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Amarraba to Heidi!

This December, Heidi Ayran joined the Saha team as our new Operations Coordinator. Heidi will be will be working with the team to continue insuring all Saha community businesses are running effectively and supporting development and expansion as Saha pushes to reach more communities. Say hello to Heidi:

Me after helping build Jangbarayili’s solar center!

Hi, I’m Heidi and like all others on the Saha Team I have a passion for clean water for all! I got to celebrate graduating with a degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) by participating in Saha’s Summer 2015 Global Leadership Program. It was an amazing experience to be able to implement a solar business in Jangbaryili with Team Jaleel, which has stuck with me to this day!

Working with Saha showed me how effective simple solutions could be and how important is was to invest time into getting to know the people. A quality that really stood out to me was that Saha’s ultimate goal is to have these villages self-sustaining. Give a village a clean water solution, sustain them for some time. Give a village the understanding of the importance of clean water and how to get it, sustain them for a lifetime!

Team Jaleel at a chief meeting.

After the program, I worked as a Project Engineer for a General Contractor in SF and built high rise residential buildings. However, I soon realized that my passions were not being fueled my current position, so I decided to change that. I saw that Saha was hiring a new Operations Coordinator and I seized the opportunity. I was drawn (twice!) to Saha not only because of their passion for clean water, but their passion for people. Saha is overflowing with it! I look forward to see how I can contribute and collaborate to such a great cause and where the new year will take the Saha Team!

 

 

Amarraba to Simply and Nestor!

As our Field Rep Alumni already know, Nestor and Simply are quite the brother-sister duo and Saha is so excited to have them both join the full time team! Simply started monitoring with us this summer, and both officially joined the monitoring staff in September. They’re working hard alongside the rest of our team to get centers back up and running after the rainy season, and they’ve brought plenty of energy and fun to the office too! Everyone at Saha is thrilled to have the Tamale team growing, which will help us better monitor our current businesses and implement more in the Northern Region. More updates on the post-rainy season projects to come but until then let’s offer a warm welcome to Nestor and Simply!

Nestor grew up in Bulpela neighborhood of Tamale. He found out about Saha through Peter, and joined our team as a translator for the Global Leadership Program in January 2012. His first Saha business was a water center in Manguli 1. Nestor joined the team full time in September 2017 as a monitor, alongside his sister Simply. In his free time, Nestor loves listening to music and dancing, and his favorite food is T.Z. and ayoyo. When the Saha Field Reps are in town, he enjoys having fun with them and the kids out in our partner communities.

 

 

Simply first joined Saha’s team as a translator in January 2014, after learning of our work through Eric. She implemented a water center in Manguli 2. She became a full time monitor in September 2017, and says her favorite time at Saha is when new Field Reps arrive for the Global Leadership Program. Simply grew up in Bulpela neighborhood of Tamale with her brother, Nestor. Before Saha, Simply obtained her certificate in hair dressing and cosmetics. She enjoys eating banku with hot pepper sauce and fish, and she likes listening to music in her free time.

Fall 2017 Saha Updates

A lot has been happening with Saha Global. We started off the year by opening our 100th water business in Ghana with the help of the 2017 Winter Field Reps. Since then, we’ve opened 10 other businesses, and are now serving clean drinking water to a total of 51,798 people in rural Ghana. Read on for more exciting updates from our team!

A Renewed Focus on Water: It’s Time to Grow!
Preparing to open our 100th water business was very exciting and also provided some time for reflection. While we are so proud to be providing clean drinking water for over 50,000 people in Ghana, there are approximately 800,000 people in the Northern Region of Ghana alone who are still drinking unsafe water. We know that the Saha water businesses are the best solution for rural villages in this area and we have the track record to prove it: once a Saha business is open, it stays open and provides clean water that stays clean, even when its stored in peoples’ homes. So now we want to grow, quickly.

