In 2010, iDE began working in Ghana to enable farmers’ access to improved irrigation techniques that allow for farming in the dry season, leading to increased incomes and food security. Today, iDE is also increasing access to sanitation and hand washing.
In 1957, Ghana was the first Sub-Saharan African country to gain independence, boasting of great statesmen from Kwame Nkrumah to Kofi Annan. It is a multilingual country with 70 ethnic groups, each with its own distinct language. Of an estimated population of 25 million, 72 percent are considered to be subsistence farmers, with an average income of $1.25 per day. Moreover, 87 percent do not own a toilet. In northern Ghana, residents are confronted with the harsh, dry conditions found along the Sahel region across West Africa.
In northern Ghana, 90% of households do not have access to a toilet. Municipal sewage infrastructure does not exist. As a result, most people resort to “open defecation”, which means doing your business wherever you can find some momentary privacy – often in a field close to your home.