Like many villages in northern Ghana, Sang residents walk to gather their water as they need it during the day. CFTC Regional Program Manager, Amboka Wameyo, visited Sang last month and walked the well-worn path to the local water source.
“It’s about a 10 to 15-minute walk from the village. It is essentially a large pond, but deep enough that it doesn’t dry up during the dry season. I thought it was interesting that when I visited this water source, I noticed the girls collecting water were carrying the water back to the village by foot, but the young boys had bicycles they used to help them carry it,” Amboka said.
Amboka visited the water source after school had ended for the day, which was early in the afternoon. The children gather water before and after school as part of their daily chores. When the children are in school, this task falls to the women of the village. This water source is used by Sang community members for drinking, bathing and washing. The animals in the area also wade in it, and use it for drinking. The fact that this one source of water is used for many different things means that it is highly susceptible to contamination.
There was a borehole well drilled in the area years ago, but use of this water source has lowered the water tables. If a local community member wishes to gather water from the well, they must pay a fee. While this water is considered safer to use than the pond water, the level of poverty among the Sang community members prohibits them from being able to afford to use this safe source of water often.
Jerry cans are the usual mode of transportation when children collect water, and the size of the can is dependent on the size and age of the child. As World Water Day approaches on March 22nd, it is a good time to reflect that access to clean water in Sang represents the reality of life for people in many rural villages across the developing world.