Felicite Nson (left), Managing Director,GGBL, drinking some of the water in a calabash after commissioning the water project, while other officials look on
Felicite Nson (left), Managing Director,GGBL, drinking some of the water in a calabash after commissioning the water project, while other officials look on
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Potable water for Kayoro after many years of struggle

It was a moment of joy for members of the Kayoro Community in the Kassena Nankana West District in the Upper East Region when their many years of struggle for potable water was brought to an end.

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This is due to the provision of a water facility which the community has yearned for, for so many years.

Hitherto, members of the community, approximately 57 km from the regional capital Bolgatanga and which has existed for many years, had to rely on two malfunctioned boreholes for water to use for their daily activities.

Due to the dilapidated state of the boreholes, residents, especially women and children, were compelled to join long queues around them daily to fetch water.

Community members who could not join the long queue to fetch water were forced to walk for long hours to and from a nearby river to draw water for household use and other economic activities.

Health centre

The health centre was not spared from the consequences of the lack of potable water in the community, in their quest to provide quality health services to the people.

Managing the maternity unit of the centre was a great source of challenge for the health workers, as they had to walk a long distance to fetch water in gallons to be able to tidy up the labour ward after delivery.

Due to this, relatives of patients who visited the facility had to fetch water from nearby water point sources to replace quantities of water used by their relatives while on admission at the centre.

Intervention

To tackle the age-old problem, Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL) PLC partnered with WaterAid Ghana, as part of its Water for Life Intervention launched in 2020, to provide access to safe drinking water, improved toilets and basic hygiene facilities to the people in communities where it sourced its local raw materials from.

Felicite Nson (left), MD, GGBL, and Pe Oscar Batabi Tiyiamo II (middle), Paramount Chief of the Kayoro Traditional Area, leading guests to inspect the water project

So far, 10 communities in northern Ghana where the company sourced mostly sorghum from, and who are in dire need of water support, have been provided with water facilities, which have also been extended to their health centres and schools.

At a ceremony to commission a new water project in Kayoro last week Thursday, the Managing Director of GGBL PLC, Felicite Nson, said the intervention formed part of the 10-year programme of the company to create a more inclusive and sustainable world.

She said “for us at Guinness Ghana, we believe that sustainable access to clean drinking water and sanitation is the bedrock for building strong and thriving communities across our operational areas.”

She stressed that sustainable access to WASH facilities was central to meeting global development goals on poverty, health, education and economic growth, adding: “As a business, we remain committed to building thriving communities where we source raw materials and sell our products”.

She called on the community members to ensure that the project served them as required, by safeguarding it to last long to bring relief to the local people.

Sustainability

The Head of Programmes, WaterAid Ghana, Sampson Tettey, said undoubtedly, that the water facility would form the base to drive economic growth and total development in the community and its environs.

Some community members fetching water after the facility was commissioned

He emphasised the crucial role of the community in ensuring the sustainability of the project, saying: “We hope that you will be positive deviants and hold the project in high esteem, unlike others that have broken down after a few years of use”.

While commending Guinness Ghana for the collaboration towards the execution of the project, he called on local stakeholders to come together and work towards deriving the needed benefit from the project.

The Chief Executive Officer of Akuafo Nketewa Company Limited, Dr Charles Kwowe Nyaaba, urged the farmers in the area to work hard to increase their sorghum supply to GGBL, for them to receive continuous support from the company.

Health delivery

The District Director of Health Services, Alhaji Alhassan Lawal, said water was very essential to the delivery of essential health services, saying: “Without the availability of water, the health of the people cannot be guaranteed.”

“While the main water facility is situated in the Kayoro Saboro community, which has a population of more than 300 people, it has been extended to the Kayoro Health Centre, which serves a population of more than 6,000,” Mr Lawal said.

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He said that before the provision of water, the facility did not have access to sustainable water, which affected the delivery of healthcare to the people.

“We are very elated for the provision of the water facility and wish to thank the two organisations for their assistance,” he said.

A community member dancing  with excitement to show appreciation for the provision of the water facility

The District Chief Executive for Kassena-Nankana West, Gerard Ataogye, assured the gathering that the district assembly would ensure that the facility was not under-utilised or misused, but serves its intended purpose.

The Paramount Chief of the Kayoro Traditional Area, Kayoro Pio Pe Oscar Batabi Tiyiam II, expressed gratitude to Guinness Ghana Breweries and WaterAid Ghana for coming to the aid of the community.

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While indicating that the facility would be put to good use, he entreated community members to take good care of it so it lasts long, to prevent them from returning to their previous state of struggling for water.

Beneficiaries

Workers at the health centre said managing the maternity unit over the years without access to water had been a great source of concern to them, saying taking a pregnant woman through the delivery process with no water to clean and maintain the unit was unbearable.

They expressed gratitude to the benefactors for extending water to the centre to enhance their operation.

A community member, Dora Azangwe, who could not hide her joy and excitement, indicated that it was frustrating for women and children to join a queue around a borehole to fetch water for their daily activities.

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The solar-powered mechanised water system

She recounted her experience at the health centre where the workers were compelled to use sachet water to clean her and her new baby after delivery, adding that the provision of the water was a huge relief to the people.

Another community member, Latif Kuzula, while thanking GGBL and WaterAid, said the water had come at the opportune time to end their many years of existence without potable water.

Writer’s email: [email protected] 

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