This amazing letter is what makes it all worthwhile

On Monday 13th June 2023 Adrian, Alyrene, Maya and Clemence visited Dorfor Adidome in the south of the Volta region. We had been invited by the Assemblyman Jupita, to see if we could help the village build a toilet block so they didn’t have to use a rather disgusting open pit latrine. We agreed a project with them and using donations from friends, relatives and large donations from The Green Hall Foundation and the Souter Charitable Trust we were able to work with them. We used a Ghanaian design for an eight cubicle toilet. To our delight it has now been completely finished. The opening ceremony took place on the 10th June 2024 two days short of a year. So a huge thank you to the two big donors, the community who did most of the work, Clemence our project manager in Ghana for project managing it and especially to Tse Kofi Jupita Azietor the Assemblyman for overseeing the works and keeping the community involved. It needs to be recorded that Jupita did all of this totally unpaid out of the goodness of his heart.

The trustees of Community Action got this letter today from Jupita, Dorfor Adidome Assemblyman:

Dear Community Action Ghana,

I wanted to take a moment to express my heartfelt appreciation for the incredible work that you do in helping to build toilets for communities in need. Your dedication to improving sanitation and hygiene standards has a profound impact on the lives of so many individuals, families, and communities.

Access to proper sanitation facilities is a basic human right, yet it is a reality that many people around the world still lack access to safe and hygienic toilets. Your efforts in building toilets not only provide a fundamental necessity for these communities but also contribute to their overall health, dignity, and well-being.

By building toilets, you are not only addressing a critical need but also empowering communities to lead healthier and more sustainable lives. Your commitment to this cause is truly inspiring, and I am grateful for the positive change that you are bringing to the world.

Thank you for your tireless efforts, compassion, and dedication to making a difference. Your work is truly invaluable, and I am proud to support such a noble cause. Dorfor Adidome community is proud of you.

With deepest gratitude,

Hon. Tse Kofi Jupita Azietor

Some of the community thanking us for their new toilet block

If you would like to help us build more facilities like this please donate. Just click on the button below.

Jupita Azietor handing over the keys to the Chief
Outside of the block
Internal hand washing.


Thank you very much. Because of you new books collected

Because of the generosity of regular donors, and donations to our latest appeal, we have been able to release the latest donation of books, from Book Aid International, from Ghana’s customs. The funds raised also allowed us to transport them to Alavanyo.

Clemence, our project manager in Alavanyo, made all the arrangements for the books to be collected from Accra and transported to Alavanyo. They are pictured below; unpacked, sorted and stamped . All books are stamped with the Book Aid International stamp.

This could not have happened without your financial help. So a huge thank you.

In Dorfor Adidome we are going to refurbish a room in the primary school, that they have set aside as a community library.

We were recently complimented by an eminent public health professional, Professor Sir Muir Gray (Director of The Optimal Aging Program Oxford University), for our work in providing toilets and libraries. In his opinion the the two most important strategies for improving public health are clean water and education – and toilets are vital in keeping water courses clean. We are honoured and humbled by his appreciation of what we are doing.

The work goes on.


Fantastic visit to projects and identifying new ones

The trustees Adrian and Heather visited Ghana from 17th to 27th February to see how current projects were doing and to identify new projects. We set off From Heathrow with British Airways with 172 Kg of luggage! We go BA because its a non stop flight and as you can see, their luggage allowance is great. As we pay for our own flights it is the most cost effective and convienient way of travelling.

We were met at Kotoka International airport in Accra at 9pm by the third trustee Alyrene, who had travelled out a few days earlier, Clemence our project manager, and Christian a driver we had had before in his beautifully kept air conditioned minivan.

The next day we left for Alavanyo. We stopped for lunch at the Akosombo dam, where Heather and Adrian had set off on their adventure to Timbuctoo during the 1968 Easter holidays. They were teaching in Ghana having been recruited by VSO to work in schools in the Volta Region.

