Residents of Prekumase, surrounding communities trek long distance to access ground water

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Thu, 17 Mar 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

In some deprived communities like Bomase, Takorase, Prekumase, Sekesua and Adwenso in the Upper Manya Krobo District in the Eastern Region, every day, men, women and children spend tens of minutes making an average round trip of 1 kilometer, walking to collect water for their families.

This water, mostly in dugouts in the absence of improved water sources, is often contaminated with life-threatening diseases with the locals standing the risk of contracting waterborne diseases induced by the heavily polluted water content.

Here, people don’t have access to an improved water source. Mothers and daughters walk their long distances, sometimes barefoot to collect water from polluted dugouts or surface water, and they often make that trip more than once a day!

On the way home from the water source, it’s even harder as they climb the hilly roads with pans of water on their heads.

The residents in the absence of potable sources of water are forced to rely on dugouts located several hundreds of meters away from their homes which serves as the only source of water for a community like Prekumase and surrounding communities.

At Prekumase, the well obviously poses danger to unaccompanied children who risk falling in and drowning.

The locals say the contents of the dugout most times get so muddy. At other times, the situation gets worse with water running out that the locals have to wait for hours on end for water to accumulate in the well before they can fetch it.

GhanaWeb during its visit met several residents scooping out water from the 3-meter deep well. The locals ingeniously draw the water from the well either by climbing down the earthen steps of the well or hook plastic containers to long sticks which are then lowered into the well to draw water.

50-year-old Sarah Maku was one of the locals this portal met during its visit to the well. Having lived in the community for well over 40-years, she appears very much familiar and used to the problem. She said the situation deteriorates so badly that the community is forced to walk even further to access water from another stream.

True to her words, only minutes after fetching, the turbidity of the water increased, turning milky and dirty. The residents say they have no option but fetch it in its current state for their domestic use.

According to Auntie Maku, the situation gets so bad that they trek longer distances to get water from other sources.

“Sometimes, we have no option but to walk further away from here to get water and this isn’t good. Now, it has ran out so we’re fetching the mud so our problem is the thirst for water,” said the elderly woman.

The situation, she added results in stomach upsets for both adults and children. She said, “[using the water] affects the health of our children and us the adults. When the children drink this, they suffer stomach upsets,” said auntie Maku.

One of the several residents GhanaWeb met at the scene was a septuagenarian, Joe Ayertey, who was also there to scoop out some of the last drops of water for his household.

The 71-year-old told GhanaWeb that despite his age and condition, he had no option but make a round trip of about 800 meters to the dugout and carry a gallon of water through the hilly road back home.

He complained: “I am not well, the road to this place is far but I have no option so when I get home, I must go to bed but since you must drink, I come nevertheless.”

He had one appeal to the authorities, to as a matter of urgency come to their aid. He pleaded: “We plead with them to come and address the problem for us to stop our suffering.”

Dadematse (community leader) of Prekumase who himself depends on the dugout for survival said he receives several complaints on the water crisis on a daily basis from his people, calling on authorities to come to the aid of the communities. He thus appealed to the government to heed the cry of the people by providing clean potable water for them.

District Chief Executive for Upper Manya Krobo, Honourable Joe Sam confirmed the plight of the people regarding water challenges but added that though most of these communities have boreholes, most had broken down.

He furthered that a list of the broken down boreholes had been submitted through the Assembly members for the necessary action.

“Sekesua, Bomase, Takorase, Prekumase, Adwenso, they are all having water problems. They have these boreholes [but] some of them are not functioning so we’ve been asked to submit the list of non-functional boreholes to Accra.

“Very soon, a mechanical team will be down at the communities to do the repair works. So I assure them that within a matter of two months, all the boreholes will be functional,” he assured.

The DCE however asserted that discussions with some NGOs were also underway to provide new boreholes for communities without potable sources of water. He said, “We have plans for the drilling of new boreholes. We’ve asked the Assembly members to separate the existing ones from the non-existing ones so that we can see the problem areas and then fix the area with the borehole.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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