The people of Amanhyia, near Suhum in the Suhum Municipality in the Eastern Region have been handed a solar-powered mechanised water system.
The facility provides for three pumps positioned at three vantage points to serve the community with a population of over 4,000.
While the community members will not be required to pay cash for the water they fetch, households have been given tokens (a circular token device) with which they can access the water at the pumps.
Money is transferred onto the token device just as is done for phone scratch cards depending on how much water a person wants to fetch and if there is no credit water cannot be fetched.
Until now, residents had relied on a nearby stream for water for years.
The GH¢600,000 facility was provided by the Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS), in collaboration with Nestle Ghana and other partners.
The water system was handed over to the community last Monday on the occasion of this year’s World Water Day celebration.
The Secretary-General of the Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS), Mr Samuel Kofi Addo, said the project was the result of a five-year partnership between Nestle Ghana and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) to support water and sanitation activities in Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire.
He said the Ghana project reached 100,658 people with safe water, gave 4,581 access to sanitation, while 186,255 people were reached with health and hygiene education activities.
Mr Addo explained that separate water systems were projected for 12 communities out of which four were completed.
He said out of 60,000 people projected to be covered with health and hygiene promotion, 53,823 were reached.
With regard to vulnerable households having access to improved sanitation facilities, out of the 16,600 people projected, 5,124 were covered.
Mr Addo emphasised the need to raise the awareness of the vital role water played in strengthening human security and maintaining the health of the ecosystem.
Importance of water
The Managing Director of Nestle Ghana, Mr Georgios Badaro, highlighted the importance of water to life as a basic requirement for health and well-being of individuals and families, stressing that the absence of water compromised the quality of life.
He said over 4,000 lives within the Amanhyia and its surrounding communities would be impacted positively and the initiative would go a long way to end the struggle residents went through to access water and appealed to the community members to value the water and keep the facility’s surroundings clean for their own good.
The Chief of Amanhyia, Baffour Kwasi Akotia II, said there was an adage that ‘water is life’ which meant that the Ghana Red Cross Society and Nestle Ghana had given residents of Amanhyia life.
He said it was the first time the community was benefitting from a potable water system.
Baffour Akotia entreated his people to preserve the water system and encouraged people to maintain the facility to ensure it lasted longer for generations yet unborn to also use.
One of the beneficiaries, who is also a student of the Amanhyia M/A Junior High School (JHS), Miss Sarah Ekutei, told the Daily Graphic that the unavailability of potable water in the community had adverse impact on their education.
"My friends and I always go to school late because of the absence of potable water. I am so much excited about the new water system provided for us because it will help the community, especially us the students. I will not be late for school again.
“The water is clean and safe for drinking and we are grateful to our benefactors," she said.