Meet Adam Adamu Azumpagaama Sama Sama’s First Woman Toilet Business Owner

Because of you, women are earning an income in the male-dominated sanitation industry

Adam Adamu Azumpagaama joined the ranks of Sama Sama toilet business owners in October of 2018. She is the first woman to do so.

As an owner, she is fully invested in her business. It’s real money—all of her savings—and carries real risk. While she’s determined to make it a success, her motivation isn’t entirely financial.

“Of course, I want additional income but I also wanted to be part of this business. It’s masculine, and I wanted to prove to the men that I could do more than them,” Adam says.

In a male-dominated culture and work environment, customers’ reactions to finding out Adam is in charge of their build have ranged from surprise to wariness.

“There was one male customer in town who was not happy that I would be installing the toilet. But after I finished, he was so pleased with the quality that he ordered another toilet for a family member and insisted I install it,” Adam says.

Adam doesn’t spend a lot of time worrying about how customers perceive her. She’s got bigger goals, like expanding her business and setting an example for her daughter, Rida, after whom Adam’s business is named: Rida Enterprises.

“I hope by watching me that she (Rida) will be empowered, satisfied, and confident in herself. I hope that she will be hardworking,” Adam says.

As part of her business, Adam manages 10 staff and oversees toilet construction. She also manages installations, which are often challenging.

For Adam, the most difficult part is making the Concrete rings for the pit, getting the mix just right, and transporting them. Rings are heavy and require three people to lift. En route, there’s always a chance they will break, depending on how far they are going and what the roads are like along the way. But Adam is determined.

“I did this to prove to females that we can take care of ourselves. We don’t have to depend on men to provide. We can play a part. We can do anything we want–carpentry, be a business owner or anything else.”

Adam has already inspired three other women to start their own toilet businesses.

Sama Sama is a sanitation business that builds, sells and delivers toilets in northern Ghana. Toilet business
owners work with local trades to coordinate the construction and installation of all toilets, ensuring a smooth
process for customers from start to finish. More than 85% of rural Ghanaians lack adequate sanitation.
The Government of Canada provides funding for this Project.