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May Monitoring Report

May Monitoring Screenshot

Villages visited:

 Week 1:

 Gbung, Chongashe, Libi, Jarayili, Kushini, Kpalbusi, Gidanturu, Chanaayili, Original Kabache, Indigenous Kabache, Kideng, Tunga, Laligu, Kpalyn, Yepalsi, Jangbarigiyili, , Zanzugu, Zanzugu Yepala, Changyili, Balomposo, Tijo, Tindan I, Kpalguni I, Chandanyili, Jagberin, Sagbaragu, Gundaa, Namdu I, Namdu II, Warvi, Kpaliga, Chihigu, Galinkpegu, Naha, Cheshagu, Futa, Kpalguni II, Wovugumani, Wovugu, Manguli II, Janakpen, Gbruma, Takpili, Chani, Cheko, Kpanshegu, Komlanyili, Yepala, Bamvim, Kpenchila, Komonaayili, Kulaa, Moya, Kudula, Voghyili, Djelo, Manguli I, Kuldanali, Bogu, Tindan II, Nekpegu, Kalinka, Tohinayili, Gurumanchayili, Gbandu.

 

Week 2:

 Sabonjida, Tunga, Kideng, Chanaayili, Gidanturu, Kpalbusi, Jarayili, Gbung, Libi, Chongashe, Kushini, Kpalyn, Yepalsi, Laligu, Zanzugu, Zanzugu Yepala, Yakuru, Jabayili, Wambong, Garizegu, Changyili, Jangbarigiyili, Balomposo, Warvi, Chihigu, Cheshagu, Galinkpegu, Naha, Tindan I, Tijo, Sagbarigu, Jagberin, Chandanyili, Kpalguni, Namdu I, Namdu II, Gundaa, Tapkli, Chani, Cheko, Nyamalga, Jarigu, Komlanyili, Yepala, Kpanshegu, Bamvim, Kpenchila, Sakpalua, Kudula, Vogyili, Dundo, Gurumanchayili, Djelo, Buhijaa, Manguli I, Moya, Kulaa, Tohinaayili, Nekpegu, Kalinka.

 

Week 3:

 Gidanturu, Kushini, Libi, Jarayili, Chanaayili, Chongashe, Tunga, Kideng, Original Kabache, Indigenous Kabache, Balomposo, Galizengu, Yakuru, Kpalyn, Laligu, Wambong, Kuruguvuhuyayili, Kagbal, Changyili, Jangbarigiyili, Namdu I, Namdu II, Gundaa, Warvi, Chihigu, Naha, Kpachiyili, Kpaliga, Sagbarigu, Kpalguni I, Chandanyili, Jagberin, Tijo, Tindan I, Jarigu, Nyamalga, Cheko, Chani, Tapkli, Komlanyili, Yepala, Futa, Kpalguni II, Kpenchila, Bamvim, Kpanshegu, Manguli I, Buhijaa, Djelo, Vogyili, Kudula, Kulaa, Moya, Kpanayili, Gbandu, Garizegu, Gurumanchayili, Bogu, Tindan II, Kuldanali.

Week 4:

 

Gbung, Libi, Jarayili, Kpalbusi, Gidanturu, Chanaayili, Kushini, Chongashe, Kideng, Tunga, Sabonjida, Zanzugu, Zanzugu Yepala, Jangbarigiyili, Jabayili, Yakura, Galizengu, Balomposo, Changyili, Yepala, Kpalung, Laligu, Kagbal, Kpalguni, Chandanyili, Jagberin, Sagbarigu, Tijo, Tindan, Warvi, Chihigu, Cheshagu, Kpachiyili, Namdu, Namdu II, Bamvim, Kpanshegu, Yepala, Jarigu, Komlanyili, Chani, Cheko, Kpalguni II, Futa, Gburma, Janakpen, Jarigu, Wovugumani, Wovugu, Kpanayili, Kalinka, Nekpegu, Tohinaayili, Komonaayili, Kulaa, Kudula, Vogyili, Moya, Tindan II, Bogu, Kuldanali, Buhijaa, Djelo.

Successes

 We are happy to report that, once again, 80% of our households had clean water in their safe storage containers. We are very excited about this number and look forward to seeing it increase further! This month, there were a number of communities with high water sales. These villages include: Nekpegu, Chihigu, Vogyili, Kagbal, Balomposo, Wambong, Galinkpegu, Kideng, Gidanturu, Futa and Komonaayili. We are especially impressed with Chihigu, Galinkpegu, Futa, and Kombonaayili because they were recently implemented this past winter. Two of our solar communitites, Chandanyili and Wambong, had high solar sales this month. Although they don’t currently have bank accounts, Sagbarigu, Chadanyili, Kpalguni, Gundaa, Namdu I and Namdu II plan on opening bank accounts very soon!