172Kg luggage ready to go.
Christian, Clemence & Heather with Volta river behind.

We spent the next six days based at Alavanyo Dzogbedze. We travelled by the less salubrious but very efficient Tuktuk driven by Amos.
First to Kpando to buy material from the market. We needed the material to give to various seamtresses to make bags to sell on Etsy, at craft fares, and for the fair trade shop in Hameln. This not only provides us with a source of income for our projects but gives work to the seamstresses and their apprentices.

Amos with his trusty Tuktuk
Comfort selling us wonderful cloth
Alyrene and Clemence buying more
Edna making bags at Lolobi
Edemironing the bags Charlotte has made
Evelyn making bags at Dzogbedze
Having a laugh about how many pieces we have bought
Apprentice seamstresses showing off their handywork.

To be continued…………………………………………………..


A new roof suddenly appears

The carpenters at Dorfor Adidome have been hard at work. We are always amazed at the speed a roof goes on. A combination of hard work and skill.

The next stage is fitting out the interior and plumbing everything in. Usually we build KVIP toilets with the communities we work with. However, the community of Dorfor Adidome requested a WC system, initially we had reservations, but the central positioning of the toilet block in the village and the desire of the community to have one has meant we agreed. Our strapline is “The communities’ priorities are our priorities” and this is what the community requested we help with.

We are putting in drainage channels for after the effluent has been through a septic tank and aim to plant fruit trees alongside the channels to make use of the nutrients coming from the septic tank.

As with all of our projects, we will monitor the results closely and evaluate this toilet system before we commit to any other water based systems.

We have been in discussions about compost toilets and will be visiting a project next month that is converting the KVIP system into a compost system.

We’ll keep you updated on the progress and the evaluation and thank you to our generous donors and to the hard work and commitment of the Dorfor Adidome community.


Wonderful Hub & Library is ready for all to use.

After a year of hard work the community of Lolobi have completly renovated the old cocoa buying offices and turned them into a glistening new building they can all use as a library and computer centre.

First a new roof was needed to make it weather proof


Then the interior needed a lot of Tender Loving Care

And got it


The outside was rendered and painted

Not a bad year’s work

And finally the shelves were stacked full of Books

This has only been achievable with the donations from many people especially those who have set up regular standing orders, thank you. Thanks must also go to Book Aid International as what would a library be without books. Thank you all.


Brilliant High School Graduates to form a reading club.

In 1967, Adrian, one of the trustees of Community Action Ghana, headed to Lolobi as a VSO volunteer. He was assigned to teach at St. Mary’s Junior Seminary. So, you can imagine our excitement when the Lolobi community asked for our help to renovate an old building. Their plan was to turn it into a Community hub, starting with a library and a computer suite. In June, Adrian, his daughter Alyrene (also a trustee of the charity), and his granddaughter Maya went to Lolobi to assist with the project.

The community has done an incredible job and made impressive progress on the project. This place will soon hold more than 4,000 books donated by Book Aid International and six laptops donated from Christian Aid.

While some high school graduates were busy organizing the books, they had a great idea. They asked if they could start a reading club for the young people in the community. We were thrilled by their initiative. Below is their letter to the village elders, formally requesting permission to do this. This experience will be a valuable addition to their resumes, especially since job opportunities for high school graduates, in Ghana are limited. It’s heart-warming to see people of all ages and skills getting involved in the community project.

Please take a look at their proposal below. But before you do, remember that we need your help to continue providing facilities like this library. Click the donate button before you leave the site to support our cause.


New Lolobi Hub Library Almost Ready

The carpenters built shelves, put up ceilings, and made tables. They painted the walls and shelves. The electricians installed lights and fans. The community organized the books given by Book Aid International, got some chairs, and prepared the old rooms for the first readers.

