NEW SURVEYS (Villages that lack CLEAN Water)
Our headquarters received numerous calls from village counsels and various district assemblies during the early part of the first quarter of this year. These were request brought in on behalf of very deprived villages that were lacking in the area access to portable drinking water. As a matter of fact, some of the stories we heard were very sad.
The projects department therefore scheduled some dates to embark on survey trips to these rural communities to do a needs assessment, confirm the situations on the ground and also to have a better picture of the actual needs of the people. The communities were Amanase-Borketey, Kwafokrom, Akofokrom, Paulkrom, Hayiborkope, Korfedeke and Mafi-Adzorkpo.
These trips were made on the 8th of June, 8th of August, 13th of August and 2nd September 2012 respectively.
During the trips, our projects team saw for themselves how the inhabitants of these communities were drinking from muddy ponds, streams and hand dug wells infested with frogs, algae, mosquitoes and parasites. From the interviews our survey team conducted, they realised that most of the health cases in the villages were water related.
Our hearts were broken when the projects team brought in the survey reports from the field.
These are profiles of some of the various villages...
These are profiles of some of the various villages...
Akofokrom is a farming community in the Akwapim-South District of the Eastern Region of Ghana and located about 150 meters eastwards of the main Accra-Kumasi highway. It is has an average population of approximately 1800 people.
The phenomenal positioning of this community between mountains gives it a very beautiful scenery and also provides the right climate for the inhabitants who cultivate maize, plantain and cassava.
The people of this community get their water from a dug-out well that was provided them around the 60’s. In 1986, the government made an attempt to provide a mechanised version of the same type of well, but they couldn’t dig through the rocks due to the unavailability of the appropriate technology. The well, which is now 25% filled with algae, serves the entire population. The water in the well is continuously polluted because it is not covered; so it collects rain water, dust, leaves and any forms of rubbish or contaminants that are blown its way by the wind.They locals have been appealing to the District Assembly for a borehole for years now, but that request has still not been honored.
Kwafokrom is another farming community in the Akwapim-South District of the Eastern Region of Ghana and just about a 15 minutes ride from Nsawam. Long ago the community used to be one, but it was divided a few years ago when the main Accra-Kumasi highway was diverted through their community, dividing it into two. The main crops grown by the people are maize, cassava, plantain and banana. There are close to 2,500 people living in this community and the population is made up of mostly women and children. There is one basic school with a kindergarten in the village that serves all the neighboring villages as well.
A borehole was provided by the government that served the entire community before its division; but after it was divided in two, the people on one side of the highway could no longer benefit from the water because it became very dangerous for their women and children to cross the highway just to get water. As a result, that side of the community which happens to be the largest side, uses a small stream that flows on the boundaries of the community and an open concrete tank as their source of water. The concrete tank has been constructed deep into the ground to collect rain water.
Yawboame or Pualkrom, as it is popularly known, is a very small village located in the Kraboa-Coalta District of the Eastern Region of Ghana. The village lies south-east of Teacher-Mante, a major commercial town along the main Accra-Kumasi highway. Paulkrom is a distance of approximately 4 miles from Teacher-Mante. The village has an average population of 300 inhabitants who are mainly farmers. The village has a basic school but has no clinic.
The only source of water for the entire village is a huge hole the locals dug using farming tools to collect rain water, which has now become a pond. This pond dries out completely during the dry seasons, and the villages have to walk miles to neighboring towns for water. The water in this huge muddy hole is infested with frogs, tadpoles, mosquitoes and other insects. When interviewed, the locals said they do not boil or treat the water before drinking. As a result, the children suffer illnesses like worm infestation, ringworm and diarrhea.
An Assemblyman tried to provide them with a descent source of water a few years back, but due to his inability to pay for a rig, he contracted the locals to dig the well manually but they could only dig 7fts deep. A locally manufactured hand pump was installed on the well, but due to its shallow nature and the inferiority of the hand pump, that project has become a white elephant now. The locals ardently appealed to us to help them with a borehole before the dry seasons set in.
Hayiborkope is a farming community located in the Central Tongu District of the Volta Region. It has a total population of about 320 people. The people here are peasant farmers who grow crops like cassava and maize. The cassava, which is the main crop grown in this community, is processed into Gari and transported to other nearby towns like Awudome, Ho and Adidome for sale.
Their only source of water is a dam located about 4km away from the village. The people share this water with cattle and other animals that urinate and defecate in the water. The cattle are owned by "Fulani" herdsmen who come to graze their cattle near the village. This dam dries up during the dry season, worsening their plight and subjecting the people to extreme water water related challenges. When this happens, they have to travel over 5km in order to get drinking water from some of the surrounding villages.
Bathing during these periods becomes a luxury. In an attempt to address the water problem, the community leaders mobilised the people to construct another dam using their local farming tools, which they call “the land of milk”. They gave this name to the water because the water in the dam is as white as milk. Most of the people prefer this water because they claim it does not contain animal excreta; perhaps they are faced with the challenge of choosing the lesser evil.
Korfedeke is situated just a few kilometres from Hayiborkope in the same district. Because of their closeness, they drink from the same water source and share the same predicaments and difficulties. The population of this village is approximately 285 people, and the locals here engage in farming and trading of farm produce (vegetables, fruits, etc).
This village lacks a lot of basic infrastructure like electricity, school, clinic and potable water. Accessibility to both Hayiborkope and Korfedeke is very challenging during the rainy season because of the deplorable state of their roads. The people managed to put up a structure a few years back to serve as a school. This structure now serves as a primary school for some of the very young children who cannot travel the long distances everyday to attend school outside the village. The older children however still walk more than 3km everyday to attend school in nearby villages.
Mafi-Adzorkpo is located in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region of Ghana. The village has a population of about 300 inhabitants and surrounded by two other communities, Tsive and Aformanorkofe.
The people in Mafi-Adzorkpo are mainly Ewes. Farming is the main economic activity where maize and cassava production dominates. There is a very high illiteracy rate of about 85%. Despite the fact that the people are very hard working, the poverty level in this village is still very high.
The entire village drinks from a nearby river that dries up during the dry season. Cattle owned by Fulani herdsmen and other domestic animals in the village share the same source of water, making it very unhygienic. This water is a great threat to their health although the villagers themselves seem unaware of the health risks associated with drinking from the river.