Challenges

Although some communities have received rain, the following communities still have very low dugouts: Djelo, Buhijaa Tindan I, and Chandanyili. When the dugouts fill back up, women entrepreneurs are encouraged to inform their community that their centers are regularly running again. This month, Namdu II, Kuldanali, Manguli II, and Djelo had polytank issued that were fixed by our full time staff. Most polytank issues are leaks from the tap, which can be fixed with new parts or just glue and tape! Additionally, Gundaa’s solar center had a leak in the roof that had to be immediately fixed and Jangbarigiyili experienced loose wires after a storm that were fixed with the help of our full time staff. Sagbarigu informed Wahab that they were not given any spare batteries after implementation of their solar business. Businesses are given 10% extra batteries for their solar centers to use as others are charging. Wahab plans to bring these to the women entrepreneurs as soon as possible.

 

 

 

Sanatu makes sales in Kpenchilla. The polytank was leaking but Eric helped fix the problem
Sanatu makes sales in Vogyili.

 

"Sun was scortching, so I brought the polytank under some shade to fix" - Eric in Kpenchila
“Sun was scorching, so I brought the polytank under some shade to fix” – Eric in Kpenchila

 

"Bought some aquatabs" - Eric monitors
“Ramatu bought some aquatabs” – Eric monitors Nekpegu
Scooping water to treat for sales in Kpaligini
Scooping water to treat for sales in Kpaligini

 

"Drinking some clean water and feeling refreshed" - from Eric, monitoring
“Drinking some clean water and feeling refreshed” – from Eric, monitoring

 

The community of Vogyili reinforces their dugout in the hope that it will hold more water this rainy season (background). In the foreground, kids pose with Eric
The community of Vogyili reinforces their dugout in the hope that it will hold more water this rainy season (background). In the foreground, kids pose with Eric
Solar center in Sakpalua
Solar center in Sakpalua , run by Damu (above and below)

 

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"Tindan I water is running very low pray for rain to come" - Wahab in Tindan I
“Tindan I water is running very low pray for rain to come” – Wahab in Tindan I
Arishetu and Dahiyatu, entrepreneurs in Tindan I
Arishetu and Dahiyatu, entrepreneurs in Tindan I

 

Household visit in Tindan I, as Wahab monitors there
Household visit in Tindan I, as Wahab monitors there

 

"This family said they are happy to have a access to clean water at the community" - Wahab monitors in Naha
“This family said they are happy to have a access to clean water at the community” – Wahab monitors in Naha

 

"Household monitoring, though this house was my favorite household on this day. I found out that they have six safe storage containers in the house" - Wahab monitors at Galikpegu
“Household monitoring, though this house was my favorite household on this day. I found out that they have six safe storage containers in the house” – Wahab monitors at Galikpegu

 

A new compound in Galinkepgu. Wahab, who monitors here, gave the family a safe storage container so that they could start purchasing clean water from the treatment center
A new compound in Galinkepgu. Wahab, who monitors here, gave the family a safe storage container so that they could start purchasing clean water from the treatment center.

 

"Household vist" - Wahab monitors
“Household vist” – Wahab monitors
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“I found dugout water in someone’s bucket at Galikpegu” – Saha’s policy is that safe storage containers can only be used for safe drinking water, so if our staff comes across dugout water while monitoring, the family needs to dump it out and wash the container thoroughly if they are interested in continuing to use it for clean water. This is what the long-term challenges of behavior change look like!

 

"Household visit with a full bucket of clean water"
“Household visit with a full bucket of clean water”

 

"This family is being doing good making sure they have enough clean water in the house so that those who come to their house would not drink dugout water by accident" - Wahab montiors Gundaa
“This family is being doing good making sure they have enough clean water in the house so that those who come to their house would not drink dugout water by accident” – Wahab monitors Gundaa

 

 

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Sometimes figuring out the water-proof backing to these lanterns can be tricky!
Sometimes figuring out the water-proof backing to these lanterns can be tricky!

 

Amin arrives for sales at Futa
Amin arrives for sales at Futa

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Household visits in Chanaayili - the business here was implemented in Jan 2011 and is still going strong!
Household visits in Chanaayili – the business here was implemented in Jan 2011 and is still going strong!

 

"Kpalbusi calling" - a photo from Peter's monitoring
“Kpalbusi calling” – a photo from Peter’s monitoring

 

"Today I met up with Nma Nimpaga at Komlanyili at their dugout. She was happy they now have water at their dugout so they don't have to move the center back and forth"
“Today I met up with Nma Nimpaga at Komlanyili at their dugout. She was happy they now have water at their dugout so they don’t have to move the center back and forth”
The team gathers at the Saha office for our weekly Friday meeting!
The team gathers at the Saha office for our weekly Friday meeting!

