Project ACWA

The Problem

Agyemanti is one of several rural regions in Ghana without access to an improved water supply. Only 44% of the rural population and 61% of the urban population has access to safe drinking. Sanitation is an even greater public health problem; barely 11% of the rural population and 40% of the urban population has access to hygienic means of preventing human contact with hazardous wastes. In this region of the country, people suffer from trachoma, a preventable disease which causes blindness, as well as guinea worm, skin diseases, and diarrhea, all of which are a result of contact with unsafe water and poor sanitary conditions. We have been able to plan a method to create a sustainable water supply in Agyemanti through our collaborations with WaterAID Ghana and the Ghanaian Ministry of Water Resources, as well as with Harvard Professors Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Director of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute; Dr. Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Chair and Professor of African and African American Studies; Dr. Molly Kile, Department of Environmental Health Research Fellow; and Dr. Emmanuel Akyeampong, Professor of History and of African and African American Studies.

Plan of Action

Project Access to Clean Water for Agyemanti (ACWA) was founded by Harvard University undergraduates Sangu Delle and Darryl Finkton in an effort to increase the involvement of students in the global community, especially the African continent. Project ACWA focuses on providing clean water, one of the eight Millenium Development Goals of the World Health Organization, bringing much needed attention to those lacking life’s most basic necessities. Rather than observing poverty’s devastating effects in Agyemanti and other regions, initiatives such as Project ACWA encourage action by exemplifying the differences students can make not only in their own communities, but in the world. We have been able to plan a method to create a sustainable water supply in Agyemanti through our collaborations with WaterAID Ghana and the Ghanaian Ministry of Water Resources, as well as with Harvard Professors Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Director of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute; Dr. Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Chair and Professor of African and African American Studies; Dr. Molly Kile, Department of Environmental Health Research Fellow; and Dr. Emmanuel Akyeampong, Professor of History and of African and African American Studies. With the assistance of local engineers and the members of the Agyemanti village, we will install a borehole fitted with a handpump to tap into safe, underground water. We will also install 20 household latrines to improve the sanitation situation in the community and to target hygiene at the personal and community level. Combined with health seminars on hygiene for both adults and children, the installation of these pumps and latrines will not only secure a safe water supply but also ensure the sustainability of the improved sanitation of the village. With the endorsement of Nana Osei Boakye Yiadom II, chief of the Aburi region where Agyemanti lies, we plan to ensure the sustainability of Project ACWA. Agyemanti is a community of approximately 500 inhabitants, located 24 km north of Accra in the Aburi region of Ghana. The community does not have access to safe, clean drinking water. This project will also benefit the surrounding communities of Ayim, Adenkrebi, Amoakrom and others. All told, at least 2000 people will benefit from the construction of the borehole.

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