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Gbalo gets solar-powered water treatment plant to remove fluoride from drinking water

BY: Samuel Doudu

Gbalo, a farming community in the Chereponi District in the Northern Region, has been provided with a solar-powered water treatment plant to remove fluoride from their drinking water.

For more than a decade the community was drinking water from a borehole which contained fluoride which caused skeletal and dental fluorosis, a health condition that causes pain and damage to the bones and the teeth.

The water treatment facility was jointly funded by Bauer Resources Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of Bauer Resources GmbH, and the German Agency for International Development and Cooperation (GIZ).

Flouride-free water

The plant has the capacity to produce 2,000 litres (440 gallons) of fluoride-free water per hour for consumption and for other domestic uses for the people of Gbalo.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony at Gbalo last Thursday, the District Chief Executive, Hajia Mary Nakobu, said the water treatment plant would go a long way to enhance the health of the people.

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She urged members of the community who had been trained to operate the facility to live up to their duties and responsibilities to extend its lifespan.

An Assistant Director of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), Mr John Godson Aduakye, for his part, said plans were underway to construct similar water treatment plants in communities in the Northern and Upper East regions that had fluoride in their drinking water.

 Endemic areas

He said parts of the Chereponi, Saboba and Gushegu districts and the Yendi and Savelugu municipalities in the Northern Region had fluoride in their sources of drinking water.

The Project Engineer, Mr Joseph Abanga Azongbilla, said the company had submitted proposals for the construction of similar water treatment plants in Chereponi and the Bongo District to remove the fluoride in their water.

The Chief Executive Officer of Bauer Resources, Mr Alexander Dittmar, said the organisation was happy to partner the GIZ, the Chereponi District Assembly and the CWSA to provide the community with the treatment plant.

The Project Officer of GIZ, Mr Maxwell Hammond, said the plant was the first of its kind in Ghana.

He said he was hopeful that it would be replicated in flouride-endemic areas.