Adobe Nsu: Asikabew's only hope of water
A week ago, The Mirror visited the Asikabew Methodist Basic School in the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Municipality of the Eastern Region where during lunch time, the menu, featured boiled beans and "gari".
After the meal, the pupils hurriedly queued in front of the headmaster's office where the head boy distributed sachet water—one per pupil.
Speaking to thisreporter, the Headteacher, Mr Douglas B.D. Kporha, explained that, that was what happened daily because it was the only water healthy enough for drinking.
One pupil, one sachet water
He said the community’s only source of water was a dirty and unhealthy stagnant pool they referred to as “Adobe Nsu”. It is from this same water that they cooked, drank and carried out other daily activities.
The pupils clamoured for more beans to satisfy their hunger
According to him, there was no pipe-borne water and the two boreholes that used to serve the community were no longer functional.
“It is only by the grace of donors that the school is able to provide sachet water for its pupils”,he said.
Sachet water from donors
According to Mr Kporha, the support was from generous individuals who sent money every two weeks (ranging from GH¢ 50 to GH¢ 200) to purchase water. Each student is entitled to one sachet of "pure water" per day.
A visit to the two boreholes revealed, one broken beyond repair. Another, initiated by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Isaac Kwadwo Buabeng, two years ago is not functioning due to insufficient water supply.
"We contacted the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Municipal Assembly and they came around and started something but for two years now, it has been at a standstill. The reason being that they are not getting enough water."
The first borehole in Asikabew which was drilled over 20 years ago has broken down
Mr Kporha said it was through his efforts to get help for his pupils that some philanthropists came to witness the situation after which they started helping with some money to buy sachet water for the pupils.
"But how many can we give them? One a day or two and they will still have to go back to the unhealthy water," the headteacher bemoaned.
Community's pleas for assistance
The residents said they had developed sore health conditions as a result of drinking that water. They expressed concerns about skin and eye irritations, prompting written appeals to authorities for aid, yet to yield results.
Emmanuel Ayitey, resident fetching water from the 'Adobe Nsu'
Appeal for potable water
Residents such as Sampson Yeboah and Mr Boafo (only name given) stressed the dire situation, pleading for functional boreholes to avert health risks associated with using "Adobe Nsu".
Sharing his story, the Community Secretary, Emmanuel Ayitey, 34, said "personally, my skin itches every time I drink this water. We, the youth, also encounter eye problems such as eye irritations and long-sightedness. Even some of the elderly in our community suffer from the health conditions."
"We've written numerous letters to various authorities and organisations seeking help, but unfortunately, we are yet to receive the crucial assistance we need regarding this water issue," Ayitey lamented.
Emmanuel Ayitey taking a drink of the Adobe Nsu
Another resident, Sampson Yeboah, 44, also complained of frequent eye irritations. "If you lack funds and fall ill, you are in trouble. Here, not having money and falling ill due to drinking this water leaves you in a predicament—how will you afford treatment?" asked, Mr Yeboah.
Forty-two-year-old Mr Boafo recalled that the community's first borehole was drilled over 20 years ago and was not working.
He emphasised their reliance on “Adobe Nsu” and River Densu for water, highlighting the discomfort caused by “Adobe Nsu” and pleading that the authorities provide clean water.
Women from the town fetching water from Adobe Nsu for domestic use
Madam Mary Obeng echoed similar concerns, saying she experienced bodily irritations whenever she consumed or used the water for bathing, urging authorities to resolve their water crisis.
Mbrantehene Kweku Ansah, the Youth Chief of Asikabew
The Youth Chief of Asikabew, Mbrantehene Kweku Ansah affirmed the absence of a reliable potable water source, appealing to the government for any assistance that would ensure access to clean drinking water for a healthier community life.
The Odikro of Asikabew, Okyeame Opare, adding his voice said, "when the NGOs come, we give them the go-ahead to search for suitable sites in the community to drill some boreholes for us but none has yielded any positive results."
The abandoned borehole project on the premises of the Asikabew Methodist Basic School
He also appealed to authorities to come to their aid as soon as possible because they had suffered for long.