The people of Seva, an island community located in the Keta Municipality of the Volta region can now heave a sigh of relief following the donation of three 6000 litre water storage containers to the community by Sintex Tanks Limited, a company that produces high grade water storage containers for both domestic and industrial use.
The donation was in response to an appeal made by the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpey and media reports that highlighted the plight of the people of the Seva and adjoining communities including Konu and Anyako which are surrounded by water but ironically have no access to good drinking water.
Sintex Tanks has therefore stepped in to provide the people with the tanks to enable them store up good drinking water to serve their daily needs.
Speaking at a brief ceremony to present the tanks to the community, Chief of the area, Torgbi Lotsu Makawa IV, said the over twenty thousand residents of the community have for several decades lived without access to potable drinking water, a situation that has for years been a cause for worry to the people.
He said the community had sent several appeals to the authorities to intervene, but all those appeals received no tangible response, adding that the people had to resort to the buying of water in yellow gallons which sells at GH¢ 3 per gallon, a situation he lamented took a toll on the daily lives of the people as the economic conditions of the residents was also nothing to write home about.
Torgbi Lotsu commended Sintex Tanks and the MP for the support which he said could not have come at a better time and further appealed to government to as a matter of urgency extend good drinking water to the community to alleviate the plight of the people whom he observed have been neglected all these years.
Marketing Coordinator for Sintex Tanks, Ebenezer Twum Barimah, said the company, having learnt of the water crisis in the community took the decision to support them with the tanks as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to temporarily deal with the situation, while efforts are made in collaboration with the relevant institutions to find a permanent solution to the problem.
He entreated the community to take proper care of the tanks in order to protect their lifespan and to serve their intended purpose.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for his part, also expressed gratitude to Sintex Tanks for the timely intervention and urged the people to take good care of the tanks.
Gakpey said the unavailability of safe drinking water poses a health threat to every community, especially children’s health crisis.
He said the situation at Seva and adjoining communities is so dire that sometimes school children have had to go to school without taking their baths, with others skipping classes as a result.
“Pregnant women and young girls in their menstrual periods suffer the brunt of the unavailability of the precious commodity, leading at times to complications and contaminations which are all health risks to the community,” the MP lamented.
He called on government to prioritize the situation at Seva and adjoining communities and to take immediate steps to extend good drinking water to the area to alleviate the suffering of the people and to prevent the outbreak of water borne diseases in the area.
Safe drinking water is critical to the development of a healthy child. It means kids won’t experience water-borne illnesses like typhoid.
Diarrhea is one of the top three leading causes of child death and this is often triggered from consuming unclean water. Further, every 2 minutes a child dies from a water-borne disease. Whether they are consuming contaminated water or suffering from dehydration due to diarrhea, a lack of access to safe water is responsible.
Contaminated water and poor sanitation are linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid fever and polio.
Absent, inadequate, or inappropriately managed water and sanitation services expose individuals to preventable health risks. This is particularly the case in health care facilities where both patients and staff are placed at additional risk of infection and disease when water, sanitation and hygiene services are lacking.
Out of every 100 patients in acute-care hospitals, 7 patients in high-income countries (HICs) and 15 patients in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) will acquire at least one health care-associated infection during their hospital stay.
Inadequate management of urban, industrial and agricultural wastewater means the drinking-water of hundreds of millions of people is dangerously contaminated or chemically polluted. Natural presence of chemicals, particularly in groundwater, can also be of health significance, including arsenic and fluoride, while other chemicals, such as lead, may be elevated in drinking-water as a result of leaching from water supply components in contact with
Some 1 million people are estimated to die each year from diarrhoea as a result of unsafe drinking-water, sanitation and hand hygiene. Yet diarrhoea is largely preventable, and the deaths of 395 000 children aged under 5 years could be avoided each year if these risk factors were addressed.
Where water is not readily available, people may decide hand washing is not a priority, thereby adding to the likelihood of diarrhoea and other diseases.
Diarrhoea is the most widely known disease linked to contaminated food and water but there are other hazards. In 2021, over 251.4 million people required preventative treatment for schistosomiasis – an acute and chronic disease caused by parasitic worms contracted through exposure to infested water.
In many parts of the world, insects that live or breed in water carry and transmit diseases such as dengue fever. Some of these insects, known as vectors, breed in clean, rather than dirty water, and household drinking water containers can serve as breeding grounds.
The simple intervention of covering water storage containers can reduce vector breeding and may also reduce faecal contamination of water at the household level.
Safe and readily available water is important for public health, whether it is used for drinking, domestic use, food production or recreational purposes. Improved water supply and sanitation, and better management of water resources, can boost countries’ economic growth and can contribute greatly to poverty reduction.
In 2010, the UN General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation. Everyone has the right to sufficient, continuous, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use.
When water comes from improved and more accessible sources, people spend less time and effort physically collecting it, meaning they can be productive in other ways. This can also result in greater personal safety and reducing musculoskeletal disorders by reducing the need to make long or risky journeys to collect and carry water. Better water sources also mean less expenditure on health, as people are less likely to fall ill and incur medical costs and are better able to remain economically productive.
With children particularly at risk from water-related diseases, access to improved sources of water can result in better health, and therefore better school attendance, with positive longer-term consequences for their lives.