The Green Clinic Build, Ghana
On 5th December 2014, through the support of Jolinaiko Eco Tours and its affiliate NGO Stepping Stones for Africa (SSFA), the chiefs and people of Atsiekpoe Battor agreed to build an eco-smart Community Health Promotion Centre (CHPS compound) for themselves and which will benefit about 3,200 people in the Vome Electoral. It is named “The Green Clinic” because tree-planting forms a significant aspect of the entire concept, where trees will be used to shade the building, to provide revitalizing resting places and compensate the CO2 emissions. Besides the eco-friendly building method (using interlocking bricks) and the tree-planting, the clinic will use renewable energy sources for its operations, like solar power and compost- or biogas toilets. It is worthy to note that until this time there is not even a first aid post in the whole electoral area.
Building Humanity had initially intended to travel with a team of architects and engineers to Atesiekpoe Battor, to assist in the completion of an eco toilet facility. Unfortunately, due to financial obstacles, the team was unable to make the trip, but a concept design for a toilet facility was held, and a $2500 donation was made toward the completion of the Green Clinic.
As part of the project, a competition charrette was hosted by Mithun Architects. Five designers donated their time to come up with concept designs for a toilet facility for the Green Clinic. A winner was chosen, but because the project was not realized, the design was not finalized. However, we hope that in the near future we will be able to finalize plans and utilize the design on a future project.
Winning design proposal by Joe Swain
The project brief:
The Atsiekpoe community lacks running tap water though they live on the banks of the Volta river. It would thus be difficult and extremely expensive to use the traditional water closet system which uses a lot of water. There is therefore the need to explore alternative toilet facilities that are equally sanitary.
LOCAL ALTERNATIVES AVAILABLE
Samalex Solutions, a relatively new company invented lasting affordable solutions to building a hygienic toilet facility with any number seater capacity. This toilet facility is constructed by digging a 3 feet rectangular hole and a digester built in it before the structure and toilet seater is fixed on it. A hand washing facility is fixed and connected to the toilet seater (ceramic pot) of which the water that is used to wash hands is used to flash the fecal matter. Only small quantity of water is needed to do the flashing. It is an odorless toilet facility. The digester usually processes the fecal matter and it becomes manure for plants. Their Facebook page is Samalex SOLUTIONS-Game Changer 2014.
Biological Filters & Composters Ltd (BIOFILCOM) is another toilet system provider that uses the digester. The Biofil Digester is a simple compact on-site organic waste treatment system that uniquely combines the benefits of the flush toilet system and those of the composting toilets and eliminates the disadvantages and drawbacks of both systems. The Biofil Digester technology mimics the decomposition found under forests’ floors and other natural environments. Living organisms (both microorganisms and macro-organisms such as earthworms) in an enclosed environment treats all organic degradable matter through the natural process of aerobic decomposition. Wastewater and fecal matter enter at the top of the Biofil Digester where rapid separation of solids and liquid contents of the waste occurs.
The digester is essentially a biological filter consisting of a medium of soil and pervious concrete. Bacteria, other organisms degrade solid fecal matter. All liquids are organically filtered out of the bottom of the digester and drained into the soil where further and final decomposition occurs. Other solids (toilet paper & all degradable anal cleaning material) are decomposed and converted into rich & safe soil. When the Biofil Digester is used in the flush toilet situation, high nutrient biologically treated water is made available for effective landscaping and beautification of the environment. Facebook page: @BiologicalFiltersandCompostersLtd.
Based on the “Green Clinic” concept, whichever toilet system that is adapted must fit the concept for the clinic. As such, they want a toilet that is environmentally friendly, water conserving, hygienic and cost effective. Above all, it must be sustainable and easy to manage with little expert knowledge.
Additional design proposals in no particular order:
We want to thank Mithun and all the designers who donated their time on this project.