Women and children in Miawani, a farming community in the Suhum Municipality are crying for portable water since the only source of water in the community is a deplorable state.
The only source of water is from a stream called “Kwame ntow”, is so dirty that residents in this community have to boil it before use for cooking and sometimes drinking.
Water is said to be life and one of the key essentials needs for every community. Access to potable water is central to improving sanitation and hygiene, progress in health and education, and in a general reduction of poverty, however, many rural communities lack access to clean water.
Mr Augustine Bramssey, a secretary of the community told GNA under the Mobilising Media for Covid-19, a project being implemented by the Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) and Ghana Journalists Association said for many years, there had not been any potable water system constructed for them and had no option than to rely solely on the dirty looking stream for their water needs.
Making a passionate appeal for help disclosed that; “Pigs and other animals drink from this stream and we humans also drink from it because we do not have any other source of water, so, we fetch it and go and boil before we drink”
According to him, some boreholes were provided to the community some time ago, but they were not working and so the few who could afford purchase sachet water for their drinking needs whiles majority relied on the stream and appealed to the assembly to come to their aid.
Mr Bramssey expressed the worry that the stream, which had become the only source of water for inhabitants was very close to a cemetery and had the fear that with any heavy rains some of the old burial sites could be washed away into the stream.
Some women the GNA spoke to disclosed that their children fell ill often with diarrhoea and usually experienced itchy skin after bathing with the water but they had no choice but to use it since it was the only source of water.
Some of the women told the GNA that they hardly practiced hand washing which is one of the Covid-19 safety protocols, “the water is so dirty that it makes no sense in using it to wash your hands, even after bathing with the water you don’t feel okay” they stressed.
“When we use the water to cook rice for instance, you would think we soaked the rice in the muddy water before cooking”, a 35-year-old Madam Mercy Ofosua told the GNA and called on the Municipal Assembly to come to their aid.
She wondered why a community so close to urban areas such as Accra and Koforidua could be using such unclean water.
During the dry seasons, the stream dries up and the inhabitants are left with no option than to walk to nearby communities for water.
According to the United Nations’ Children Education Fund (UNICEF), data has shown that inspite of the progress made to ensure that children and families in every part of the country have access to safe drinking water, 76 percent of households in Ghana are at risk of drinking water contaminated with feacal matters.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aims to foster economic growth, ensure social inclusion and protect the environment, and SDG6 of the Ghana goals focus on improving access to clean water and sanitation for the citizens of Ghana especially the rural communities.
The national vision for the water and sanitation sector is sustainable basic water and sanitation service for all by 2025, which in detailed terms means that all people living in Ghana have access to adequate, safe, affordable, and reliable basic water service, practice safe sanitation and hygiene
The lack of potable water in the Miawani community represents many communities in the region which had no portable drinking water deepening the word of the rural women and children who already have to struggle to be at par with others in the urban areas in terms of education and health needs.
Meanwhile, in an interview with the Municipal Chief Executive for Suhum, Mrs Margaret Darko-Darkwah, she acknowledged the lack of potable water for the Miawani community and assured that the community would soon be provided with portable water from the on-going developmental projects to address their situation.