We want to thank everyone who helped make this project happen. Special thanks go to Clemence Kitsi and Kenneth Norviewu for their hard work in getting the community involved. We also want to thank Augustine Quarshie, our wonderful host, for his hospitality. The community members gave their time to work as laborers, carpenters, electricians, masons, painters, and cleaners.

Two of the most memorable quotes from people helping were:-

A carpenter recently retired from Accra. “I am so glad to help as I thought when I returned to my village I would not be able to access books. I can now. Thank you.”

A disabled member of the community on being found tasks the was able to do said “Disability is not inability.” A quote we shall treasure and remember.


Amazing community work at Dorfor Adidome

We’d just like to show you how a brilliant community is helping themselves build a community toilet in their village with our assistance. We are providing the majority of materials. The community is providing some locally available materials such as sand and water and, most importantly, their labour and enthusiasm. They work on the toilets most Mondays and Tuesdays instead of tending to their farms. Almost all of the people are subsistence farmers so this is quite a sacrifice. The overall cost of the project is £23,393 with the locally available materials and labour costs provided by the community being £11,589 and Community Action Ghana’s input of £11,804. Almost a 50/50 split.

The illustrated timeline below shows exactly how we, at Community Action Ghana, work with communities to develop their infrastructure.

Monday 12th June Some of the trustees of Community Action Ghana of meet with chief and elders and agree to partner on the community toilet project.

Tuesday 13th June Chief and Elders meet with the village community who agree to do communal labour

Maya, Alyrene, Chief, Adrian
Meeting with Chief and elders

Wednesday 14th June Community collects equivalent of three lorry loads of sand and barrels of water

Some of the sand
Amazing strength and skill

Monday 19th June and Tuesday 20th June. The community made about 1,600 cement blocks for the walls of the holding tanks. To see how to make concrete blocks check out this video made by Ella when she was 9 .

Tipping the block from the mould
Rows and rows of blocks curing.

3rd and 4th July. Clearing the site and starting to dig the holes for the septic tank and the soakaway. Made good progress but ran into rock about 3″ (1 meter) down. Despite digging manfully it was going to be a difficult task to get 8 meters deep.

Digging out the septic tank hole
1 meter down and starting to hit rock

7th July Get in the JCB digger and even that found it hard. But it made a good (if expensive) job of it and valuable rubble will be broken down to be used in the concrete foundations.

Brute mechanical force chewed through the rocks.
All sorted

18th July to 30th July Starting to build the septic tank. Village masons and labourers worked extremely hard. The village doesn’t have a cement mixer so everything is done by hand. Now alreday for the next stage of casting the top of the tanks.

We are really in need of funds to finish this project so please dig deep or contact us on ways you could help. Do you know a group we could give a talk to. Do you want to run a marathon for us? A sponsored something? Please think about how you could help this community help themselves .


Striving to ensure our toilets are sustainable

At Community Action Ghana we pride ourselves on working with communities to fulfil their needs, in the ways they want them – the communities’ priorities our priorities.

In 2019 we worked with the community of Alavanyo Dzogbedze to build a sustainable, community toilet. We are delighted to report that a recent survey found that 326 people are using the toilets.

At the communities’ request we worked together to build a Kumasi Ventilated Improved Pit (KVIP) toilet block. This is a well know toilet system in Ghana, developed locally at Kumasi Institute of Technology (now the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology).

Our KVIP toilet block in Alavanyo Dzogbedze

The sustainability aspect of these toilets is what was so important to us all. To show this, we’ll explain a little bit about how they work. The most important part of these toilets is the pit or the holding tanks. All the toilet deposits go into these tanks. They are designed to be very well ventilated so no, or little, smell goes back up into the cubicles. Any flies that follow their noses onto the poo are cunningly trapped in the tank until they die. If the flies could escape, they would carry germs on their legs and bodies, leading to fly borne diseases. With the KVIP model they can’t escape so this stops them spreading diseases.

