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Fresh water, fresh smiles

The Volta river has flowed through this community for generations, providing a route for transportation and a source for fishing and livelihood. But, one thing that should never have been sourced from it was drinking water. Yet, with little other option available, local families had to use the untreated water and risk contracting dangerous water-borne illnesses.

Women carrying children also collect water from the river.

“We used to boil the water before drinking but some people did not,” explained Thompson, the local chief.

“Before Community Sponsorship, there used to be poor sanitation and our drinking water was not clean,” confirms David, a local father. “We were drinking from the lake, which was polluted with people bathing in it and animals also drinking from it. As a result our children were often falling sick.”

A happy family of 6.

David and his family

Community members, like David, identified the need for closer sources of clean water, but a high salinity rate found in the area ruled out the possibility of establishing wells or boreholes, posing a challenge.

As an innovative alternative, your sponsorship enabled us to extend a 6 km piping system from the closest fresh water source, helping clean water flow out to even the most remote parts of the community!

Multiple individuals dig out trenches for pipes as children study in the distance.

Community members come together to help create the pipeline, as children study at the temporary school in the background.

Your support also helped install six, 5,000 litre capacity water reservoirs in high traffic areas throughout the community, ensuring clean water is always close at hand.

A group of men plant a water tap in the ground.

Workers install the water point – this hands-on experience will help with maintenance moving forward.

Today, the newly-extended water system is benefitting more than 300 people!

And already, they have seen an improvement in their health and a reduction in the prevalence of the dangerous bilharzia disease.

In addition to reducing the incidence of illness, the new water system has helped reduce the distance families travel for clean water – giving them more time to focus on their studies, work or other ways to improve their lives!

Two women stand under a water tap, smiling and collecting water.

Local women enjoy the convenience of the new water taps.

“Previously, getting water for domestic usage was a tedious task,” says Thompson, the community chief. “We had to walk down to the lake side to fetch water, which is quite a distance. Now getting water is only a step away, thanks to community sponsors.”

Portraits of David and Emmanuel.

David and his 11-year-old son, Emmanuel.

“When Plan International started working in the community, the situation changed for the better. We now have potable drinking water through your support, so we no longer drink from the lake. We no longer fall sick often as we did in the past,” David shares, happily.

Emmanuel, Daniel and their friends smile while getting water from the new fountain.

“I like the pipe-borne water we now have at school. I always drink from it,” says Daniel (pictured at centre beside Emmanuel, at left).

“I have learned that it is the right of every child to be sent to school,” says Emmanuel, currently enrolled in Grade 5. “We now have a beautiful pre-school block in my school. We also have clean water both at school and at home. I am very happy.

Children gather around the new water tap and smile.
Happy children gather around the new water tap and give the thumbs up!

Thank you

Thanks to you, children and families across Volta now have new sources of health, happiness and opportunity – making smiles flow out alongside streams of fresh water!

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