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Published on: 08/03/2024

On February 28, 2024, more than 120 participants gathered with Project Maji, IRC Ghana, and the Asunafo South District Assembly in Pafo Nkwanta to officially commission solar-powered water stations for seven communities. An estimated population of fifteen thousand is expected to be served by the water stations, which have multiple connections to schools and healthcare facilities.


Commissioning of solar-powered water stations
Commissioning of solar-powered water stations

As the Amanmere Agroma cultural group performed traditional music and dance, dignitaries from the Ahafo Regional Coordinating Council, Asunafo South District Assembly, traditional authorities, assembly members, and partners were led to the Pafo Nkwanta park for the occasion.

In his welcome address, the Asunafo South District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr. Frank Aduse Poku, recalled the district's long-standing water problems in hard-to-reach communities, which compelled the Assembly to prioritize WASH through the district masterplan. One of the actions taken to address the community water concerns is the collaboration to deliver seven water stations in Kamirekrom, Pafo Nkwanta, Sikafremogya, Anum, Manhyia No. 4, Adwunam, and Nseinua communities.

frank_aduse Poku_dce_trying_out_the_payment_system.jpg

Frank Aduse Poku, DCE trying out the payment system
Frank Aduse Poku, DCE trying out the payment system

To raise enough money to fix the water stations when they break, he urged the beneficiary communities to embrace the digital payment system, stating that doing so will ensure sustainability of the facilities. Opinion leaders and other interested parties were urged by the DCE to support the masterplan implementation and monitor the activities of the various projects in the district.

IRC Ghana Water Expert, Jeremiah Atengdem, commended the district assembly for spearheading the design and implementation of a 7-year water, sanitation, and hygiene initiative known as 'Asunafo South Nsupa Ne Ahotee Nkosuo' (ASNAN). This initiative aims to ensure that every individual in the district, including households, health facilities, and educational institutions, has access to safe and sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services by the year 2030.


Project team of Asunafo South, IRC, Project Maji at the event
Project team of Asunafo South, IRC, Project Maji at the event

"As part of the implementation process, the Assembly collaborated with Project Maji and IRC Ghana to successfully retrofit seven existing point sources into small-town mechanized water systems. We are delighted to participate in today's event and remain committed to fostering partnerships that support the ASNAN initiative," he stated.

Project Maji Technical Director for Africa, Amol Parker stated that in line with the model of promoting self-reliance and transparency, each water station comes with an in-built automated payment system that securely collects water revenue for future maintenance and repairs. He explained that communities will make the water payments through pre-paid RFID tokens by topping up their accounts from a vendor or caretaker.

"With a simple touch, water can be dispensed 24 hours of the day, eliminating long queuing times, and effectively accelerating access to water. So, the twenty pesewas per bucket cost of buying water from the station makes up the revenue stream for the upkeep and routine maintenance of the water stations, including payment of the stations' caretakers to keep each community self-reliant and truly water secure," he noted.


Traditional leaders from the seven communities at the event
Traditional leaders from the seven communities at the event

The traditional leaders from the seven beneficiary communities took turns to express their deep gratitude to the partners for the water stations, which they considered as a significant step towards alleviating water scarcity and bringing relief to their communities. They acknowledged the magnificent water stations in their respective communities and called on government and partners to extend the provision of water services to other hard-to-reach communities in the district to leave no one behind.

On behalf of the Regional Minister, Yaw Boakye, Jacob Ntiamoah Adade, the Ahafo Regional Economic Planning Officer, said that under the Ahafo Regional programme about 600,000 families in the region would have access to WASH services by 2030.

The regional planning officer praised the teamwork that resulted in the implementation of the ASNAN masterplan, which is leading to increased access to water services in communities. He urged the district leadership to keep forming beneficial alliances to fully implement the master plan. He also assured them of the coordinating council's continuous support for the implementation of the district's WASH plans and the Ahafo Regional WASH Program.

The purpose of this occasion was to declare that the water stations in these areas have been completed and are operational. Under the sustainable water partnership, Project Maji, IRC, and the district are working together to provide long-term, non-traditional, creative solutions that last by utilizing the skills of each partner to unlock sustainable access to safe drinking water for water-poor communities in the district.

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