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Enoch Asuman is a physically-challenged sanitation champion spearheading the eradication of open defecation in his community, Kwaku Ninsin, located in the Asikuma Odoben Brakwa District in the Central region of Ghana. Like many other open defecation free (ODF) communities, Kwaku Ninsin practiced open defecation until the USAID-funded WASH for Health project team initiated the ODF implementation process. Since the initiation of the process, Enoch has personally rallied his community behind the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) team to ensure the community adopt safer sanitation practices.

 

Enoch Asuman by his household latrine

 

The 50-year-old man was made the chairman of the Natural Leaders in his community due to his unquestionable commitment to ending the practice of open defecation. Despite his physical disabilities, he leads the CLTS team to remote areas in the community to initiate the ODF process. His influence has translated into majority of the 592 community members, including the local leaders, accepting and adopting proper sanitation practices such as building household latrines, cleaning of the environment, and safely disposing of refuse.

 

Enoch with some residents on a concrete slab he constructed

This altruistic family man of four children, constructs the concrete slabs for the latrines at no cost, provided the construction materials are available. Agya Kwaku, a beneficiary of a latrine constructed with the assistance of Enoch, is awed by his commitment to improving sanitation in their community. “But for his assistance, my family and I did not have this facility. We feel more comfortable attending nature’s call a few steps away from our house, especially at night. Previously, it we had to risk attending nature’s call at night in the bush,” Agya Kwaku said.

As a small-scale farmer, Enoch must spend long hours planting and weeding his fields, but he does not let these time constraints deter him from championing the sanitation agenda. He personally visits individual homes to encourage them to build latrines in order to attain an ODF status. According to Enoch, “My sole aim for championing this course is two-fold: to make the community clean leading to the prevention of diseases, and to enable us attain and ODF status by the end of December, 2018.”

Enoch cleaning his compound

 

Within two months of initiation, the community has attained an ODF basic status. This means feces are disposed of appropriately, so there are no visible signs of human or animal feces. To attain full ODF status by Enoch’s timeline, all households must have access to and use latrines. Additionally, 80% of households must have their own latrine and residents must increase handwashing practices at critical times of the day.

 

Enoch taking the lead

Word of his activities has spread to neighboring communities, motivating them to practice improved hygiene behaviors. Based on the example set by Enoch’s community, a couple of households in the neighboring town have begun constructing household latrines as well. Enoch has started advising other communities still practicing open defecation to improve their sanitation practices as well encouraging every family to construct a their own household latrine.

 

 

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