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New pipeline brings clean water and hope to Ghanaian community

CCFC’s new business development manager sees first-hand the need for a scarce resource 

By Maggie Zeng, new business development & grants manager, Toronto

As Canadians, we are blessed with an abundant supply of clean water — in fact, government statistics show our country is home to 20 percent of the world's fresh water resources, and we are among the highest users of the resource per capita in the world.

It’s a different story in Northern Ghana where access to clean water has been a long-standing problem. While recently visiting the area to prepare for new Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) projects, I wasn’t surprised to hear water, sanitation and hygiene is the biggest need.

In some rural areas, townspeople don’t have access to clean water. Poverty is widespread and erratic rainfall, among other economic and social factors, makes it hard to yield a harvest or earn enough money to meet basic needs.

Significant progress has been made, but sadly, there still aren’t enough clean drinking water sources in areas where CCFC works. Each year, many Ghanaian children die from diarrhea and pneumonia or suffer from chronic malnutrition linked to poor water and sanitation. 

Townspeople in Vogyili, a town in the Northern Region, have tried to drill boreholes, but underground water is inaccessible. Instead, villagers have to fetch water from streams or rainwater-harvesting tanks. With no clean water for drinking, cooking or bathing, the community faces many challenges. Apart from health concerns caused by dirty water, girls must often walk hours to fetch water for the family, often missing school and facing safety concerns along the way.

Since 1999, we’ve been working with partners to help address these problems. One recent success is the launch of a project with Presbyterian Farmers Training, a local partner in Ghana. Through this collaboration, we are improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene services in one region. Residents will benefit from:

  • the extension of a water pipeline by 7 km to Vogyili, providing a clean drinking source 
  • the training of community volunteers to manage water facilities 
  • the training of 50 farmers, including 30 women, on dry-season gardening using drip irrigation

Thanks to support from donors such as ChildFund Korea, we’ll help more people in rural communities access clean water, improving their quality of life. And more children, especially girls, will be able to enjoy school and have a childhood, too.

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About Christian Children's Fund of Canada:

Christian Children's Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-focused international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For more than 50 years, CCFC has been helping children and families of all faiths move from poverty to self-reliance. CCFC supports children and communities in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nicaragua and Paraguay. Currently, CCFC has almost 50,000 children sponsored, benefiting nearly 400,000 people around the world.