This renewed focus on expanding our impact in water means that Saha will not be opening any new solar businesses for the foreseeable future. This change is bittersweet. On the one hand, we know that access to electricity is something that people in our partner communities value and our solar businesses see a lot of success in the early years. On the other hand, we have been having issues with maintenance in a lot of our communities once they reach the 2 year mark. The good news is, there are a lot of really amazing organizations doing innovative work in off-grid solar solutions. For now, we will continue to provide monitoring support to our 26 solar businesses and our hope is that another organization, which focuses only on solar, will want to partner with our Saha villages soon!

Simply and Nestor Join Our Team
This summer, two of our best translators, Simply (3rd from left) and Nestor (1st on the left), joined Saha’s monitoring team! They both provided part-time help this rainy season and have officially joined our full-time monitoring team this month to offer support as we transition into the dry season and start to ramp up new village implementations.New Board Members
With expansion in mind, Saha welcomed four new members to our Board of Directors this year to help Saha reach our goals for scale: Bill Ambrose, Mark Ferrari, Greg Garvin and Bennett Grassano. Each one of our new directors brings unique skills and experiences that have already proven to be tremendously helpful to the Saha team. Read more about their backgrounds here!

 

New Funding Partners
Over the past year, we have been very grateful to receive support from a number of new funding partners who believe that Saha can achieve impact at scale and are excited to support our growth. Kevin Starr, from the Mulago Foundation, even wrote this great article featuring Saha after a visit to Ghana last February!

We are looking for a dynamic leader with operational experience to lead our team in Ghana as we prepare for rapid growth. Please share this job description with anyone that may be a good fit. We are looking for someone who is excited about living and working in Tamale for a minimum of 3 years.

Nicaragua? 
As some of you know already, our goal to reach everyone in Northern Ghana that needs clean water also means that we will not be expanding our work to Nicaragua just yet. At first, we delayed this expansion due to the outbreak of the Zika virus, but it later became clear that Saha can have the biggest impact for every dollar that we raise, if we focus 100% of our work in Ghana until every village that needs a Saha water business has one.

 

#sahdrydated New Village Updates!!

Hello Hello Saha Supporters!

Morganne here, reporting from a very rainy Tamale! The rains waited until the Summer Global Leadership Program finished to really get started, but now rainy season is in full swing! With the help of our #sahydrated Field Reps, we opened 10 new water businesses in June! Our monitoring team has been working hard to get to all 110 villages, even through some very wet and muddy terrain!

Kids in Darvoguyili all smiles about their clean water

The rainy season is generally a time for slower sales at Saha water centers, because many people opt to collect rainwater off of their tin roofs. Saha understands the lure for free clean water, we just make sure to test those rainwater samples to make sure they are safe to drink! The rains can also make actually getting to water centers, and even villages, challenging when the roads flood. Our monitoring staff do their best but also make smart decisions so they don’t get stuck in the mud!

Vene having a busy sales day!

Here are the latest reports from the newest Saha communities:

