Senior high schools on the Akwapim Ridge are facing serious water problems which affect students’ health and academic work.
Though most of the schools have boreholes, they hardly get water from them, a situation which worsens during the dry season.
Students are, therefore, forced to rely on water from streams for bathing, washing and, in extreme situations, drinking.
As a result of the use of untreated water from streams, students often suffer form skin rashes and are also exposed to snake bites as they go in search of water.
Some boarders also take advantage of the situation to roam in town under the pretext of searching for water.
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The Mampong Presby Senior High School, Mampong has two boreholes, yet students regularly have to go in search of water for their chores.
Some students interviewed said with no water available to them, they relied on all manner of sources of water in the community, including one which they could only reach by climbing a mountain.
“After such a journey with a bucket of water on our heads, we become so tired but have to rush to class or prep,” one student lamented.
The situation was not different at the H’Mount Sinai SHS, Akropong where Rita Fafali, the Girls’ Prefect, said the school’s boreholes were mechanised but the pumping machines broke down often, while power outages also prevented the students from getting reliable supply of water.
Rita said under the circumstances, students were forced to buy a bucket of water at 20Gp and a gallon for 30Gp, thereby putting a strain on their finances.
“We also rely on a nearby stream, which sometimes dries up and also opens us up to frequent snake bites. Yesterday, for instance, a student was bitten by a snake and had to be rushed to hospital,” she complained.
Esther Afrakoma Boateng, an SHS Two student of Okuapeman SHS, Akropong said the school had constructed and mechanised a number of boreholes for use by students but water flows into the water tank only for 15 minutes, a situation which makes students queue up for long hours waiting to fetch water.
A teacher of the school, Mr Chris Tedeklu, said the water from a particular borehole contained too much iron which reacted with metal buckets, clothes, etc, for which reason it could only be useful in the lavatories.
Meanwhile, the situation at the Mampong School for the Deaf was better.
According to the Headmaster, Mr Emmanuel Afenu, the school had two boreholes, with one out of order, while the one in the dormitory provided enough water for the students and so they did not have to go out in search of water.
Story by Hannah A Amoah/Junior Graphic