 

"Fati putting the batteries on charge" - from Wahab's monitoring
“Fati putting the batteries on charge” – from Wahab’s monitoring

 

Chihigu's new dugout after the rains
Chihigu’s new dugout after the rains

 

Fatima, an entrepreneur in Namdu 2, just had a new baby. Her name is Barikisu! Amarraba!
Fatima, an entrepreneur in Namdu 2, just had a new baby. Her name is Barikisu! Amarraba!

 

"This woman is from Chihigu and she is happy having access to clean water at the community" - from Wahab's monitoring in May
“This woman is from Chihigu and she is happy having access to clean water at the community” – from Wahab’s monitoring in May

April Monitoring Report

April Monitoring Summary
April Monitoring Summary

Villages visited in April:

Week 1:

Changyili, Jangbarigiyili, Galizengu, Yakuru, Balomposo, Zanzugu, Zanzugu Yepala, Kuruguvuhuyayili, Kagbal, Chanaayili, Gidanturu, Kpalbusi, Jarayili, Gbung, Libi, Kushini, Chongashe, Kideng, Tunga, Warvi, Galinkpegu, Naha, Cheshagu, Chihigu, Namdu I, Namdu II, Gundaa, Kpachiyili, Sagbarigu, Tijo, Tindan I, Yepala, Komlanyili, Kpanshegu, Bamvim, Kpenchila, Sakpalua, Tapkli, Chani, Jarigu, Cheko, Futa, Kpalguni II, Tohinaayili, Kalinka, Nekpegu, Tindan II, Bogu, Kuldanali, Moya, Kulaa, Kudula, Vogyili, Djelo, Manguli I, Buhijaa.

 

Week 2:
Kushini, Indigenous Kabache, Gbung, Libi, Jarayili, Kpalbusi, Gidanturu, Chanaayili, Tunga, Kideng, Wambong, Yakuru, Jabayili, Kpalyn, Laligu, Yepalsi, Balomposo, Changyili, Jangbarigiyili, Kuruguvuhuyayili, Wambong, Kagbal, Chandanyili, Kpalguni I, Jagberin, Sagbarigu, Naha, Galinkpegu, Chihigu, Warvi, Tijo, Tindan I, Namdu I, Namdu II, Kpaliga, Kpachiyili, Futa, Kpalguni II, Wovugumani, Wovugu, Tapkli, Sakpalua, Nyamalga, Manguli II, Janakpen, Gburma, Bamvim, Cheko, Chani, Kpanshegu, Dundo, Gurumanchayili, Kpanayili, Kalinka, Nekpegu, Tohinaayili, Bogu, Tindan II, Kuldanali, Manguli, Buhijaa, Djelo, Gbandu, Garizegu, Vogyili.

 

Week 3:
Tunga, Kideng, Indigenous Kabache, Kushini, Gbung, Libi, Jarayili, Kpalbusi, Gidanturu, Chanaayili, Zanzugu, Zanzugu Yepala, Changyili, Jangbarigiyili, Galizengu, Yakuru, Jabayili, Laligu, Kpalyn, Yepalsi, Balomposo, Warvi, Chihigu, Galinkpegu, Cheshagu, Gundaa, Namdu I, Namdu II, Jagberin, Kasulyili, Kpalguni, Kpaliga, Chandanyili, Sagbarigu, Yepala, Komlanyili, Kpanshegu, Bamvim, Sakpalua, Nyamaliga, Jarigu, Cheko, Chani, Futa, Kpalguni II, Gburma, Janakpen, Kpanayili, Kalinka, Nekpegu, Tohinaayili, Gurumanchayili, Gbandu, Garizegu, Kulaa, Moya, Kudula, Vogyili, Komlanyili, Djelo.

 

Week 4:
Jabayili, Jangbarigiyili, Yakuru, Galizengu, Changyili, Balomposo, Zanzugu, Zanzugu Yepala, Kpalung, Laligu, Kagbal, Bamvim, Kpanshegu, Yepala, Komlanyili, Chani, Cheko, Jarigu, Kpalguni II, Futa, Gburma, Janakpen, Jarigu, Wovugumani, Wovugu, Kpanayili, Kalinka, Nekpegu, Tohinaayili, Komonaayili, Bogu, Tindan II, Kuldanali, Kudula, Vogyili, Djelo, Buhijaa, Moya, Kulaa.

 

Success stories:

Gidanturu, Yepalsi, Naha, Moya, Kpalguni II, Yepala, Sakpalua, Namdu II, Warvi, Galinkpegu, Kpachiyili, Tunga, Tohinaayili, Bamvim, Balomposo, and Chani all had high sales at their water businesses during April. Polytank taps were fixed in Kasulyili, Changyili and Kideng, so the centers are now up and running!

 

Eighty-two percent of households had clean water in their safe storage containers this month, which we’re quite proud of given how dry this time of year is.

 

Chandanyili had high sales at their solar business, and with some saving the entrepreneurs will be set to buy new batteries once the old ones wear.

