According to WaterAid there are 3 million people in Ghana without access to safe drinking water, many of them living at or close to Lake Volta. This means at best ill health and diarrrhoea and at worst for the youngest, oldest and sick, death.
Lake Volta is one of the poorest regions of the country. Children still sleep on the floor, have no access to education or health services and many families can only provide a hot meal every other day. It's rough.
Our Ghana volunteers (http://www.originalvolunteers.co.uk) with our experienced in-country team have travel down rough tracks, take boats and trek through long grass to reach them. There's no international charity doing anything here in these tiny villages but we understand they cannot be everywhere. There's always going to be villages left out. The only visitors to the villages we work with are our volunteers and you can see that when you visit, everything is brown, the floor, the hut, the bedding (if there is any). You won't see any brightly coloured toys scattered around, or a motorbike parked up at the side of the houses. There is literally nothing here.
When a volunteer brings a water filter to Ghana it's very exciting because this means a visit can be organised. It's hard to reach them and we don't like to turn up just with toys and treats when they're sick with dirty water. We feel they deserve more respect than that so the local team and volunteers try to limit visits to when we have something important to offer like a filter or health checks by our nursing volunteers.
Why are we fundraising?
To be able to ship out a larger quantity of filters so that new villages can have access to safe water and the villages with filters can get replacements as they only last 2 years.
Types of filter and costs
Family filter costs £35 lasts up to 2 years and can provide 1 litre of water a minute for up to 30 people.
A community filter costs £250 and can pump 300 litres of clean water an hour.
These are made of tough plastic and have been used with 100% success since we started encouraging volunteers to take them back in 2010.
Cheaper local alternatives?
Not sustainable ones. There are some cheaper varieties which can be bought in Ghana but are made of or include natural materials which break regularly if dropped or knocked over. Families living this far out of the capital city cannot replace the broken parts and even if they did, they know that it is likely to break again when knocked.
Thank you for your support!
Getting to these communities is a challenge which is why they can be missed by larger agencies without deep local knowledge.
Would you drink this water? 3 Million people in Ghana have to. Help us to get this village and others clean water so they can leave this water for something else.
Villagers arrive with buckets and bowls when the first water filters arrive in the village.
Living on the edge in a village in Ghana. Walls crumble, roofs fly off in the wind. When many families survive on les than £100 a month, repairs are a challenge and may not always be a priority.
Above, training is provided for everyone who will be using a filter.
A lady learns how to use the family filter.
The first water borehole is completed in Kyereban. Logistical challenges of getting this one in were huge but volunteers, local people and the local team working together got the job done!
June 2016, the first water borehole is now connected to generator and water tank. Pictured right: Volunteer Emily Holm with village elders. Boreholes are the most sustainable option but they are more of an engineering project which requires skills and specialist equipment. In addition they require ongoing management (generators need a power supply and maintenance). Until more boreholes are possible, wtaer filters are the next best thing to offer some clean water to many locations.
Nursing volunteers on an outreach visit.