Providing communities, schools and clinics with boreholes or filters for safe drinking water
Describe the need affecting community
While Ghana has made great strides in providing water for its population, there are still 16% of its rural population without access to an improved water source (JMP 2015). With respect to sanitation, the situation is much more grim. Only 15% of the population has access to safe, private, and hygienic sanitation, while 19% of the total population and 34% of the rural population continue to practice open defecation (JMP 2015). This resulting in disease burden, especially on children, is great, with 25% of child deaths attributable to diarrhea. As population is increasing, with current growth trends averaging about 1.75% per year, the demands on existing infrastructure, especially at aging school facilities, are increasing dramatically. So while a community may have a water point, or sanitation facilities, they may not be adequate to serve the current population. Which results in rationing supplies, long lines, long walks to seek additional sources of water, and/or a return to unimproved sources of water or open defecation in frustration. As schools grow, taking in more students to keep the pace with the growing number of pupils and growing education level of the population. The schools are barely able to keep up with the need for classroom and dormitory space, and are not in a position to properly expand water and sanitation facilities. Students in boarding schools report long queues to fetch water from existing water points, or long walks to secondary water points. All of which reduces time spent in class, studying or other academic pursuits. Crowded conditions and poor sanitation facilities also result in increased sick days and other health concerns among the student population. Which also decreases the number of days students spend in the classroom.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
The Methodist Church Ghana, as a faith-based institution, sees the right to safe water and adequate sanitation as a fundamental issue of human worth, dignity and justice. Our projects are designed to assist communities and institutions to recover their sense of pride in their community by providing assistance to meet the basic human needs for water and sanitation.
Describe the primary goal of the project
To help Ghana achieve universal coverage for water and sanitation by: 1) Providing safe reliable drinking water to communities, schools and clinics in Ghana that otherwise are forced to use a less desirable or less reliable source of water. 2) Providing sanitation facilities and raising community awareness and education about the harm of open defecation. Which is contributing to the health and welfare of the communities served.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
We would like to see communities take pride in their water and sanitation facilities, keeping them clean and sanitary and in good working order. We would like to see water points still in use 5 years after installation. We would like to see healthier outcomes for children under 5 in the intervention communities, particularly those that receive both water and sanitation interventions. We would like to see a reduction in school absenteeism in schools where water and sanitation facilities are improved, as an indicator of project success.