In 2023, the worst flooding in decades devastated large swaths of central Africa ranging from Somalia and Kenya in the east to Niger and Ghana in the west. In response to this disaster, half of the 2023 Christmas Eve offering at Ingomar Church was donated towards a clean water project in Mepe, through our new partner, Hope for Ghana.
Mepe is located in the Volta Region of Ghana, with 12,000 people living within 8 km of the town. There is no clean water available in Mepe except for rare, privately owned boreholes that are inaccessible to the public. For this reason, even before the flood, people were forced to fetch river water 1 km away.
When severe flooding hits a town in America, like it did in Pittsburgh during Hurricane Ivan or in Vermont and Kentucky in 2023, towns can work quickly to restore existing infrastructure and services. But in very poor countries where they simply do not have resources to draw on for recovery, like Ghana, it can take years to recover and some towns never recover. During the recovery period, with local crops wiped out and no safe drinking water, many get sick and some die.
In Mepe, Ghana the richest 5% in this town of 12,000 people have access to clean water either through private borehole wells or through piped water that is so expensive that the poor can not afford the water bills, let alone the cost of installing the piping and access. So 95% of the population in Mepe get their water from the Volta River. And like those without access to clean water in other parts of the world, people in Mepe suffer from waterborne diseases and some die. And all have to deal with trekking to the river, a large distance for many, only to haul back large containers of water which are incredibly heavy. It is the women and children tasked with this daily chore.
Recent heavy rain in Ghana resulted in a dangerous overflow of the River Volta, risking the breakage of the dam that is responsible for most of Ghana’s electricity. This situation forced authorities to spill the excess water to save the dam. As a result, hundreds of communities in the Volta Region were catastrophically flooded.
The most devasted area affected by the flooding was Mepe, causing homes, schools and businesses to be completely submerged in the flood waters, and causing homes and livelihoods to be destroyed.
Cemeteries, mortuaries, garbage dumps and public toilets were washed into the River Volta which is the main drinking source for 95% of Mepe’s population. Mepe’s drinking water is now overwhelmingly contaminated, and the beautiful people of Mepe are at high risk for
waterborne diseases. Clean water is desperately needed to reduce the morbidity and mortality of these potentially severe waterborne diseases.
#TV3NewDay: Akosombo Dam Spillage – Floods displaced residents in parts of the Volta Region
Senyo from Hope for Ghana explains the situation in Mepe
OUR EXPERIENCE IN THE REGION
[After the flood,] Hope for Ghana met with the Traditional Chief of Mepe and his Council of Elders, who are the leaders in the community, discussing Mepe’s dire need for clean water. These fruitful discussions helped us to locate the areas within Mepe that most urgently need clean water at this time.
Chief of Mepe Makes Plea for Flood Victims
Hope for Ghana will drill a borehole near a junior high nestled in the heart of the community. They will install a submersible electric pump and a storage tank with four water taps to be able to support thousands of people. And if necessary, if the water is contaminated, a Reverse Osmosis filtration system will also be installed.
If we are lucky enough to get uncontaminated water, in which case there will be no need for a Reverse Osmosis machine, we will provide boreholes for two more communities within Mepe that are in desperate need of clean water. Our water engineer and our team on the ground will be constantly monitoring the effectiveness and proper use of the borehole and Reverse Osmosis machine.
A water committee within the community will be formed to ensure the safety and proper usage of this gift. Our engineer will provide periodic maintenance for both the borehole and Reverse Osmosis machine, ensuring the longevity of this project, with all major maintenance costs coming to Hope for Ghana.
PROJECT SPECIFICS AND TIMELINE
Total Project Cost: $15,000
– Materials: $11,500 for borehole and Reverse Osmosis
– Labor: $ 500
– Other Costs: $ 3,000 allowance for electricity bills [to be] incurred by ongoing usage of the borehole and Reverse Osmosis machine.
Expected Start Date: December 2023
Expected Completion: January 2024
FUTURE REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE
The water committee in many communities makes the decision to collect a small amount of money for each bucket of water. This money goes towards maintenance and repairs while allowing a community to take ownership of the project. At the same time, Hope for Ghana sets aside funds for future maintenance and repairs, knowing that there will be costs beyond the financial capability of the village.
Search and rescue workers
Water is life! The gift of clean water is truly the gift of life. Our project will allow thousands of people to drink clean, potable water instead of contaminated river water. The morbidity and mortality of waterborne diseases will significantly be reduced.
80% of all diseases in Ghana are caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. With clean water, the overall health of the community will be greatly improved, as diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery are greatly reduced.
Healthy children are able to attend school, and their performance is so much better in school while healthy. Healthy men and women are more productive at home and at work, and better able to care for their families.
The impact of Hope for Ghana’s water project in Mepe will be felt today, and for generations to come.
The water project will be located next to this junior high school in the heart of Mepe.
All projects are made possible by World Changers.