 

Challenges:

The biggest challenge in April is dry dugouts. Many communities have to travel further to get water during this month, so encouraging the entrepreneurs to keep the water centers going is important!

 

Kasuyili’s water center closed this month, but Wahab sat with the chief and elders and discussed the problems. It was agreed that changing the women running the center would help get the business working again. Wahab will be checking on them in the following weeks.

Ayishetu from Takpuli charges customer's phones. She tells Amin that they have added 400 GHC to their savings account!
Ayishetu from Takpuli charges customer’s phones. She tells Amin that they have added 400 GHC to their savings account!

 

In Gidanturu, a new Fulani family comes to purchase water from Baramini, the entrepreneur there, for the first time.
In Gidanturu, a new Fulani family comes to purchase water from Baramini, the entrepreneur there, for the first time.

 

Baramini sells water in Gidanturu
Baramini sells water in Gidanturu

 

Good news for Kpaligini! Work is being done to expand their dugout.
Good news for Kpaligini! Work is being done to expand their dugout.

 

Everyone is excited about the expansion.
Everyone is excited about the expansion.

 

The Tamale team for our weekly Friday meeting
The Tamale team for our weekly Friday meeting

 

"The women in Komlanyili and Bamvim. They are doing communal labor to construct their new road"
“The women in Komlanyili and Bamvim. They are doing communal labor to construct their new road”

 

"Azara from Kpalguni shows her daughter how to charge things at the center in case she is not around" - Wahab monitors in April
“Azara from Kpalguni shows her daughter how to charge things at the center in case she is not around” – Wahab monitors in April

 

Everything looking good at the Chandanyili solar center
Everything looking good at the Chandanyili solar center

 

At Chandanyili's water source, however, everything is looking dry. Hopefully the rains will come soon!
At Chandanyili’s water source, however, everything is looking dry. Hopefully the rains will come soon!

 

"Today Amama was supposed to be working at the center, but she went to a funeral and let her daughter Safura stay back to take care of the center"
“Today Amama was supposed to be working at the center, but she went to a funeral and let her daughter Safura stay back to take care of the center”

 

"Household vist" - Wahab monitors in April
“Household vist” – Wahab monitors in April

 

"Sekina was about to scoop this morning" - Amin monitors in April
“Sekina was about to scoop this morning” – Amin monitors in April

 

"School vacations at Kpanshegu - I once again reminded students to drink from the clean water when they are back home and re-educate their friends and family" - Amin monitors during April
“School vacations at Kpanshegu – I once again reminded students to drink from the clean water when they are back home and re-educate their friends and family” – Amin monitors during April

 

"Barikisu says she has been getting sick all the time but since they have access to the clean water at their community she doesn't experience it again" - Wahab monitors in April
“Barikisu says she has been getting sick all the time but since they have access to the clean water at their community she doesn’t experience it again” – Wahab monitors in April

 

Hawabu of Dundo is glad that they now have clean water - Eric monitors in April
Hawabu of Dundo is glad that they now have clean water – Eric monitors in April

 

This job is a challenge! Eric reports, "Had a flat tire yesterday. Gave me a long day. Got home very late and exhausted".
This job is a challenge! Eric reports, “Had a flat tire yesterday. Gave me a long day. Got home very late and exhausted”.

 

Household visit - Wahab monitors in April
Household visit – Wahab monitors in April

 

"She said she is glad having access to clean water in the community" - Wahab monitors in April
“She said she is glad having access to clean water in the community” – Wahab monitors in April

 

"This man is asking if the water they treat at the water treatment center has family planning in it" - monitoring questions like this are reasons that we keep going back! Luckily, working in 84 communities now, we have plenty of precedent to point to showing that the treated water has nothing to do with family planning  - it's the same process used in Tamale!
“This man is asking if the water they treat at the water treatment center has family planning in it” – monitoring questions like this are reasons that we keep going back! Luckily, working in 84 communities now, we have plenty of precedent to point to showing that the treated water has nothing to do with family planning – it’s the same process used in Tamale water treatment!

 

Asana from Warivi wanted to say high to the field reps that worked in her community.
Asana from Warivi wanted to say high to the field reps that worked in her community.
"Drinking clean water bought from the water treatment center" - Wahab monitors in April
“Drinking clean water bought from the water treatment center” – Wahab monitors in April

 

"Adamu from Galinkpegu getting ready to purchase aquatabs" - Wahab monitors in April
“Adamu from Galinkpegu getting ready to purchase aquatabs” – Wahab monitors in April

 

Adamu from Galinkpegu and her family
Adamu from Galinkpegu and her family

 

 

"This girl from Yakura was showing what she uses the lantern for" - Shak monitors in April
“This girl from Yakura was showing what she uses the lantern for” – Shak monitors in April

 

"She called me to come check out her safe storage container because during my last visit she had an empty bucket" - Eric monitors in April
“She called me to come check out her safe storage container because during my last visit she had an empty bucket” – Eric monitors in April

 

 

Season Changeover Stimulates Water Business Sales

Customers!
Happy customers on their way home from buying water from Amina and Massamata’s water business in Galinzegu!

