Safe water for children and families in Ghana

Giving children and families in Ghana safe water to help save lives

Water & SanitationWater & Sanitation
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The Need

In southeastern Ghana, Compassion is partnering with churches in the villages of Akyeamfor and Bonkrom, where many families live in poverty. Like many rural regions in Ghana, these communities were lacking access to safe water sources and proper sanitation. Families were obtaining their water from contaminated wells and small streams. In the dry season, the situation became even more desperate.

Children in these villages were suffering from chronic water-borne illnesses like diarrhea, typhoid, cholera and painful skin rashes. These conditions are serious and can be life-threatening. In fact, despite some improvements in access to safe water across the country, water-related diseases still kill more than 4,000 Ghanaian children under the age of five every year.

Obtaining water was a problem, too. Women and children were forced to walk long distances early in the morning and late at night to fetch and carry water, an exhausting task that would leave them lacking energy to do much else. Children were often late to school and struggled to focus in class. Caregivers were also struggling to work and earn income for their families, forcing them even deeper into poverty.

Compassion’s partners were desperate to help. For some time, they had been providing purified water for students to drink at the centre. But this was costly, and centres couldn’t provide enough water for other purposes like hand washing and cooking. In order to run their programming effectively and help transform the lives of these children and families, something more needed to be done.

Our Response

With your generous support, children and families in Akyeamfor and Bonkrom now have access to safe water for drinking, cleaning and cooking through two mechanized boreholes and four large water tanks. What an amazing gift!

Upon receiving funding, committees were set up at each church to oversee the intervention. These committees engaged local leaders in discussion to determine the best places for the boreholes and water access points within both communities. Quotes were obtained and contractors were selected by December 2020.

A hydrological site study was then conducted in each community to determine whether the selected sites would have sufficient quality and quantity of water. Following these assessments, the boreholes were successfully drilled in. A surface pressure pump and submersible pump were installed at each borehole. This was completed in February 2021.

Four 10,000-litre water tanks were then installed. Pipes were laid to connect the tanks to predetermined access points within the communities. Hand washing stations were also installed at both centres. In March 2021, water samples were taken from the boreholes at both centres for analysis at the Ghana Water Research Institute and were certified for potability.

Each Compassion centre hired health professionals to provide educational sessions for caregivers and beneficiaries. Topics included the importance of drinking safe water, how to maintain personal hygiene and how to store water safely. Beneficiaries also learned how to implement hygiene and sanitation practices at home, including proper waste disposal. To ensure the sustainability of this initiative, churches decided to collect a small monthly fee from families to help maintain the new facilities.

Your Gift Provides...

● The drilling of two mechanized boreholes
● Pipes and fittings
● Installation of two submersible pumps
● Four 10,000-litre capacity water storage tanks (two at each site)
● Skilled and unskilled labour, transportation and materials
● Hydrological site studies
● Water quality testing, monitoring and evaluation
● Regular project monitoring and consultation with external expert
● Hygiene and sanitation training by health experts for children and families

ReportA message from a pastor

The completion of this intervention has brought a lot of joy and excitement in the lives of the beneficiaries and their families, the volunteer cooks at the centre and the community members at large. It has significantly freed the beneficiaries from trekking long distances in search of water. This has helped them to attend meetings at the centre and school on time, so they are able to participate effectively during lessons. The volunteer cooks can now access potable water without travelling far. As a result, beneficiaries’ meals are served on time, which has enabled curriculum lessons to be carried out effectively. The beneficiaries can now wash their hands properly and observe personal hygiene through the education that was conducted for them.

Since the completion of this intervention, access to potable water has improved in the community for the beneficiaries, their households, the church and the community. Community members have stopped accessing water from the stream and dug-out wells that exposed them to diseases, which will go a long way to improving their health. The issue of lateness of beneficiaries to scheduled activities at the centre has been addressed through this intervention. This will enable the centre to implement its programs towards attaining the developmental outcomes. Through health and hygiene education, caregivers can properly manage their homes to avoid sanitation-related illnesses among their families.

Now the centre is able to serve the beneficiaries without having difficulty in getting access to potable water. The previous situation, where we depended on water from streams and dug-out wells for cooking and cleaning on meeting days, is now a thing of the past. Additionally, the water provision through this intervention has increased the punctuality of the beneficiaries to meetings as they don’t waste hours moving about in search of water. Beneficiaries now attend devotions and Bible studies on time, making it easier to minister to them. Previously, meals were not served on time due to the water problem, but this problem has been addressed.

It is my prayer that the good Lord blesses you, who provided the financial support for the borehole. We assure you that the facility will be put to good use to benefit our children, caregivers and the entire Akyeamfour community.

Reverend Eric

ReportA message from those your gift helped

Before this intervention, my friends and I used to walk very far to fetch water from the stream. Because of that, we had to wake up early in the morning to go and fetch water before going to school. As a result, I always got to school late. Because I was tired, I usually slept in class when lessons were going on. I didn’t also know the importance of good hygiene or how to properly keep my body and environment clean.

My life has changed since the completion of the borehole. Now, I go to school early and I am no longer late. Because I now get enough sleep, I am always active in class. I am able to do my assignments and have enough time to study after school without worrying about going to fetch water from the stream. In addition, this intervention has helped me to learn how to properly wash my hands through the personal hygiene education that was given to us.

Now, I will no longer struggle in search of clean water as I used to do. I will also be punctual to meetings at the centre to improve my knowledge.

This intervention has benefited me so much because I have learned the importance of clean water and what it means to our community. I have been educated on personal hygiene and good sanitation practices. I learned how to ensure personal hygiene by washing my hands properly whenever I visit the toilet to avoid germs and diseases like cholera.

I want to thank you for giving us this borehole. I pray that God will bless you and grant you long life, good health and prosperity.


ReportThank you for your generosity

Because of your kindness, 393 children and their families—a total of 1,599 people—now have access to safe water. Caregivers can rest easy knowing that their children are no longer at risk of deadly waterborne illnesses and that their health and well-being are far more secure. They are so grateful and express how much of a difference this has made in their lives already.

Now that water can be easily accessed within the community, women and children will not be spending hours of their day trekking long distances. Children can focus in school and attend activities at their Compassion centre without disruption. Women will have more time and energy to work, so they can increase their income and help support their families.

Church leaders and staff are grateful, too. Now they have access to safe water for cooking and cleaning, so they can continue offering their programming without putting children’s safety at risk. Because children are able to get to the centre on time, activities can run much more effectively. This is a great encouragement for our hardworking tutors, who have dedicated themselves to seeing children set free from poverty to reach their full potential. Both centres report that regular hand washing has now become commonplace, especially in the wake of COVID-19.

This intervention has been a wonderful testimony to local leaders and community members of God’s love and provision at work through the church. As these churches continue to reach more families living in poverty, countless lives will be changed. Thank you for showing Jesus’ love to these communities in Ghana!