The lead operator and the partners in the Sankofa Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) project have constructed a modern solar-powered water system for three communities in the Ellembelle District in the Western Region.
The system contains water purification equipment and storage tanks with distribution pipes.
The beneficiary communities are Sanzule, Krisan and Bakanta.
Water from the plant at Sanzule, which is said to meet World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, will be distributed to the other communities.
About 5,000 residents of the three communities, which are about two to three kilometres apart, are expected to benefit from the project within the OCTP operational area.
The Managing Director of Eni Ghana, operators of the Sankofa Field, Mr Giancarlo Ruiu, said the solar energy plant was connected to the national grid to serve as a back-up power source.
He said the water, which was obtained from underground, had a yield of about 150 litres per minute.
According to him, the project, which was being piloted, was expected to impact positively on the people.
Mr Ruiu further explained that construction of the water system was based on a needs assessment carried out by the OCTP partners to understand the kind of interventions required to improve living standards in its operational communities.
He said the communities hitherto used water from hand-dug wells for their domestic chores, including cooking.
According to Mr Ruiu, five schools in the three communities had also been supplied with hand-washing basins to promote hygiene and sanitation in the schools.
To ensure sustainability of the system, Mr Ruiu said, community members were required to pay a fee of 20Gp for every 20-litres of water they fetched from the facility.
The District Chief Executive for Ellembelle, Mr Kwasi Bonzo, advised the people to ensure that the facility was managed prudently by a water and sanitation committee, made up of a health officer, a teacher, representatives from the district assembly, as well as selected individuals from the three communities.
Their mandate is to ensure that the system functions as planned.
Other responsibilities of the committee are the regulation of water distribution and the collection of fees.
In addition, it will constantly share information on the operation of the system, among other responsibilities.
Nana Avor Blay, who represented the Paramount Chief of the Eastern Nzema Traditional Area, commended the company for the support, “considering that water is life”.’
He said the money paid for consuming the water would be used in maintaining the system to make it sustainable.