The rains “are finished” as Ghanaians would say, which means CWS water treatment centers are back in business! In the rainy season, which lasts from June- October in the Northern Region of Ghana, CWS communities collect rainwater. Rainwater is plentifully and freely available in these months, so community members opt for free drinking water instead of paying the $.05 to fill their 20 L containers at the water treatment center.

200 L drums
Rainwater collected in 200 L yellow drums in the village of Gidanturi. While this water is safe for using for household chores, it is easily contaminated. People need to open the lid and dip a scooping bucket in to fetch the water. Contamination alert!

Now that the rains have stopped, the only available clean water source in CWS communities is for people to buy water from the centers. The only other water available for drinking would be stored rainwater in 200 L blue drums or clay pots (not safe for drinking), stored rainwater in cement rainwater catchment tanks (not safe for drinking), stored rainwater in hand dug wells (not safe for drinking) or dugout/stream water (definitely not safe for drinking).

While the answer seems obvious (they should go to the center!), it’s not that simple. The entrepreneurs have not been regularly treating water and the community members have not been regularly buying water. So this limbo period is always an adjustment for CWS communities. As CWS Assistant Project Manager Shak put it, ” It’s no longer raining. So this is just our biggest challenge for the next month, getting people used to buying water again. ”

Local well unsafe!
A “local well” in Kabache/Kasawuripe. This is the water the entrepreneurs have been treating in this community. It is not groundwater and is easily contaminated with human and animal waste… aka do not drink!

Behavior change isn’t easy. And that’s what CWS is focusing on in transitioning from the rainy to the dry season. Changing the entrepreneurs’ behavior so they incorporate water treatment and selling water into their daily routines and changing the consumers’ behavior, so they get used to coming to buy water.

Wahab monitoring
CWS Field staffer Wahab making household surveying look easy.

In most communities, this transition is seamless. For example, in Kpanayili where the entrepreneurs now use a metal polytank stand to move the center from the various water sources throughout the year, their water business is operating with high sales! Field staffer Wahab is in charge of the monitoring and evaluation for Kpanayili. He reported on November 20, 2013, “It was such a happy day, seeing Kpanayili’s center up and running after the rains.” Last year, community members took their sweet time transitioning back to using the center and this year, they haven’t missed a beat.

But in other communities, the transition has not been so seamless. For example, in Nyamaliga, the community relies solely on rainwater throughout the rainy season because their dugout path gets muddy and slippery. I along with the other staff can vouch for this as we’ve all taken a tumble trying to get to the dugout. Sana and Sofou who run the center refuse to treat water until the community members help them weed the path to the water treatment center, which means a few weeks of people not having access to clean drinking water. This baffles the CWS field staff because if the path is dry then the entrepreneurs should be able to access the dugout! CWS Project Manager Peter reported this week that the path was clear so there should be no delay in water treatment… as for that one we’ll have to report back next week.

Rainwater catchment tank
Rainwater catchment tank — CWS staff Amin and myself recently tested rainwater catchment tanks in Sakpalua, Djelo and Kpenchila. Almost every tank tested positive for total coliform and a few tested positive for e-coli. These tanks are hard to clean and the organizations that set them up do not return for testing or monitoring. We advise communities not to drink from them.

In Tohinaayili, the community decided to move their center to the town center during the rainy season to treat rainwater. This is Tohinaayili’s first transition from the rainy to the dry season, as CWS implemented here in the Winter of 2012-2013. While their polytank is not empty yet, the entrepreneurs have been lackadaisical to move it back to the dugout. The CWS field staff has seen this type of transition before and found that it takes a few seasons to get the hang of it.

Finally, the path to Gbateni was flooded all rainy season. The CWS staff had not been there since May! On November 20, 2013, CWS field staffers Amin and Peter were finally able to get there. They arrived at the center and it was empty, community members did not have clean water in their storage containers. The entrepreneurs were also not home so they could not figure out what was wrong. The staff will have to get back ASAP. Buhijaa and Chanaayili, villages that are also inaccessible to CWS staff during the rainy season, were up and running the entire season! Chanaayili even sent a message to Gidanturi mid rainy season requesting that CWS staff send aquatabs (chlorine tablets) with someone who was able to make it across the flooded road.

Amin to Gbateni
Amin trudges through the flooded path to Gbateni mid-rainy season.
metal pt stand
Shout out to the metal polytank stand which several communities are now using to move their water treatment centers from different water sources throughout the seasons

These seasonal transitions are a challenge for CWS every year. Each community adapts to the changing of seasons at a different pace. But the cool thing about CWS is that the field staff is with these entrepreneurs and communities throughout the process! The staff shows the entrepreneurs how to rally assemblymen, chiefs and queen mothers to get the communities back on track or even modifies the CWS technology (like the moveable metal polytank stands) so that these water businesses will be sustainable without staff help in the future!

