As a retired civil engineer, where most of my career has been in the water and wastewater services, my involvement with BWF has provided an opportunity to be part of a collaborative effort to demonstrate how safe drinking water can be a reality in the households of rural communities in Ghana. The concept of the BWF program is to develop safe drinking water at the household level. It has gotten approval from the local government, tribal chiefs, Health Ministry and Education Ministry. The result of this collaborative effort has provided eager community members willing to learn how to keep their water safe and to share this information with their neighbors. As a water professional, there is great satisfaction to be part of such a community effort and to see that improved water quality, improves the quality of life for these communities.
Many organizations, throughout the world, have been successful in developing new, clean water sources for communities. BWF is focused on maintaining clean, safe water at the point of use, in the household. This effort supports the global Household Water Treatment and Storage (HWTS) initiative.
Extensive curriculum development and expedition team training dominated our preparations to initiate a safe water education program in Sankubenase, Ghana. However, theory and planning gave way to a much more personal note as we witnessed Bright Water Foundation’s ability to truly change peoples’ lives through safe water as we arrived in the small villages of Sankubenase, Amonom, Nkurakan, Wekpeti, and Mampong.
The members of the Atiwa West District Assembly, including the health and education sectors, expressed hope and support as we explained the purpose of our visit. The Ghana Bright Water Foundation team were capable, prepared, and excited to receive the training that will save lives in their communities. Village leaders endorsed the safe water education program and encouraged community members to adopt safe water habits to improve their health.
Through eight short days of training by the expedition team, our local Bright Water Foundation Safe Water Educators embraced the program and took responsibility to educate their friends and neighbors about the importance of safe water. We watched them capably test community and household water and use the results and the developed curriculum to convince families to treat their water. They produced public awareness announcements to reinforce their teaching. They taught school children and developed student health clubs. They participated in important problem solving sessions to develop Aquatab distribution channels, survey and sampling methods, and strategies to reach the all-important goal of program sustainability.
The success of the October, 2021 Sankubenase Bright Water Foundation expedition demonstrated that community led education, with support from Bright Water Foundation corporate, changes lives and increases health and hope for a brighter future.