International projects: Safe Water for Six Communities in Ghana
In rural south east Ghana where the climate is tropical, hot and humid, there is an abundance of water, hardly any of which is safe.
Safe Water for Six Communities in Ghana
One of the Club's ongoing international projects is in rural south east Ghana where the climate is tropical, hot and humid. There is an abundance of water, hardly any of which is safe. The Ghanaian Government has a programme to bring safe water to all areas, but it could be many years before it is fully achieved. In the meantime, Non-Government Organisations such as Rotary International and Ghana Outlook play a vital role. Our project will be funded and managed jointly by the Club and Ghana Outlook, which has people on the ground to manage the project, make sure all funds are used for the purpose intended and provide feedback.
In our project area (between Lake Volta and Koforidua, a city 100km north of Accra) rainwater harvesting is carried out wherever possible but it is limited because most house roofs are made of thatch in order to keep cool; corrugated steel roofs, if any, are usually limited to small community buildings. Typically women and sometimes children have to walk miles to water sources which are polluted and shared with domestic and wild animals. They each return with plastic or aluminium bowls upon their heads holding 20 litres of water, 20 kilograms. This essential activity, for which there is little alternative, results in half the population (women) of rural communities spending most of the day, every day, collecting water. Women have little opportunity to grow crops to improve family diet or join in activities to raise family income. Consequently, healthcare and education costs hare difficult to meet.
In the tropics, it is not always possible to boil water because of heavy rains, damp and scarcity of fuel. The already dire situation is therefore made worse by diarrhoea which leads to absenteeism from school and, for adults, from domestic and farming activities. In turn, the outcomes are low educational achievement, poor health and a persistent subsistence lifestyle.
The outcome of our project will bring safe water to 3000 of people living in these conditions. The people are distributed around six communities each with a population of about 500. This will be achieved from the outset of the project next Spring (2018) by providing each community with an Aquabox Community Filter, which can deliver 300 litres of safe water per hour and can produce at least 1,000,000 litres within the life of the filter provided the filter is regularly cleaned by back-flushing; a simple and quick procedure. The following Autumn, a borehole will be sunk at one of the villages, thus taking over from one of the Community Filters and bringing additional benefits to that village by providing an abundance of water for not only for drinking but also for cooking, washing and irrigation. Of course, it will no longer be necessary for the women of that village to spend most of every day hauling dirty water.
Following our project, our partners Ghana Outlook will continue to provide boreholes to the other five communities, thereby bringing the full benefits of a plentiful supply of safe water available within each community, nolonger having to be fetched from afar twice daily.
The communities will each take ownership of its borehole and its Community Filter and will agree to manage them, safeguard them, maintain them and fund any future repairs/maintenance.The cost of the project is £6,300 of which the borehole is £4,500 and the Community Filters £1,800 (£300 each including shipping). Our Club’s share of the cost will be £2,500.