In each toilet cubicle there are two squatting plates, and two toilet seats in the accessible cubicles. However, only one is opened initially, the other is sealed shut with a strong layer of concrete. Each tank is designed to hold about ten years, worth of deposits. The theory is, in ten years’ time when it is full, the initial plate will be sealed and the second chipped open to start filling the neighbouring holding tank. After about 20 years the contents of the first tank will have thoroughly composted killing any pathogens. This holding tank is then emptied, and the process starts again.

This sounds like a wonderfully, sustainable build designed to last decades.

However, when checking the toilets in Alavanyo Dzogbedze this month, we found that after just four years the initial tanks on the female side were full. And there was a smell coming from the toilets, which understandably those living closest to them were disturbed by. There was also rather an abundance of flies coming out of the toilets.

What was the problem?

The female toilets are in such demand, and so well used, that instead of the ten years expected to fill them, they have been filled in just four years. We see this as a good thing, illustrating the huge different these toilets are making, especially for the female members of the community, who use them the most. We sealed the first full tank and opened up the second empty tank so the ladies will start using an empty tank.We will keep monitoring the usage and report back, when the second tanks are full – to see if the first tank has composted thoroughly enough to destroy the pathogens and reopen to continue the substantiality of the toilets. 

What about the smell.

Sealing off the full holding tanks and opening the empty holding tanks should alleviate the smell problem as the smell was coming from the full tanks. We also went round the holding tanks and used mortar to seal any cracks and crevices that allowed smells to escape. After we had done this there was an immediate clearing of the air. We will continue to monitor the situation.

Opening up the empty tank and sealing off the full tank
Will a simple spring sort out the flys?

What about the flies?

The solution to this is simple, the toilets were designed so any flies that were attracted to the smell of the faeces would be trapped in the holding pits – unable to fly away to transmit diseases. However, even after educating the toilet users about the importance of closing the toilet doors to allow this process to take place, flies were still getting out – creating the possibility of disease. Our solution – attaching springs to the toilet doors to ensure they remain closed after use. Again, we will report back to check that this has continued to prevent fly borne diseases.

Cross section showing the ventilation and fly trapping design.

We are currently fundraising for another toilet block in Dorfor Adidome. Due to the terrain and location of the toilets they have requested a water based toilet system, so we will ensure these are as sustainable as possible and continue to learn and adjust when needed. The water tank system is more expensive than the KVIP’s and inflation in Ghana is dramatically affecting our budgets, so if you are able, we would really appreciate your support to ensure we can help another community live with toilets and combat disease.


A New Partnership: Community Toilets in Dorfor Adidome

We have set up a new partnership with the community of Dorfor Adidome to work together to build a community toilet block. 

Currently there are no toilets in the village, so they relive themselves in a pit which attracts flies and diseases. Records from the local health centre show that, on average, 40 children a year die of diarrhoea & fly born diseases here. That’s one in 30 families losing a child each year. 

As well as the much needed health benefits the toilets will also provide privacy & safety. We spoke to Mable and her daughter, Patricia. They don’t walk to the current toilet pit after dark for fear of  snakes & scorpions. With it getting dark at around 6pm that’s a long time to wait until the morning light so they are very much looking forward to the new addition to their community.


The streets are made from sand, gravel and shells as thousands of years ago this was the course of the Volta River. The river has changed course over the years but the muscles & clams remain for harvesting. 

Children playing amongst the shells

Due to the terrain and the location of the toilets, the community have requested a water closet system toilet. This entails drilling a borehole to produce enough water for the system.  As well as being used for the plumbing the borehole will also give supply of fresh water to the community. Currently they fetch water from the river which is now just over a kilometre away from the centre of the village.

We are delighted to be working with such a committed community. We visited them and agreed the partnership on Monday, by Tuesday they had a full work plan and by Tuesday they had worked together to gather enough sand to make blocks for the walls! We’ll keep you updated on the progress…

Collecting sand