Agriculture/WASH project in Ghana’s Presbyterian Agriculture Station, Upper East Region
CREDIT: Nana Kofi Acquah
AREA OF WORK: Agriculture, WASH
CAPTION: Agriculture/WASH project in Ghana’s Presbyterian Agriculture Station, Upper East Region
Felicia and her husband Joshua Ayawin take care of the solar powered borehole in Kpatua, which is an Oxfam initiative. The borehole irrigates farmlands in the surrounding area, making it possible for farmers in Kpatua to farm all year round. Felicia has 2 children.
“First of all, the source of water was very far, and carrying the water from that place to the house was very tiring. Sometimes, I get so tired, I couldn’t do many times. Secondly, when you go there, because it was the only facility, you have to wait for a long time to get your turn. Now, even though, many people come to this one. I just check out when there’s not many people and fetch water. It’s very very convenient for me.”
“Several times my cattle has been stolen, at a point, about ten when I was pregnant because I used to go further afield to get water. Since this was created [solar water pump] I’ve kept them within range and I’m very happy.”
“Before the installation of this pump, especially in the months of May and June, there was real scarcity of water. You’d go to the borehole which is far away and sometimes you have to look for other sources, like hand dug wells, which are not very good. At that time, you’d have a lot of stomach upset. Sometimes you’d urinate, highly concentrated urine. Since then, all these things have disappeared and I don’t see them anymore.”
“I agree with my husband and personally it’s the water that has made a big impact in my life. I used to worry so much about the water because before that, you have to wake very early and then sometimes get water from the well, rubbish could be dumped in the well. I had to fetch water like that and make do with it. sometimes when you go to the farm, because you have to travel far to fetch water, you have to stop early. Stop working on the farm and come and go for water. It was a real source of concern and we used to worry about it but now, all that is over.”
“The water is such a big thing in my life. It’s so big, so big and I tell you. I used not to go to town. My guinea fowls used to lay eggs in May but not they do in March because they have enough water. It has changed my economy. It’s the best thing that has happened in my life.”
“Now my guinea fowls are many, I”m bringing up the young ones and they will grow up and from next year I will not have problems with the children going to school because everyday they take four cedis to school to spend. I’ll be able to take care of that thanks to my guinea fowls eggs. I have up to twenty guinea fowls and a lot of things have changed for me, so it’s a lot healthier and I have more eggs.”
“I also bought some of the eggs for my children, once a week I boil for them and they eat and they are healthier and happier.”
“Oxfam’s work has a great impact not only here but in the entire community. Because apart from the water, there’s the training in compost making that if you look at my farm, it’s because there’s so much organic manure on it. It has also influenced the yield, women have been trained in various livelihoods – they can use it and improve themselves. So Oxfam’s work has a great impact, especially in this community. We are grateful for all that.”
The system is implemented by Garu (PAS-G) who is Oxfam’s partner in the Upper East Region of Ghana under the CRAFS (Climate Resilience Agriculture and Food Systems). This stunning solar-powered water pump project is a pilot but it’s already changing the lives of 300 families. The aim is to prove the concept of solar powered water pumps and then use this model to lobby the government to adopt it across the country in the poorest communities wherever reliable sources of clean, safe water are in short supply.
Oxfam’s work in Ghana is truly remarkable: an inspirational combination of ingenious poverty-beating projects and ideas, together with powerful, highly-influential training and lobbying work at every level of government. Our work here exemplifies Oxfam’s work to end poverty, showcasing how our unique holistic approach isn’t wishful thinking – it’s real, tangible and absolutely vital. A set of low-tech and ingenious ideas, tools and materials that link together and support each other, helping farming families to take on the biggest challenges they face – a virtuous circle that’s fighting poverty on multiple levels.