Mechanized system provides clean drinking water for 10,000 in Ghana
Top: RI President Kalyan Banerjee and Laurel Fain, chief of the USAID Ghana Health Office, during a ceremony on 21 August inaugurating a mechanized water system that will provide clean drinking water for more than 10,000 people in Ghana. Bottom: Villagers in Abutia Teti, Ghana, celebrate the inauguration of the mechanized water system.
More than 10,000 people in three communities in Ghana are receiving safe drinking water from a mechanized system built through the efforts of the International H2O Collaboration, an alliance between Rotary International and USAID.
The water system is part of a US$2 million project that is providing boreholes, hand pumps, and mechanized pipes, as well as ventilated pit latrines and showers, across Ghana’s Volta, Greater Accra, Eastern, and Central regions.
During a ceremony on 21 August in Abutia Teti, RI and USAID representatives joined Ghanaian government officials in handing over responsibility for the completed system to the communities of Abutia Teti, Takla Gborgame, and Nyive.
RI President Kalyan Banerjee took part in the event, along with Laurel Fain, chief of the USAID Ghana Health Office, and Mustapha Ahmed, Ghana's deputy minister for water resources, works, and housing.
"This project is a great example of public and private partnership at its very best, to improve not only the quality of life, but life itself, immeasurably," Banerjee said.
"This innovative partnership between USAID, the Ghana Ministry for Water Resources, and Rotary International saves lives by reducing these communities’ use of unsafe open water sources,” Fain said. “Today, the community and the government of Ghana take responsibility for maintaining these facilities and for continuing to educate children and citizens in proper hygiene, creating conditions where our assistance is no longer necessary.”
The International H2O Collaboration is in its third year. As part of the efforts in Ghana, Rotarians are also working with villagers to change their sanitation practices and provide training to maintain the new equipment.
The collaboration is also funding hygiene training and bio-sand water filters in the Dominican Republic, and a project in the Philippines to improve sewage collection and treatment that will help more than 150,000 people.
According to USAID officials and Rotarians who have been involved in the initiatives, the collaboration has provided valuable insight into best practices for water and sanitation projects. These include an emphasis on monitoring and evaluation, taking a long-term approach to meeting needs, and increasing sustainability by ensuring community ownership and management.
The collaboration also has demonstrated the value of conducting a needs assessment at the outset of any water project, identifying potential barriers to the adoption of new practices, gathering information about the project site, and assessing the community’s ability to pay for water and sanitation products.