an environmentally friendly toilet facility that catered to the needs of the disabled members of the Village,” he said.
The Australian High Commission, upon seeing the appeal, agreed to help construct the facility to help “make a remarkable difference to the members of the village and improve their quality of life.”
Mamaga Asantewaa II, Paramount Queen of the Wusuta Traditional Area in the North Dayi district, who represented her Member of Parliament at the sod cutting ceremony, marvelled at the benevolence of the team.
“It's the first time I’m witnessing such selflessness to make others comfortable.” She said the initiative, to a large extent, would help reduce open defecation with its associated infections.
Mr. Nelson Atito, the Compound Overseer of the village explained that although every apartment in the village had inbuilt toilet facilities, these were beset with plumbing challenges, making it difficult for residents to make full use of them. He said because of these challenges, residents had resorted to open defecation and littering in an environment they were trying to keep clean.
“Lots of appreciations to our benefactors as this new facility will go a long way to help us,” he said.
A beneficiary and resident of the village narrated how he had adjusted to open defecation, as no help seemed to be in sight. “If you see me with a hoe, know that I have to ease myself, although I know how dangerous it could be,” he said.
A wheelchair user who lives in the community also bemoaned how she was compelled to use the already choked toilet facility in her home because she couldn’t access the bush like other people. “Our apartment always stinks for hours whenever I use the toilet but I have no other choice,” she said.
DK Charity Foundation, with funding from the Australian High Commission, expects to complete the project in four months to ease the burden of the village's already congested existing facility .