Afifty thousand Ghana cedi solar-powered borehole water has been handed over to the people of Korankyi, a deprived community situated along the Volta Lake in the Asuogyaman District in the Eastern Region.
The facility was provided by the Volta River Authority (VRA), in partnership with Project Maji, a non-governmental organisation (NGO).
Korankyi is located very close to the Akosombo Dam and has a population of about 250 people, many of whom are infected with schistosomiasis, popularly known as bilharzia, a disease that affects the urinary tract.
At a hand–over ceremony last Thursday, the Director-General in charge of Services of VRA, Ms Shirley Seidu, said of the number of people in the community suffering from bilharzia was worrying.
She said it was for that reason that the authority came to the aid of the community to help reduce incidences of the disease.
“We at VRA are happy because the facility will provide potable water for the community and more importantly, prevent you from using “unsafe” water from the Volta River as your main source of water supply,” she said.
Ms Seidu said clean and safe water was essential for all forms of life and as such, the VRA would do everything possible to ensure that communities such as Korankyi were not deprived of the necessities of life.
She said the VRA was looking forward to seeing that the people of Korankyi were no longer relying on water from the river for their household needs or bathing in it, adding that “this is the only way we can work together to stop the spread of bilharzia and to eradicate it completely”.
She promised that VRA, with the collaboration of the Ministry of Health, would continue to fight the disease through interventions such as mass administering of drugs, providing potable water facilities and engaging in community sensitisation programmes.
District Chief Executive
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Asuogyaman, Mr Samuel Kwame Agyekum, lauded VRA and Project Maji for the water project. He said a similar facility provided by the VRA for Sedorm, a settlement also in the district, had brought improvement in the lifestyle of the people.
Mr Agyekum said he believed that when more of such facilities were made available to other communities along the Volta River, they would go a long way to help in the fight to eliminate bilharzia from the district.
The Country Director of Project Maji, Mr Babu Venu, said besides helping to curb bilharzia infections, the NGO was also motivated to save women, especially from the drudgery of looking for potable water over long distances.
He urged the community to maintain the water facility in order for it to last them a long time.
The Deputy Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Mr Michael Yaw Gyato, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Krachi East, commended the VRA and Project Maji for their efforts in ensuring that the community had access to a safe and reliable source of water.
For his part, the Assembly Member for the Mpakadan Electoral Area, Mr Emmanuel Obani, thanked the donors on behalf of the community and gave an assurance that the facility would be taken care of very well.