A two hour drive from Wa Municipal in a stony rough road lies the Kpalworgu community of the Wa East District in the Upper West Region where its inhabitants (pop. 4,500 including catchment areas) are purely relaying on subsistence farming for a living.
The community lies on a fertile ground that makes farming very lucrative. It is through this rich filled land that Ghana Outlook (G.O.) UK came in with the help of its local partner Coalition for Change Ghana (C4C) to build a sand dam, a form of water storage using the sandy river/stream by digging its deepest portion and building a concrete (up to 150 feet) between the upstream and the downstream which is called a wall. The upstream portion can store the water especially on the rainy season and this stored water is potable as the sand purifies it. This technique of water storage is ancient and has been used in the early civilization in Egypt and China but it is the first of its kind in Ghana and in West Africa.
G.O. with its partner C4C built the first phase of the sand dam in the summer of 2015 and completed its second phase in 2018 through constructing a deep well in the upper portion of the stream.
After its completion in 2015, C4C tested the water retention of the sand dam by setting up a dry season gardening (from December to January 2016) with three beneficiaries as a pilot and it was proven that water has retained especially in the upper portion (scooping water 50 meters from the wall).
In 2018, C4C again tested the water retention through the dry season gardening (January-March) this time the scooping was done just three meters from the sand dam wall and maintained the three beneficiaries and it was proven that it can really store enough water to support agricultural and domestic needs of the community.
After the successful implementation of the dry season gardening, C4C with full support of its UK donor G.O constructed a deep well in the upper portion of the stream using the scooped area (which was used in dry season gardening).
With a deep well (up to 6 meters deep) inside the sand dam, the people of Kpalworgu can now enjoy agricultural and domestic usage of water throughout the year.
The sand dam will be continuously developed more as time goes by.
About Coalition for Change (C4C): it is a non-governmental organization which aims to raise secured families using ecologically sustainable local farm base strategies, adaptable income generating activities and available forms of educations as means of closing poverty gap in Ghana. The C4C team up with poor households within deprived communities to eliminate identified forms of obstruction to the full attainment of basic human stateliness through participatory approaches to reduce poverty using gender mainstreaming, self-help communal spirit and promoting quality education and is based in Wa Municipal in the Upper West Region.
About Ghana Outlook (GO): a UK based charity organization which goal is to assist rural communities to enhance their future through self-help programmes, including helping improve agricultural, educational and water and sanitation infrastructure.