-Brianán

The CWS Field Staff Goes Back to School Part II

At the beginning of October, CWS field staff, Shak and Amin, brought their knowledge about water and sanitation to a primary school in the village of Kpalung. Their presentation was similar in content to the presentation that Wahab and Peter gave in September to a school in Gidanturu. You can read about their experience here. These water and sanitation presentations are part of a larger education initiative that CWS has been introducing to some of its partnership communities. While CWS is continuing to monitor these communities as it normally does, the field staff has added education to its monitoring regimen. The objective is to educate the students on basic health and sanitation with the hopes that they will put what they learn into practice and influence their families to do the same. It’s also fun for us to get in front of the classroom and to hear the opinions of the younger folks in the villages. I hope you enjoy the pics!

-Brianán

BLog 8 Pic 11
Shak and Amin talk to the student body of Kpalung

 

BLog 8 Pic 2
Shak and Amin use a salt water solution to show the students that just because water is clear, it does not mean that it is in fact clean!
Blog 8 Pic 3
Amin watches amongst the crowd.

 

Blog 8 Pic 4
The students get ready for a game of “healthy habits” tag.
Blog 8 Pic 5
The “healthy habits” vs. “waterborne diseases”

 

Blog 8 Pic 6
Cholera and Diarrhea… watch out!!

The CWS Staff Goes Back to School

In September, CWS field staffers decided to bring their knowledge about water, sanitation and waterborne disease to the classroom. The CWS field staff team, which includes Peter, Shak, Wahab, Amin and me, Brianan, (you can read our bios here) met every week in August to prep. During household visits, we usually only talk to the older members of the families, especially the women who are in charge of collecting drinking water. So we were all excited to talk to students in some of our partnership communities. Peter and Wahab presented in a primary school classroom in the village of Gidanturu. Shak and Amin are planning to present at the primary school in Kpalung.

Peter presenting to students in Gidanturu
Peter presenting to students in Gidanturu

For our presentation in Gidanturu, we went the week before to schedule a day that would work for Yussef and Fuseini, the head teachers at the school. Seeing what life was like in the classroom was an experience in itself. “School in the village is different from school in Tamale”, says Peter.  And I could tell what he meant the second I stepped foot inside the classroom. When we arrived early on Monday morning, the children, who ranged from 3 years old to 10 years old, were scattered about and playing inside and outside the school. Fuseini had just arrived from Salaga (it was about 10:30 am by this point) and was still in his travel clothes.  He told us that he comes to teach in Gidanturu during the week but lives in Salaga on the weekends. So the students were occupying themselves in anticipation of his arrival.

Clear water is not always clean water!
Clear water is not always clean water!

Fuseini walked us into the classroom and gave us some chalk to write on the board. He gathered the children who were outside and brought them in to sit at their desks. Despite his tardiness, he had exceptional command over his students. I wrote “Community Water Solutions: Healthy Habits” on the chalk board and Peter and Wahab started the presentation, while I sat on the sidelines and let them steal the show. Peter and Wahab kicked off the class with a demonstration on clean water vs. clear water. They used 3 water bottles: 1 filled with treated polytank water, 1 filled with a salt-water solution and 1 filed with dugout water. Then they invited students to select and taste which ones they thought were clean and which ones they thought were contaminated.

A student pics which bottle she thinks has "clean" drinking water
A student in Gidanturu getting ready to taste water in the bottle – hope its not salty!

The students immediately decided that the dugout water was contaminated, which was obvious to the naked eye because the water was dark brown (nobody tasted this sample). They brought up several students to distinguish between the salt-water solution and the polytank water (they were both clear solutions in water bottles so it was impossible to tell the difference just by looking).

Wahab reviewing the lessons learned from the water taste test!
Wahab reviewing the lessons learned from the water taste test!

The salty water surprised the students. Peter and Wahab then talked about water contamination, the spread of waterborne diseases, rainwater collection and proper drinking water storage.

Healthy Habits vs Waterbourne Diseases

The newly empowered instructors concluded the lesson with a “healthy habits tag game” outside. Two students volunteered to be “it” and took on the roles of the waterborne diseases, Diarrhea and Cholera. Five students volunteered to be 5 different healthy habits such as: washing your hands with soap and water and drinking safe water collected from the polytank. These “healthy habits” each got 3 lives, whereas the rest of the students were not given any lives. If you were tagged aka contracted Cholera or Diarrhea, you were to sit by the tree that was designated as the hospital. After five minutes, the students who practiced healthy habits were the only ones not in the hospital since they were living healthier lifestyles and were less likely to contract these waterborne diseases. The game was complete mayhem but the students liked it and understood its message, which was what we were going for.

