Asukawkaw, a peri-urban travel intersection on the Jasikan-Dambai Highway, now has potable water after decades of search.
The water whose quality meets World Health Organizations (WHO) standards was tapped from the murky Asukawkaw River through a slow filtration process, de-carbonated and further processed through an Ultra-Violet (UV) light water treatment.
Nana Odam Gyamfi II, Chief of the area told the well-attended durbar at the inauguration of the water system that, the search had been going on since 1964 and the last attempt to get water from a borehole lasted only two months.
He said the community had formed a competent Management Board to manage the water saying Coca-Cola and USAID, provided the funds for the project, under the auspices of Water and Development Alliance, (WADA), along with their implementing partners, WaterHealth Ghana and the Ghana WASH Project.
Mr. Philippe Ayivor, Public Affairs and Communications Director of Coca-Cola Equatorial Africa, said the Nsukawkaw event signified the inauguration of two other water systems at Dambai, in the Krachi-East District and Tapa-Abotoase in the Biakoye District, under the alliances of Sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene projects, in northern Volta Region.
Under the project, the three communities also had 107 household and three institutional toilets.
Mr. Ayivor, who is also the Coordinator of Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, said besides the provision of water, the soft drink multinational is also in education and health.
He said “water is of particular interest to the Foundation not only because it is the main ingredient in our products but also because 300 million out of the 1 billion people without access to safe water live on the African continent”.
Mr. Ayivor said WADA is investing 1.5 million dollars in the Volta and Greater-Accra regions to provide integrated water, sanitation and hygiene solutions to seven communities by building five Water-health centres, nine institutional latrines and 228 households; the three projects in Northern Volta inclusive.
Mr. Emmanuel Odotei, Head of the Global Partnership for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at USAID, commended the people for their support for the project through communal labour, stressing that the days of dysentery, cholera and diarrhea diseases in the community should be considered over.
Mrs Mawunyo Pupulampu, General Manager WaterHealth Ghana, said her organization’s strategy to ensure the sustainability of water systems it constructs was to oversee its management for 10 years.
She said Waterhealth’s model arose from the premise that 33 percent of water systems are non functional any time, hence, “there is the need for sustainable option of water supply for which the WaterHealth technology and model represents to a very large extent”.
Mrs Pupulampu said an affordable fee of 10.00p to 15p per 20 litres is charged to generate revenues to operate and maintain the facility.
Mr. Henry Ametefe, Deputy Volta Regional Minister, expressed joy at the availability of potable water for the people and challenged the chiefs to ensure the sustainability of the project.
He expressed concern about the low level of sanitation awareness in the country, charging churches in the area to contribute to the purchase of rubbish bins for the community.
The Coca-Cola/USAID water system is an integrated system with a built-in sanitation and hygiene components that ensures even receptacles for drawing water from the system neat.
Miss Dzidudu Darkey-Mensah told the Ghana News Agency that her organization, Edsam Social Network was engaging the people on the proper usage of water as part of the project.**