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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

 

 

Voices from the Field: Team Jaleel (Michael, Elaine, Hsinyo and Ciara)

On Wednesday night, our team had our opening night for our solar business. We were so excited to finally get our village’s business up and running after two weeks of building and preparing. When we arrived a couple hours before sunset, we had a few glitches to work out and quickly dealt with the issues with our entrepreneurs Mazara and Adam. Once all 69 batteries were charged we were ready to officially begin. So many people from the village came out and gathered around to receive their batteries and charge their phones.

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It was during opening night that we truly realized the impact of our work. The loud cheering of the children as their mom switched one setting of brightness after another brought only more excitement. Walking around the village, we saw how much the new lanterns we provided really improved their lives. Those using their old lanterns and flashlights did not shine as bright as the ones we have provided. It was also less convenient to use as it usually required another person to hold the light.

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As more people came to rent batteries, one by one, each compound became lit and vibrant. Sounds from afar in the serene village night were the women pounding fufu and the cracking sound from the fires in the lighted compound. Even though we had a rough start, the overall opening night was very successful. Our team was able to work with our entrepreneurs and quickly fix the problem. As a result, 18 people came out of 23 compounds and 5 people got their phones charged. Our team is so happy to have been able to bring this important resource to the village.

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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: March Madness

March has been an exciting month for all of us here in Tamale. Monitoring continues in our new villages, and its been fun to get to know 9 new communities better! Staff spent a “lazy” Sunday in Libi, fishing with some of the village men there. We brought home a rice bag full of Talapia and some hilarious memories from our day in the river.

Peter poses with "fresh twins" during household visits in Libi

Mohammed, a huge help to CWS staff in Libi, clowns around for the camera.

In Laligu, the treatment center has undergone a few changes. Residents decided to construct a new center platform in a more central location, so that water would be more accessible to everyone. The ladies now pay a donkey cart from near-by Sevelugu to fill up their blue drums. They are very happy with the increase in sales they have seen already after “bringing the center home”!

Sharatu and Awabu pose by their new treatment center stand in Laligu - right in the center of town!

In Kagburashe, Amina and Mayama have really taken charge of center operations, making some changes to the way the business runs. Staff have been happy to work along side these two enterprising ladies to make the treatment center here unique to Kagburashe’s needs.

Ladies fetch water from Kagburashe's dugout.

Monitoring also continues in our older villages, but with some twists. Household visits have been extremely helpful for project evaluation and educational purposes, but we’re experimenting with some new approaches as well! This month, Shak began a water, health and hygiene educational program in Zanzugu, Zanzugu Yipela and Yipela. With a little work we will be able to expand this to other classrooms too!

Shak teaches a lesson to Zanzugu Yipela primary students about water contamination and health.
Which bottle would YOU like to drink?

No matter how many times we visit, kids still crowd around for pictures. Somethings never change.

Kids at Iddrisuyili pose for a picture in Kpalguni

– Kathryn

Updates From the Field: A First Time for Everything

We have settled into a nice routine here in Tamale. We visit a handful of houses and check up on the treatment center in each village once every week or two. Even in the new villages our faces are familiar by now! And speaking of faces: I am trying my best to get pictures from each village so that those of you at home who remember your community can see how everyone is doing.

Rashid and his container, Iddrisuyili, Kpalguni

Peter and posse, Iddrisuyili, Kpalguni

The tricky thing about routines, though, is how easily they are broken! This was also definitely a week of firsts as well.

In Kadula, a runaway tractor (incredible mental image) got away from its owner after being ‘bathed’ in the dugout. It ran downhill and (naturally) hit Kadula’s treatment center. Luckily only the stand suffered any damage.

Tractor troubles, Kadula

The silver lining to this unfortunate incident is how well the community is doing literal damage control. When I arrived on Tuesday to speak with the chief and elders, they already had a plan for repairs and some new rules for vehicles around the dugout. I will keep you updated on their progress!

First of the groundnut (peanut) harvest at Tamalnaayili, Kadula

Sanatu and her baby, Tamalnaayili, Kadula

In Jagberin, Ayesha and Fulera decided that it was time to clean the polytank, so when we visited on Thursday we talked them through the process. In this split community each village ‘side’ takes a turn filling the blue drums, but this time they both pitched in to get everything cleaned quickly. We were pleasantly surprised to find the center up and running the next day.

Sayeeda and her Auntie, who had spoken to Ayesha about cleaning Jagberin

– Kathryn

Voices from the field: Team 3!

June 9

Today, Team 3 ended their morning in the village with the grand opening of the Community Water Solutions water treatment center in the Kpalguni Village.  Being a relatively small village with a focus on farming yams, most of the children arrived promptly and proudly to fill their family’s blue buckets.  The team left with an undeniable feeling of accomplishment, and they are excited for the next few days of monitoring the village.


CWS Safe Storage containers all lined up at the water treatment center ready to be filled with clean drinking water!

Clean water!

Meaghan and the cutest little girl at the water business on opening day! The whole village came out!

Heading home with a bucket full of safe drinking water! Such a successful opening day!

But one day earlier….

June 8

5:00 am: The team awoke only to find gloomy clouds looming over Tamale.  The team was weary about departing, but Team 5 along with Sani and the translators decided we should give the drive a shot.  Due to “Ghanian time”, the van did not depart Gilbt until 6:30 am.  Midway through the two-hour drive to both villages, the rain began.

7:45 am:  A large pond of water in the middle of the bumpy dirt road approached the van, and, in seconds, the van halts to a complete stop.  The teams found themselves stranded in the middle of the Ghanian forests without cell phone service.  Villagers begin to watch as the teams wander around looking for rocks (which they are unsure as to why they need them).  After about thirty minutes, the teams begin to push the van out of the pond.  It doesn’t seem promising; however, after the spectators joined the effort, the van finally emerged.  The sun’s rays appeared from behind the fading clouds.

Teamwork at its finest

Abby, Alyssa, Stephanie (from the Pinapple Express Team) and Meaghan in the mud pond.

9:30 am:  Team 3 decides the make the walk to their village. When they arrive for a brief visit to teach the women how to treat the clear water and distribute clean water buckets, the village is not prepared.  Handing out the buckets was a stressful event.  All of the villagers gathered into a tight circle and began to talk very loudly over the team.  While the frantic, loud gathering was clearly caused by the excitement of the opening of the center, it did not make the day any better.  The team was lead to more disappointment when it was apparent that turbidity remained in the water.  Clear water wound not enter the polytank that day.

Stressful discussion about safe storage distribution. We knew everyone was excited for opening day, but this was still tough to manage!

Our translator Ayesha trying to teach the crowd how to correctly use the tap on the safe storage container.

12:30 pm:  Team 5 began to approach the center after hours of waiting at the van only to find that Team 3 was finally wrapping up their work in the village.  Both teams walked back through the village down the bumpy, muddy road to the van.  Even though the afternoon just began, both teams were exhausted and bummed about the series of events of the day.

Luckily, all team members found humor of all of the parts of the day, and grew closer with the hope that both teams would make it to their villages the following morning.

-Will, Meaghan, Abby and Alyssa