Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Ayenya Water Crisis and It's Effects On Community Life

Water is said to be life but not all water can be said to be life. Water can be life when it is clean, safe and hygienic; free from all source of pipe borne diseases/sicknesses and contamination. The life of a community especially deprived ones to a large extend depends on the availability of clean, safe and hygienic water to ensure the requisite development. This is mostly not the case, as added to their depravity is the unavailability of clean, safe and hygienic water for sustainable life.

Ayenya No. 1 is not an exception to the above scenario or phenomenon as they suffer and go through a lot of struggles to have access to water, which is not clean, safe and hygienic.

Ayenya No. 1 is a village in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana, which is a little over two hours’ drive from Accra; the capital city and 40 minutes’ drive from Dodowa, a municipality in the Great Accra Region. It's predominantly a farming community with a total population just over 350 out of which more than 90% are children and youth. There is not direct vehicle or public bus that goes to the village and as such villagers and visitors have to board bus slated for Somanya, which is a city in the Eastern Region of Ghana and then alight at the village. Both bus drivers and conductors (mates as they are referred to in the local parlance) don't know the location of the town and therefore passengers on board the bus wishing to alight at the village ought to alert them when getting close.

The challenge faced by the community with reference to clean, safe and hygienic water is enormous as the village only source of water is so unhealthy, unsafe and unhygienic causing diverse forms of sicknesses and diseases. They rely on a cow muddled and worm infested water and the painful aspect of their ordeal is children as young as 10 years of age and women have to walk 50 minutes from the community to the 'river' to fetch water carrying gallons and pans. 

Joining them on the Christmas Eve in 2013 during my second visit to spend my Christmas with them, we made the 50 minutes’ walk to the 'river' side to fetch water. It was a humbling experience and felt the pain and stress that the community go through just to have access to water. The pictures below tell it all..

Journey from the 'river' to the community

The tiring  and humbling experience

Through the bushes
Nearing the Community

As a result of the ordeal that these children go through just to fetch water, they get fed up of going to school due to the tiredness of going to the river side to fetch water. And as Nelson Mandela said "Education is the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world", and if this is the case and these children or youth who are the future leaders of the community don't have this weapon then how can they change and affect their community? Even those who take the burden of going to school after the long distance walk to fetch water almost every day go to class and sleep. The development of the community is far from reaching due to the loss of interest of the youth in education that is as a result of the tiredness and stress of fetching water.

A visit to the small community clinic built and manned by an Italian NGO reviewed that more than 15 cases of water borne related diseases are reported on a daily bases and they struggle to cope with the situation as it is not equipped to handle them. When community suffers from diseases then definitely the productivity level of the community will also be low and this is exactly the situation in Ayenya No. 1. Farmers who are meant to go to their farms to ensure that farm products are accessible to the community are spending their days or time in the hospital, so who will man their farms for them to ensure the requisite farm products are on the market?

When there are no farm products on the market to be used by the community hunger strikes because the people go hungry. Even the little goods that may be accessible to the community may not be enough and as a result, malnutrition sets in. This is in indeed pathetic because members of the community in addition to not having access to safe, clean and hygienic water struggle for food due to the ailment of farmers.

This is why HuCASDEVI is raising funds online and through benevolent organisations and individuals to get borehole water for the community to bring smiles on the faces of the members of the community. This will also energise the community making it possible for them to concentrate their energy on other economic activities that will help in the development of the community or village.

Join the campaign in raising £2000 towards the borehole water project at www.gofundme.com/5kuwjc or on PayPal at http://hucasdevi.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_31.html or contact HuCASDEVI via phone and email to assist the project

Thank you

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