China-aided boreholes bring clean water to rural areas in Ghana

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A primary school teacher shows a water tank which used to gather the rainwater from rooftops in Guayotse Village, Eastern Region, Ghana. Xinhua

Hundreds of rural communities in six out of the ten regions of Ghana now have access to clean water thanks to the assistance from the Chinese government.

The government of China constructed 1,000 boreholes for communities to support efforts  to bring clean water to Ghanaians.

Residents in Nana-Boami, a small farming community about 63 km north-west of the capital Accra say they were forced to use a pond of creamy water overgrown with water weeds with cattle as their only source of water.

“But all that has now changed for the good”, says local resident Eric Kwaku Mantey.

“Thanks to the Chinese government, we have clean water,

Although Ghana achieved more than 88 percent nationwide coverage of clean water under the previous Millennium Development Goals by the end of 2015, evidence on the ground was a far cry from the reported data, as most of these communities depended on running water which turned dark brown for most parts of the year due to heavy rains and dry-up in the dried season.

“This project is part of China’s 1,000 borehole project to support the government of Ghana. The project is in six regions. The beneficiary communities are selected by government of Ghana, but normally every region gets about 160 boreholes,” Huang Xianzhou, Project Manager of Zhongmei Engineering Group Limited, said in an interview.

He added that the project was progressing steadily and due for completion on schedule by the end of this year. Huang expressed appreciation for the way the government of Ghana and locals cooperated with his company to implement the project.

Linda Alhassan, Headmistress of the Santramor Primary School in the Suhum Municipal Area, explained how water scarcity had become a thing of the past due to the intervention by the Chinese government. She said that the nightmare of school children going in search of water for hours and came to school late had come to a halt.

“In fact, as this borehole has come, it has helped us a lot. It has cut down on the water-borne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera,” she added.

Jasper Quarshie, the Community Water and Sanitation Agency Municipal Technician Engineer for the Suhum District, whose district alone benefited from 10 of the China-aided boreholes, described the intervention as timely.

“Things have improved a lot. In fact I have one of the communities where their water was as dark as cocoa beverage. So when this borehole is built there, they are enjoying it. You can see their children are now going to school early, they don’t have to lose precious education time searching for water, they can now spend that time in school.”

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