The Prem Rawat Foundation Helps Provide Clean Water for 40,000 Villagers in Ghana
Los Angeles, July 24, 2007 — Nearly 40,000 destitute Ghanaian villagers are enjoying clean fresh water and marked improvement in their living conditions due to support by The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) for the United Nations Development Programme’s Community Water Initiative (CWI).
The Ghana project was started in 2006 to provide potable water facilities and sanitation to “rural, poor and marginalized communities in high parasite-infested areas,” according to CWI.
For the nine Ghana communities impacted, the results have been life changing. Previously, these villagers often spent entire days searching for or hauling contaminated water. Many places had indiscriminate toilet practices due to lack of facilities, and guinea worm parasite infestation was common.
Now, integrated water supplies, sanitation management and renewed water sources (including 22 wells and some dams) are providing safe, potable water year-round, enough for dry-season gardening. Each resident has access to at least 20 liters (5 gallons) of water a day.
In one community, Kwasilansa, women and children had drawn their water from a remote seasonal stream that tests showed to be teeming with bacteria. A seven-member Water and Sanitation Committee was formed, and the members were taught how to hand-dig four wells and construct a water treatment house using communal labor. Seedlings were planted and cared for to establish 5 hectare acres of riverside forest to act as a dry season catchment area. Today, all 2,000 people of Kwasilansa use the water from the new facility. Two neighboring communities of 100 tree farmers and 200 women, who process and sell palm oil, use it as well.
Nana Takyi XI, Chief of Kwasilansa, reports, “Kwasilansa has come out of the doldrums of underdevelopment. We have good drinking water and excellent sanitation conditions. We have said good-bye to guinea worm infestation.”
Magazia Saratu Mamuna, a resident of Sanga community, one of the nine in the project, agrees. “I can’t believe that we have good drinking water during the dry season,” she says. “It has never happened before. It’s a miracle. We thank the people who have changed our lives.”
Due to TPRF's funding of CWI's first water projects in Ghana and the success gained, additional support was obtained through UNICEF, the Netherlands, and H20 Africa to expand CWIs in Africa to cover 10 countries by undertaking similar water projects in three more African countries — Mali, Niger and Senegal.
The approach has been to mobilize and empower local groups to build, own, operate and maintain low-cost, affordable water technology, using locally made materials. Each of the nine villages now has its own trained community water and sanitation committee. Technical support is provided by the District Community Water and Sanitation Units.
The Prem Rawat Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Prem Rawat, an internationally recognized ambassador for peace often referred to as Maharaji. A main focus of TPRF is to help provide clean water and nutritious food to further the quality of life for those in need around the world.
Photos courtesy of GEF/SGP CWI Ghana Country Office
The Prem Rawat Foundation was founded by Prem Rawat, known worldwide as Maharaji, whose aim is to improve the quality of life for people in need by providing food, water, medical care, and disaster relief.
Discover more about Prem Rawat, his message of hope and peace, and the humanitarian activities of The Prem Rawat Foundation