Villages Full-time Monitor How’s it going? Center Status Household Visits Lab Samples
Darvoguyili Eric, he visited on August 2nd Abida said they treated water five days ago and a few people are still coming to buy water even with so much rainfall they’ve had recently. The Polytank was more than ½ full and 3 drums were empty. 5 out of 6 households had water in their safe storage containers. 3 of them had Polytank water, the other 2 had rainwater. The Polytank and two household samples came back clear and clean!
Gbunja Eric, he visited July 31st All of the women had left to farm when he arrived, so Eric spoke to the Chairman. He said the cener is open at anytime for anyone who needs to buy water, and the women have been treating water consistently. The Polytank was ¼ full and 3 drums were empty. 4 households had Polytank water in their safe storage container, 1 had rainwater, and 1 was empty. The Polytank and household sample of Polytank water came back clean!
Kpachaa Shak, he visited August 3rd He wasn’t able to meet any of the women, but spoke to Sana’s daughter who said sales have been okay with all of the rain. The Polytank was more than ½ full and drums were all full and settled with alum. Shak decided to do extra household visits because the entrepreneurs were out at farm. Out of the 10 households he visited, 8 had rainwater and 2 were empty. The Polytank sample was clean!
Lambo Wahab, he visited on August 4th Fusheina explained that sales are low because the rainfall flooded the path to the center and people have been collecting rainwater. As soon as the path starts to dry a bit they will move the center to town so people can buy water! Wahab couldn’t get to the center on his moto, but Fusheina said the Polytank is ½ full and drums are all full and settled with alum. They are ready to treat! He did not do household visits today as many people had already left for the farm. No lab samples were taken today. The last Polytank sample came back clean!
Larigbani Eric, he visited on August 3rd Adamu said sales were going well, and Eric saw 14 people come fill their containers while he was there! The Polytank was ½ full and 3 drums were full and settled with alum. Of the 6 Eric visited, 3 households had Polytank water in their safe storage containers, and 3 were empty. The Polytank and household samples came back clean!
Nakpanzoo Shak, he visited on August 2nd Sana said that sales are still low because the rain has been falling a lot recently, but people still come to buy water when they run out. The Polytank was more than ½ full and 3 drums were full and settled with alum. All 6 households had water in their safe storage containers. 1 had Polytank water, the other 5 had rainwater. The Polytank sample came back clean!
Sahani Peter, he visited on August 3rd When Peter was there, Aishetu talked about lower sales because the rain had been very heavy the past few days. The Polytank was ½ full and the drums were all empty. Peter visited 6 households, and 4 of them had water in their safe storage containers. 1 had Polytank water and 3 had rainwater. The Polytank and household samples came back clean!
Suri Wahab, but Peter went to check on his team’s community on August 4th Aishetu said sales are low when the rain is very heavy but people still come to buy water once the rain stops for a few days. The Polytank was more than ½ full and drums were all empty. 2 out of the 6 households had Polytank water in their safe storage containers. 3 had rainwater and 1 was empty. The Polytank and household samples all came back clean!
Tingpanglanyili Amin, he visited on July 31st Amina said that although sales have decreased because of the rain some people still come to fill at the polytank Polytank is ½ full and 3 drums are full and settled with alum 3 households had Polytank water in their safe storage containers, 2 had rainwater, and 1 was empty. Most household samples came back clean. Amin spoke to Hadunayili, whose sample came back with E.coli, about how to safely collect rainwater.
Vene Amin, he visited on July 31st Sales have been slow due to the recent rainfall, but Azaratu said she makes sure to keep water in the Polytank so people can always buy if they need it! Polytank is more than ½ full and 3 drums were full and settled with alum. 6 out of 6 households had water in their safe storage containers. 1 had Polytank water, the other 5 had rainwater. The Polytank sample came out clean.! A few of the rainwater households had E.coli so Amin went back to tell them to dump that dirty water and clean their bucket!

 

The monitoring team is watching these communities closely and will be sure to help them with the seasonal transition after the rainy season. Special shoutout to our Summer Field Reps for getting these businesses up and running!!

Wahab takes a break from monitoring to have a quick photo-op with Hawabu in Suri

APPLY TO BE A SAHA FIELD REPRESENTATIVE

Applications for the Winter 2018 Global Leadership Program close October 25th, 2017. Click here to stay updated.

The Global Leadership Program is a three-week water-education and leadership-training program, which takes place in Northern Region Ghana. The purpose of the program is to teach individuals about the global water crisis, and inspire them to become leaders in the field of international development and water management. Field Representatives are grouped in teams of four and paired with a rural community in Northern Region Ghana. Teams are trained in water quality testing and Saha Global’s water treatment methods, as well as community mobilization best practice. They then spend two weeks implementing and monitoring a Saha water business in a new partner community.  This business provides a source of clean drinking water to the entire community for the first time.

Saha is looking for a multidisciplinary group of passionate and talented young leaders who:

  • Feel passionately about the global water crisis and social justice, global public health, and women’s empowerment more broadly.
  • Push themselves outside their comfort zones.
  • Approach unanticipated challenges with flexibility, humility, and positivity.
  • Think critically and listen openly to others, embracing a range of perspectives and experiences while remaining open to having their own perspectives shift.
  • Show a commitment to inclusivity and collaboration across cultures and language barriers.

If this sounds like you, Saha invites you to fill out an application or join in a free, online info session to learn more!

