Africare News In Brief

 

Africare Launches Obama Water Project

Traditional leaders at the ceremony

Traditional leaders at the ceremony

More than 800 government representatives, district chiefs, traditional leaders, heads of institutions and community members gathered in the Wassa Amenfi West District of Ghana on September 1, 2010 to witness the launch of the Ghana Water Access, Sanitation and Hygiene for Health (WASHH) Project. The six-month project, a response to the significant challenges related to access to clean water and decent sanitation in Ghana, is being implemented by Africare with funds donated by U.S. President Barack Obama.

“Access to clean water is a major problem in our communities, collecting water from far away places is a burden for us; and our children suffer diarrhea and many diseases because of the dirty water.” Lydia Namba, a resident of the Wassa Amenfi community commented. “We thank President Obama and Africare for coming to help us. We will work well with you so our brothers and sisters in other communities will also benefit from the project.”

Ms. Lydia Namba, community member of Wassa Amenfi West

 

Ms. Lydia Namba, community member of Wassa Amenfi West

Less than four out of every ten Ghanaians have access to clean water. Less than two of every ten have access to good sanitation facilities. The consequences of unsafe water and sanitation are dire, particularly for the poor. Water-related diseases lead to increased child mortality and decreased work productivity. Girls miss school due to lack of separate toilets for them and women and girls spend hours every day walking to far away water sources.

Through the Ghana WASHH Project, Africare is partnering with the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Wassa Amenfi District Assembly to improve the health status of people living in three communities in the District through increased access to clean water and sanitation.

“Poor sanitation coupled with inadequate potable water has resulted in frequent outbreaks of diarrhea; the third most reported case of morbidity in Ghana.” Kwasi Ampofo, Africare-Ghana Country Representative said in his remarks at the launch. “Africare is determined to work with the District Assembly and the communities to ensure that all people have access to clean water and hygienic sanitation facilities.”

All speakers praised and pledged their support for the Africare initiative including the Ghanaian Minister of State of the Presidency, John Guyeta who attended the event. The World Bank Representative, Emmanuel Nkrumah indicated that the World Bank might use parts of the successful WASHH approach in their upcoming “Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project” soon to be launched in six regions in Ghana.

 

The U.S. $ 100,000 that started the WASHH project was donated to Africare by President Barack Obama from a portion of his Nobel Peace Prize,, awarded to him in October 2009. Right from his inauguration, President Obama has been committed to working alongside people in developing nations. With Ghana being the only Sub-Saharan African country that the president has visited since taking office, the Project will provide clean water supply and sanitation infrastructure, facilitate household sanitation and use behavior change communication to increase knowledge about the importance and benefits of clean water, safe sanitation and good hygiene. The Project also aims to provide evidence of the most effective ways to scale up Ghana's efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goal for water.

 

The Project launch climaxed with a celebration of music and dance by the enthusiastic crowd led by the chiefs and traditional leaders.

To read more about the project implementation, click here.

To read more about the project completion, click here.