Friday, October 15, 2010

Helping Villagers in Ghana Gain Access to Clean Water

Today, October 15 2010 is Blog Action Day, specially dedicated to Water. I decided to draw attention to some good efforts by two organisations to help rural Ghanaians access safe drinking water. The first is Water for Ghana, an organisation committed to providing clean water to villagers.  According to the organisation, they help villagers in Ghana build their own source of clean water. "Right now, the only water they have is dirty. Adults and children alike use this dirty water to drink, cook with and bathe in. They often get sick as a result.", their website reports. So far they have provided water tanks for some villagers in the Wester and Eastern regions, notably from the Adenya, Grumisa, Dekoto and Adanse communities. Watch a compilation of videos and photos from the organisation.

I also took note of some efforts by a group of MIT students who have helped a researcher build a factory that could provide water filters for 1 million people in northern Ghana. The news article reports that, "In January, Susan Murcott, four students, a factory consultant and local workers spent one month building the factory, as well as the kilns and other manufacturing equipment. The construction also involved testing the production capabilities of the site to ensure that the filters could be produced through an unusual technique that Murcott learned a decade ago while researching household filters made in Nicaragua by nonprofit Potters for Peace." 
UNICEF reports that nearly 1 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water. The problem is particularly dire in Ghana, where diarrhea causes 25 percent of all deaths of children below the age of five each year.  In northern Ghana, the figure is even higher, where about half the population get its water from wells, ponds and streams that often contain disease-causing microorganisms. Part of the problem is that large, centralized water filtration and sanitation systems aren’t designed to reach remote areas like northern Ghana.
Hence we welcome the efforts of Susan and her colleagues who are doing this marvelous job of providing filters for the northern communities.
Again, today is Blog Action Day and as I leave you, remember that  you can help in your own small way by contributing via donations and volunteering to such laudable projects. 
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