Healthy habits tag!
Healthy habits tag!

After our presentation, Fuseini dismissed the children for lunch. Their day of school had so far consisted of sitting and listening to our presentation for an hour. While I was discouraged by the inefficiencies of the village school system, Wahab, Peter and I felt like our presentation had made an impression on the students. You could tell by their participation and enthusiasm that some of these children were stimulated and interested by what we were telling them. There will be no way for us to know if they actually wash their hands with soap and water before eating and after going to the bathroom. We don’t have the monitoring capacity to be observing their habits 24/7. Maybe they will put what we taught them about healthy habits into practice, maybe they won’t. But at least they learned something new that school day.

-Brianán

 

Ramadan: Fasting All Day Means Every Drop of Clean Water Counts

Today marks the 14th day of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar where Muslims fast from dawn until sunset, going without food or water for 30 days. The only people who do not fast are nursing or pregnant mothers, children under the age of 18, the elderly and the sick.  While Ghana is a predominantly Christian country, the Northern Region has a large Muslim presence. The majority of CWS villages are also Muslim and therefore fast during the month of Ramadan.

CWS field staff, Amin, Wahab, Shak, pose with the chief of Kadula and Azaratu, the lady who runs the water treatment center, after a long morning of household visits to promote rainwater harvesting in Kadula.

In the last 2 weeks, CWS field staff members have encountered many safe storage containers full to the brim with clean water. This is something that we love to see because it usually means that the household has just recently filled from the water treatment center. However, this month we have found that it does not always mean just that. When CWS conducts household visits in our implemented villages, we always ask a member of each household: “When was the last time you filled your safe storage container with clean water?” –translated in Dagbani – “Ka bon dali kayi tougi?”. The average response that we get is that someone in the household filled 2-3 days ago. Lately, we have had people tell us that they filled their safe storage containers over a week ago! Now how is it that a household of 8-10 people can go over a week without drinking 20 L of water? Well because of Ramadan people are drinking much less water. Also, since it is the rainy season, it has not been as hot in Tamale. I’ve asked a few fasting Ghanaians if it is hard to fast during Ramadan. The responses have been the same, “With this weather? Oh no, it’s easy to fast when the clouds are in the sky.”

Rainwater harvesting in Baramini’s compound in Gidanturu
Peter chats with Kukuna, the lady that runs the water treatment center in Cheko, as she makes the “local maggi”

Since most people are fasting, they are drinking less water during the day. This means that when people are drinking water before sunrise or after sunset, they have to make every drop count! In our household visits, CWS staff members have been emphasizing the importance of drinking clean water once the fast is broken. Even though most parents are fasting, it’s essential that the children still have access to the safe storage containers throughout the day.

A Family in Yapalsi keeps 4 clean cups on their safe storage container, ready for drinking clean water!
Amina pours water for a customer at the second opening day in the village of Galinzegu. 25 households came to fill their buckets!

One household that Wahab and I spoke to in Kpalguni explained to us that they had just run out of water that morning because the family had gathered together to drink water to ensure strength for a day of fasting. The community members of Jagberin have agreed to help Fulera and Aisha, the ladies that run the center, fill their blue drums with water from the dugout during Ramadan. Since many of the women who run the CWS water businesses are fasting, they are weaker than usual during this month. In Yapalsi, Amin and I came across one household that has four clean cups sitting on top of their safe storage container, so that eager family members can break their fast with clean water at sunset. It seems that Ramadan is bringing people together to share clean water in many of the CWS villages this month!

-Brianan

A woman secures her safe storage container to her bike after filling at the second opening day in Galinzegu!

Updates from the Field: Moto Mania!

Tamale sure seems quiet without the 30+ 2012 Winter Fellows, assistant translators and CWS support staff! We miss their daily stories of village life, center construction, and transportation mayhem. Their communities certainly miss them too. I’ve never seen so many disappointed faces in response to my presence as I did in the first couple weeks of follow up; its hard to be the wrong salaminga!

We’ve tried to block out our post-fellowship blues with a roar of moto engines and a cloud of fresh Sahara dust, and staff has hit the ground running in the past few weeks. With nine new villages and two new districts to follow up in, it can sometimes feel like we spend more time on motos than not. With that in mind, this week’s update from the field is an homage to our favorite mode of transportation!

Wahab motos through a puddle on the way to Kpalbusi
Shak powers through the "road" to Gbateni
TJ motos to Kushini

The motos aren’t just great for rough-roading. They also are favorite props for photos! Alhassan helped us open Gidanturu’s center last week and, in return, got to pose on our Apsonic.

Fierce.

Baramini, Alhassan’s mother and the lady who runs the treatment center in Gidanturu, also posed for a picture.

No motos for Baramini - she's all business!

