The provision of safe drinking water in the Ashanti Region had been bolstered with the inauguration of a Safe Water Station at Yawkwei in the Asante-Akim South District.
The project, funded by BG International (BGI), a United States (US)-based development firm, and Safe Water Network, an international Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), is the first phase of a broader initiative to meet the water requirement needs of about 13, 000 people in the region.
The first phase, targeting the people of Yawkwei and Ananekrom, in the Asante-Akim North, as well as Atia in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality, is designed to provide access to treated water for the rural communities at an affordable cost. Mr Kurt Sunderland, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Safe Water Network, indicated that, the overall concept was aimed at reducing to the barest minimum, water-related diseases borne out of the inaccessibility to safe drinking water.
The Water Station works by pumping raw water from existing boreholes and treats it through chlorination to produce safe water that meets the World Health Organization (WHO) standards.
The CEO said water would be delivered to customers through standpipes, remote water kiosks and in bulk, via tricycles, using narrow-mouthed jerry cans.
The WHO estimates that although access to water had improved greatly in general terms, access to safe water is still a major issue and that about 1.1 billion people rely on unsafe drinking water sources in developing countries.
Water-related health problems kill more than five million people a year, with infants the most affected.
Mr Sunderland said his organization had resolved to launch an ambitious water expansion programme over the next years, targeting not less than 100, 000 people in five regions.
This would be done with the active participation of BGI, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation, Pepsico Foundation, Kosmos Energy and the Volta River Authority.