News Release

Sanitation Facilities Welcomed by Apataim Community

Sanitation goes high-tech in African village

“Your donation of material and expertise has allowed us to help ourselves,” said Samuel Assiem Yankey, liaison between Apataim Community and LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, about the new sanitation facilities recently constructed.


Yankey represented the community during a presentation ceremony of a composting toilet system and hygiene station at Apataim. “The donation of materials and project contractor gave us what we needed to make this project a reality,” Yankey said.

Members of the community provided labor for the excavation work. They also stood ready and available to assist throughout the construction of the facility.

Expressing gratitude for the facilities, Yankey commented, “The community has not had adequate sanitary facilities in the past. We need no longer be concerned when guests come to visit. We can be proud of where we live.”

Apataim is a hillside farming community of 1200 people in the Western Region of Ghana. Previously there were a few pit latrines in the area that were insufficient for the needs of the community. This project included a ten-station composting toilet system, hygiene station and sanitation training.

State-of-the-art technology was used in the design and construction of the new facility. One-half of the stations will be used by community members, while waste, in the remaining stations, is processed through the composting cycle. Rain water from the roof is collected in storage barrels on each end of the building. That water will be used in sanitation stations at the facility.

The project was met with great enthusiasm and support from the community. On Nov. 2 approximately 700 residents of the community, including nine local chiefs, village matrons, and school children, assembled to receive the new facilities. Traditional songs of gratitude filled the mountain air. Villagers and guests also enjoyed dances performed by the women of Apataim.


Eric Mensah, a local leader in the Church, described the role of LDS Charities in assisting communities and other organizations with water and sanitation projects.

“Funding for projects like these come from donations made by members of our Church in Ghana and elsewhere in the world,” Mensah said. “People from all walks of life make contributions, some small and some large. They all add up to bless the lives of others. Latter-day Saints follow the example of Jesus Christ, doing good for our fellowman.”

The general contractor for the project, James Kainyiah, explained to guests how the system operated and will train community volunteers to operate the system. Kainyiah also recognized the men of the community for their hard work during the construction process.

A water and sanitation committee is responsible to collect monthly fees from each household which will be used to maintain the facility and keep it clean.

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