The Global Water Brigades program was born out of Honduran community members’ constant health risks associated with poor quality drinking water. Medical Brigades participants are surely familiar with patients seeking parasite medicines to combat illnesses that breed in untreated water sources. The undeniable linkage between access to clean water and overall personal health is why Global Water Brigades will work in Ghana.
Global Water Brigades in Honduras has analyzed, diagnosed and constructed community water systems with many student groups over the years. Most of the systems that students work to implement with community members have been gravity water schemes in which water sources lie at the top of a Honduran mountain with community residences below. Students and community members work to dig trench and lay a pipeline to distribute water to households in the area. This model is unable to be adapted to Global Water Brigades Ghana programs because of the nature of the water sources in Ghana. The primary source of water in the Central Region of Ghana, where we will focus our work these upcoming years, is below the surface. In other words, accessing the water requires boreholes, wells or other means of reaching up to 200 feet below ground. We are now working to develop projects in these communities that are feasible for Water Brigades.
The current situation in these communities is bad. Most of the communities where we will work currently get their water from small streams or large puddles where water sits uncovered, breeding mosquitoes and water-borne illnesses including Guinea Worm. See a video of this here. Our goal is to develop solutions to this problem. Our closest partner, the Central Region Community Water and Sanitation Agency, is helping us to develop projects that will support these communities. Potential projects include: rainwater catchment systems (especially for schools), water filtration/treatment technologies, limited-mechanized systems to increase access points and education about water and health. Additionally, it is essential that all projects also incorporate aspects of hygiene and sanitation, and make sure that the community has sufficient clean water and the education to keep healthy.
In line with our culture as a student-led development organization, Water Brigades in Ghana wants wants everyone to be a part of this discussion.. We are looking for innovative solutions to providing clean water to rural Ghanaian communities. Contact Orion Haas (email@example.com) and Allen Gula (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your comments regarding Ghana Medical Brigades or anything else related to Global Brigades Ghana.