Ghana faces wide gaps in urban and rural water supplies

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Dirty Water
Dirty Water

Christiana Senyo, an eight-year-old pupil lives in Otwi-Tri, about 65 kilometers north of Ghana’s capital, wakes up early in the morning only to fetch water in the only stream of the community twice before going to school.

Even at school, Christiana and her peers are sent to the stream for water if necessary.

These young students always go with their containers, carefully descend them into the stream, and stumble back to school with all of them fully filled with water.

Martha Adzonu, a mother of four, said the stream, named after the community, had served as the main source of water for the community, home to more than 1,000 residents for over 400 years.

“I was born in this village and live here with my husband. We get water from this stream for everything,” she said.

However, the stream seemingly could not meet the needs of everybody. It shrinks in the dry season, during which the water has to be rationed to the villagers. It flows through the thicket, and always be teeming with rotten leaves and dead organic materials.

Most of the members of the community have no other alternatives. The relatively rich in the community procure water from water tank merchants who supply them from distant communities.

“But those of us who do not have the means wait here till our turn to fill our containers. Last time I came here at 2:30 am and there was water so I had to fill all my gallons, which my children later conveyed to the house,” said Apronti, a mother of three.

Stephen Sarfo Edenson Adu, the community representative at the Local Government Assembly, said the dirty-looking water had to be rationed for community members, and this also affects school attendance.

He appealed for assistance from the government and benevolent organizations to help the community overcome their safe water challenges.

As Ghana seeks to meet the Sustainable Development Goals target on water by 2025, evidence on the ground shows similar wide gaps in water supply in both urban and rural areas.

In the Eastern Regional capital Koforidua, 80 kilometers north of Accra,in-mates of the all male prisons had to depend on rationed water: half a bucket per head for their daily needs as authorities say water supply by the state utility company was abysmally low and irregular.

Deputy Director of Prisons, Benedict Bob-Dery who is in charge of the Koforidua prison, disclosed that water supply to the prison was appalling, leaving the 800 inmates in dire conditions.

“Koforidua is a place that has always been bedevilled by water problems. The Ghana Water Company, have their machines breaking down every now and then. The whole of this week, we have not had water from the company,” Bod-Dery said.

“There is so much heat in the cells, and if they do not have water to take their bath you can imagine the discomfort the inmates to go through,” the officer pointed out.

In an interview with Xinhua, Stanley Martey, Communications Manager for the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), disclosed that the state institution was putting in measures to achieve universal coverage of water by 2025.

“The most important thing is the resource, which must be available so that we can uptake for treatment,” Martey said, adding that they are working hard to improve the infrastructure to get water to every nook and cranny of the country. Enditem

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