Over the course of two months, Humanity First provided water to over 25,000 rural Ghanaians by refurbishing more than 50 boreholes in northern Ghana.
The northern part of Ghana is a rural area where water scarcity is severe. Besides boreholes, the only sources of water that communities usually have access to are small ponds, hand-dug wells, streams or rivers. The climate is hot and dry. In many communities, people have no choice but to walk several miles oneway in order to obtain water for their daily needs such as drinking, cooking, bathing and washing their clothes. In total, there are nearly 5 million people who lack access to improved water sources in Ghana according to the World Bank. Communities in which Humanity First operated had populations ranging from 250 people to more than 2,000.
The purpose of the mission was to bring water to needy communities in order to empower them to improve their lives.
As such, we worked with communities well before refurbishing their boreholes to understand whether and how a potential refurbished well would impact various aspects of their lives. For example, some communities planned to plant vegetable gardens after their borehole would be refurbished. This would enable them to improve their food intake and their economic situation. Others were hopeful that local school attendance rates would substantially increase because school attendance rates had greatly decreased when their borehole had initially broken down. In short, Humanity First aimed to bring water to communities where other aspects of human life, such as health, education, and overall socioeconomic status could be greatly improved. We sought to do this because, as we were often told, "water is life."
The benefits to the communities we operated in were widespread and immense, affecting overall health, mental strain, school attendance, ability of children to study, community safety, retention of animals, vegetable gardening and overall income production.
"The borehole will help our schoolchildren a lot. Usually they go to fetch water during break time, but they end up coming back to school late because going to fetch water takes longer than the total break time. Last year, in fact, a student drowned in a nearby river when he went to fetch water. Since then, our community has become very serious about our water situation."
– Steven Abisa, Primary School Teacher
"You have alleviated so much pressure on us. Each day there would be so much mental strain on us because we wouldn't know how long it would take to get water. It could take 30 minutes; it could take 2 hours. I could never plan my day because I would never know whether the borehole would be functioning or not." The borehole of this community had a broken head. Each day, they would need to repair the head - sometimes several times - by going to the forest to get a small piece of wood to insert into the head of borehole, making it temporarily functional. Any given person who would come to fetch water at the borehole would have no idea whether water was available until he/she reached the borehole. "Also, we can now grow Cassava here. Three years ago when the borehole had no problems, many families grew Cassava around the borehole. We can do that again and earn money from it."
– Judith from New Nakong
Water For Life Impact
Complete Report : Water for Life Ghana 2012 Report (PDF)
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Humanity First is registered in 43 countries across 6 continents, and has been working on human development projects and responding to disasters since 1994. These have included the earthquakes in Turkey, Pakistan, Japan and Iran, floods in Africa and Latin America, hurricanes (Katrina and Rita) , tornado's (Kansas) and wild fires (California) in the USA, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and conflicts in Eastern Europe.
Since its inception and IRS registration in 2004, Humanity First has been focused on spending most of the raised funds on direct program related expenses. As a result, more than 90% of its funds are in that expense category. This is achieved through dedicated volunteers in its management, and program operation teams.