 

Meet Our Entrepreneurs: Azaratu from Vene

Azaratu from Vene

Amin sat down with Azaratu, one of our newest entrepreneurs, to get her thoughts on the first month running a water business with Mata!

Azaratu grew up in Chihigu, another Saha community! She moved to Vene when she married her husband, who is from Vene. Together they have 6 kids.

Before the Saha water business opened, Azaratu used to harvest shea nuts to make shea butter, and she harvested wood to make charcoal. She also farms and during the dry season goes fishing!

Ti’pagya, Azaratu!

Vene’s water business opened last month (shoutout to #sahydrated), and Azaratu says the change in taste of her drinking water (from dugout water to clean water) has been great!

When Amin asked her what her favorite part about the Saha business was she said, “I was happy to see the field reps and talk to them about opening the clean drinking water center for our village. And I’m also happy the field reps told us after they leave people from Saha will still come, and you really show up!”

We’re so excited to keep showing up for you, Azaratu! Keep up the amazing work!

#sahydrated – Reflections on Saha’s Summer ’17 Program

It’s been just over a week since we said goodbye to the 2017 Summer Field Reps. Thanks to this group of talented, passionate and driven women and men, Saha was able to partner with with 10 communities in Northern Ghana to open 10 new water treatment businesses. Because of them, over 3,600 people now have the ability to drink clean water, daily. 28 women entrepreneurs are able to provide potable water to their friends, family and neighbors through  community-supported small businesses. And Saha is able to welcome 37 new faces to our global Saha family!

Alex, Alex, Alyssa, Amanda, Ashley, Brian, Caitlin, Cameron, Delaney, Dylan, Elias, Emma, Gaby, Harley, Henry, Ian, Jessica, Kate, Laura, Lexie, Lizzy, Lupita, Maya, Meagan, Nick, Rae, Raleigh, Sam, Solum, Sophia, Stew, Sydney, Taylor, Tshion, Zach, Zach, and Zijun:

It seems crazy to think that after three weeks of laughs, mosquito bites, blood/sweat/tears, games, guinea fowls, savannah sunsets, questioning and discoveries, we said goodbye for the last time as a group last week. We are so grateful for the excitement, enthusiasm, hard-work and positivity that you brought to team Saha. Because of you, thousands of people are living their lives with more opportunities for health and happiness. Due to your efforts and problem-solving, Saha was able to open

the MOST WATER BUSINESSES in our history!
It was such a pleasure to work with all of y’all, and we consider ourselves lucky to count you as part of Sahayili! As you head off to your next adventures, please don’t forget
Vene, Sahani, Gbunja, Darvoguyili, Kpachaa, Suri, Lambo, Larigbani, Tinkpanglanyili and Nakpanzoo 
and all of us here at Saha, and let us know what we can do to further your missions. 

With gratitude,

Amin, Eda, Eric, Kate, Kathryn, Morganne, Peter, Shak & Wahab

And now … for the jumping pics!

Team Cameron, Sita, Maya and Nick in Vene

Team Jessica, Gaby, Brian, Amin and Henry (not pictured) in Lambo

Team Kate, Blessing, Sophia, Tshion and Harley (not pictured) in Darvoguyili

Team Laura, Sam, Ian, Alyssa and Jaleel (not pictured) in Kpachaa

Team Nestor, Dylan, Rae and Lexie in Gbunja

Team Alex, Delaney, Lupita and Shak in Tingpangyili

Team Taylor, Ashley, Taufik, Lizzie and Stew in Nakpanzoo

Team Sydney, Elias, Raleigh, Wahab and Meaghan in Sahani

Team Simply, Zach, Caitlin, Solum and Emma in Larigbani

Team Zach, Zijun, Alex, Amanda and Peter in Suri

Field Rep Voices: Blessing, Harley, Kate, Sofia and Tshion

Hi from Team Blessing!

We have been implementing a clean water business in the village of Darvoguyili and have found it to be a lively community with a lot of spirit! After lots of building, preparation, and training, we had our opening day this past Friday. When we arrived to oversee the process we were at first met with total chaos. People were congregated all around the center with their safe storage containers ready to go and women were in the process of roasting shea nuts. A mix of smoke and excitement wafted through the air.