And still to come – a video montage of TJ, Shak and myself (Kathryn) taking Rodney Atkins‘ advice to heart…

Check back soon!

-Kathryn

*UPDATE* : You can check out the video here .

Checking up on Chanaayili, Gidanturu and Kpallabusi

On Monday, I headed out with Wahab and Peter to celebrate my birthday in the field! We checked-up on Chanaayili, Gidanturu, and Kpallabusi. Besides some fallen signboards, all three villages were doing well and have been consistently selling water each week. Chanaayili can’t wait to see Annie and Hannah in a couple weeks and when the chief of Kpallabusi found out that Kathryn would be back in Ghana soon, he could not hide his excitement! Here are some pictures from our visits:

Peter and Wahab asking Hawa from Chanaayili about her sales this week
Chanaayili
Water treatment center in Chanaayili
Chanaayili's dugout is getting pretty low and looking REALLY green. The community is very grateful for Annie, Hannah, Karla, and Sam (and all of the donors that supported their team), who helped them build the CWS water treatment center so they no longer have to drink this!
Wahab taking notes while Peter asks Baramini about last week's water sales in Gidanturu
Hanging out with Baramini at the Gidanturu dugout. Thank you to Colleen and Jeff Clopeck who sponsored the water treatment center at this village!
Last stop of the day was Kpallabusi where Peter and Wahab showed me the fence that the village built around their water treatment center.
After stoping by the water treatment center, we chatted with Zilifawu about the week. She was a little disappointed that I was there instead of Jim, Kathryn, Elsie or Lauren. But, she was excited to find out that Kathryn would be back soon!

What We’ve Been Upto

The past couple weeks have been devoted to monitoring, updating my monitoring files (pretty much as fun as it sounds…), preparing for the rainy season, and  getting ready for our awesome Fellows who arrive on June 7th! Its hard to take pictures of these tasks, but I managed to snap a few, enjoy! Be prepared for a post with our updated monitoring results soon!

Shak showing the results of our water quality testing to a woman in Gidanturu. We like to do this to show people what happens with the water samples we take from their safe storage containers. Its fun to see their reactions when they see the difference between a test with their "safe water" and the dugout water!
Showing the water tests to some cute kiddos!
New signboard at Gidanturu - thank you village sponsor, Colleen and Jeff Clopeck!

The next few pictures are from an old Guinea Worm Containment Center. In order to prepare for the rainy season, our team went to check out some rainwater harvesting projects (in two of our villages, the paths to the dugouts, and therefore the water treatment centers, flood during the heavy rains. We are thinking about setting up rainwater harvesting systems to fill the polytanks with rainwater during this time – ill keep you posted!). We stopped by this containment center to look at their rainwater harvesting system and found out that the center had essentially been abandoned. Why? Because there haven’t been ANY Guinea Worm cases in this area in months! Such great news!

Guinea Worm is a horrendous water-related disease that has been endemic in Ghana for years. Due to the amazing Guinea Worm Eradication Campaign, led by the Carter Center, the number of Guinea Worm cases has drastically reduced – especially over the past few years. Shak visited this center in 2008 and said that there were so many patients that they had to put beds on the veranda. Not anymore! As the Carter Center explains on their website:

“Humans are a Guinea worm’s only host, so spread of the disease can be controlled by identifying all cases and modifying human behavior to prevent it from recurring.  Once all human cases are eliminated, the disease will be eradicated.”

I recently heard through the volunteer rumor mill that soon, it is going to be announced that Guinea Worm has been eradicated from Ghana!

Since humans are the only host for Guinea worm, these containment centers were built so that infected persons could be effectively treated and the disease could be kept from spreading

Empty Beds - wahoo!
Picture on the wall of the Guinea Worm Containment Center advertising the LifeStraw - a point-of-use intervention designed to filter out the water fleas that cause Guinea Worm

Monitoring in Gidanturu

This week we spent some time monitoring in Gidanturu. Its always so fun to see people using their safe storage containers in their homes. We were very excited about our monitoring results and are so proud of Birami and Mariam, who have been doing an excellent job working at the water treatment center!

Gidanturu customer, proudly showing us how her bucket is kept on a stool (so a cup can easily fit underneath)
Posing with another Gidanturu customer and her safe storage container
Peter and our favorite little girl in Gidanturu. Her family was not home when we distributed the safe storage container but she promised to "open her ears well" and then explain everything that we told her to her parents. She did an awesome job and was SO excited to show us where they keep their safe storage container!
So adorable. This little boy could have died from diarrhea caused by contaminated water (children under 5 are the most vulnerable), but thanks to our awesome village sponsors, Colleen and Jeff Clopeck, he has safe water to drink!
When we stopped by the dugout to check on Barami and Mariam, I spotted this little guy doing his laundry! Definitely the youngest person I have seen doing their own laundry so far!