Why clean water matters?
Access to Clean Water is a Basic Human Right
Yet, 1 in 10 people (663 million) globally lack access to safe water. (1).
Twice the population of the U.S. lack access to clean water. (1).
1.5 billion+ people are impacted by water-related diseases every year. (1).
Every 90 seconds a child dies of a water-related disease. (1).
Involving women in the solutions to cleaner water can increase project effectiveness by 6 or 7 times. (2).
1. World Health Organization and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP). (2015) Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation, 2015 Update and MDG Assessment.
2. UN Water. (2013). UN-Water factsheet on water and gender, World Water Day 2013.
Creating Healthier Communities through WASH Initiatives and Women's Empowerment in Penim, Ghana
Penim is a small, rural village in Ghana's Central Region, about 20 minutes away from Bawjiase, with a need for better access to clean water sources. The village is home to about 400 Ghanaians and is predominantly a farming community. In partnership with Pure Water Access Project (PWAP), we teamed up with the community leaders in Penim to deliver a sustainable solution to their need for cleaner and safer water.
PWAP is a non-profit local to Columbus, Ohio focusing on ending clean water crises around the world through extensive research and on-the-ground competency. Together, we are working towards a healthier community through WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) initiatives.
In summer 2016 our team conducted water quality testing and interviewed every household in Penim to assess needs surrounding WASH practices and clean water. Following the interviews, we spent the next year analyzing the survey data and researcing and developing a sustainable water business that would be run by women from the community.
In summer 2017, our team traveled to Ghana to establish a clean water business alongside the Penim community. The water business is run by a cohort of women in Penim who collect river water and disinfect it through a water purification process. The women were chosen by the community's council of elders. The business serves as a means of empowering them with jobs and a source of sustainable income through water sales to their community. Recognizing that clean water is not a simple solution and that it takes an approach focused on various WASH factors, our team also conducted a community WASH training for all adults, aWASH trainings for the local primary and middle school students, and distributed drinking water storage containers for every household, to promote proper hygiene and sanitation practices.
December 2018-August 2018: Community Toilets
In December 2018, our team began collaboration with the Penim community to sponsor the construction of 8 community toilets. Currently, households across the community lack access to a toilet, leading to high rates of open defecation outside. Open defecation can lead to health risks for the individual and the entire community, as it can contaminate food and water sources. Therefore, our team committed to installing community toilets that will increase the hygiene and sanitation of the community, allowing for improved health for the 400+ community members. Since August 2018, the toilets have been constructed and all operations are now supervised by the council of elders and the chief of Penim to ensure self-sustainability of this project and the promotion of improved health in the community!