Our two women, Masana and Abida (left to right)

Our friend Jonathan Jakpa, the local schoolteacher, was able to help us organize everyone into a line. From here, our women entrepreneurs took charge. In about an hour, they sold clean water to 38 out of 40 households—a spectacular turn out! The only two households missing had promised to buy clean water later. There were a few minor complications. Leaky taps were tightened and safe storage containers were scrubbed clean. The community seemed ecstatic to take home their newly treated water. The Chief’s mother even stopped to dance for us. It was an amazing feeling for us to see each container be filled to the brim with purified water.

Tshion washing safe storage containers during opening day

 

Abida filling a bucket with treated water

 

The chief’s mother is about 80 years old and still carries her own bucket! She also danced with the bucket on her head and we were thoroughly impressed

Today we conversed with community members as we went ahead and monitored nine households (followed by a parade of rambunctious children). We were pleased to see that all of the safe storage containers had been stored properly. We were also happy to hear complimentary comments about the water. Some community members appeared to be understandably hesitant to drink the water. We encouraged everyone to try the water out and emphasized that we were eager to hear feedback. We were able to fix another safe storage container tap today and were given guinea fowl eggs in exchange for our services. We met with one of the women entrepreneurs and gave her a printed picture of herself in front of the center. Our last stop consisted of a meeting with the Chief. He was excited to meet with us and informed us that he had been drinking the water. Tomorrow is our last day in the village and we will miss the energy and enthusiasm the community put into this project!

Yay for clean water!

Field Rep Voices: Team Alex, Delaney, Lupita, and Shak

Opening day has come and gone, and we are now proud to say that the people of Tinkpaglanyili now have ready access to clean water. In order to ensure full enjoyment of this blog post, water puns will be made throughout – so sit back, relax, and enjoy wet we’re doing. 

Women lining up to buy clean water for the first time!

We spent all day on Tuesday prepping for our big day. This preparation included  getting water from the town’s water source, a well, and transferring it to our water system for treatment, as well as, giving safe storage containers to every single household in the community(which mainly consisted of giving informational talks and directing all of the children who had taken the containers over as their own to the households for distribution). We had a total of 29 households to distribute to, making for a long process. Long story short – we were able to distribute all of the containers before opening day, and did so with no aqua-ward moments in the process. 

Kids go crazy for water bottles!

When we arrived in the village on Wednesday morning, we were greeted by smiling faces eager to get clean water. Taking care to make sure the polytank was full and treated,  the entrepreneurs of our community were ready for their first day on the job of water sales. Like a well prepared soccer team, the women of the community were ready to assist the entrepreneurs in their task. This started with a giant bucket washing party with the clean water from the polytank – to avoid contamination. After this frenzy of cleaning and excitement, the filling process began. This started with much enthusiasm and soon led to confusion with water going from bucket to bucket and taps leaking left and right, our team could only ask at some points “Water you doing????” Working through the language barrier, and with the entrepreneurs, we were able to sort out the confusion, and successfully got clean water into every household in the community. ~Well, well, well,~ all we can say is that great leaps and bounds were made in the community. 

Clean water deserves a thumbs up!

Field Rep Voices: Team Dylan, Lexie, Nestor, and Rae

Hey everyone! Team Nestor here, ready to breakdown a day of monitoring in our community. The monitoring process provides our team yet other chance to interact with the community on a household to household basis. Excitement was running rampant as we bounced from compound to compound across Gbunja. Everyone was so elated that they finally had clean water to provide to their family. One woman in particular went out and bought each member of her family a special cup to use in combination with their household’s safe storage container. The monitoring process not only allowed us to make deeper personal connections with the members of the community but it also allowed us to quickly troubleshoot any leaky taps or buckets.

Suaba, the chiefs first wife, proudly carrying her SSC!
Practicing the ABCs with Dylan

After a finishing our monitoring rounds in the community, our team had time to sit and bond with the young children of Gbunja. We played soccer with the young boys, practiced English with the ever so curious young girls and set up a trajectory towards success for the women running the community water center.

Rae and Nestor have some helping hands during distribution!
Aminah helping with some cleaning