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!
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!
Every month Saha’s Manager Eric sits down with one of our entrepreneurs to ask her about her work and life beyond Saha.
Samata was born in Wa in the Upper West Region. She later went with her father to live in Techiman. She was raised by her father in Techiman until she got married and moved to Gurumanchayili. Samatha has three children, one girl and two boys.
Samata mentioned that people used to complain about stomach cramps before, but that has minimized now that they have clean water to drink. “I am happy to working as the entrepreneur at the water treatment center. I am happy to be able to provide safe, clean drinking water for my community.”
In addition to running the water treatment center, Samata also picks shea nuts. She then makes into shea butter and sells it in the market.
Mariama was born in Yogh, where she later got married. She and her husband moved and have since settled in Kadula. She has given birth to five kids, two girls three boys– including a set of twins. She cooks and sells food aside working as a water entrepreneur. She also farms rice and groundnuts.
The water treatment center in Kadula was implemented back in June of 2011 by Summer Field Reps Nadiah, Christina, Matt and Karina and, five years later, still provides the community of about 960 people a source of clean drinking water. Mariama says, “I was happy when the elders of the community chose me among the women to run the water business. Since the water treatment center was implemented we have seen improvements in our health and the kids no longer complain of stomach aches. I am grateful to Saha Global.”
Lachiya was born in Kpalbe. She grew up there until her teens when she went to live with her aunt in Takpuli. She later got married in Takpuli and has given birth to four kids: three girls and a boy. Before joining Saha Global, she farmed rice and groundnuts. She still farms alongside running the water and solar businesses. She also sells firewood.
Lachiya is happy that Saha has been able to provide Takpuli with clean drinking and then later with solar electricity. Lachiya says, “Now whenever there’s an occasion, like a funeral or wedding, and people come from different villages, there is clean safe water to drink and lights at night too. I am proud to be a part of the Saha Team!”
Sana was born in Wulensi. She went to live with her aunty in Kushini when she was a small kid. She then grew up and got married there. Sana has given birth to three kids, two girls and a boy.
In the Summer of 2011, Field Reps Hudson, Sharifa, Chris and Ianthe implemented a water treatment center in Kushini. At that time Sana was selected as the water business entrepreneur and has been running the center there for four years. Along side running the water business Sana makes and sells charcoal. “I am always glad to see people going home from the center with safe clean drinking water,” said Sana, “It makes me really happy to make sales and treat water for my community.”
Damu hails from Kpalbe. When she was in her teens, Damu went to live with her aunt in Sakpalua where she later got married and now lives. Damu has two sons and 9 grandchildren!
The water treatment center in Sakpalua was implemented in April 2012 thanks to the help of Fall Field Reps Nick, Rich, Colleen and Chelsea. Damu was selected as one of the women to run the business. A part from running the water business Damu also farms groundnuts and cowpea, an indigenious legume. “I was happy to be part of the process for my community to get safe clean drinking water,” Damu told Saha manager, Eric.
In April of 2014 Kate, Saha’s Executive Director, and Sam, Saha’s Director of Operations, approached Sakpalua about implementing a solar charging business to give source of electricity to the entire community. Sakpalua’s charging business was a one of the pilots for the new solar project and was Saha’s third solar business to open. “I was excited to later be brought solar. Now our kids can read at night and all the compounds have lights when it is dark. I am proud of that,” Damu said.
Since the solar business has been implemented, Damu runs the water and solar businesses with three other women in the community so that they are all able to still tend to their farms.
Abiba was born in Gbandu. Her father was once the chief of Gbandu, making Abiba a princess! She got married in Gbandu and has been living there all her life. She has given birth to 7 children, two boys and five girls; two of which passed away when they were young. Alongside running the water business, Abiba farms groundnuts and millet.
She has been running the water treatment business with Mariama since it was implemented in June of 2012. “I remember the morning the Field Reps came to visit Gbandu for the first time,” Abiba recollects, “they informed us of an opportunity that would provide the entire community clean drinking water. I was so happy that the village elders chose me to be one of the entrepreneurs.”
Gbandu now has piped water but Abiba says, despite that, she still make sales! “Depending on the season the taps can be off for weeks.” As this can happen frequently throughout the year, Mariama and Abiba continue to treat water to ensure the community has a source of clean drinking water. “Whenever there is clean water at the center, we make a community announcement to let everyone know.”
Ramatu is one of the business owners of both the solar and water businesses in Nekpegu, a small village located about two hours outside of Tamale. She was born and raised in Tohinayili, which is another Saha partner village in the Northern Region of Ghana. She later got married to her present husband in Nekpegu and has lived there ever since. She has 6 kids, four boys (two of the boys are a set of twins!) and two girls. Alongside running the water and solar businesses in her community, she farms groundnuts, okra and shea nuts. She grinds the shea nuts to make shea butter, which she then sells in the market.
Ramatu and her business partner, Fatima, have been running the water business in Nekpegu for two years. With the help of 2013 Winter Field Reps, Vanessa, Linda, Alexa & Julia, Ramatu and Fati were trained how to run the water treatment business to provide a source of clean drinking water to their entire community of about 300 people. “People are cooperative and come to buy water anytime they treat water and make announcements,” says Ramatu.
The solar charging business was implemented in Nekpegu just this past November by 2014 Fall Field Reps, Anne, Terry, Kerry & Mary. “Now our kids can study at night” Ramatu says. When asking Ramatu about the solar business she remembered the opening night of the solar center when they did a local dance, torah, with Terry and Anne to celebrate. “I am so happy to make sales at the solar and water business!” she states.
Fati is one of the water business entrepreneurs in Tohinayili. This business was implemented here in January of 2013 by past Field Reps Caroline , Iyi & Amanda, a Master’s in Public Health student studying at George Washington University.
Fati was born and raised up in Tohinayili. She met her husband there and has lived there her entire life. She gave birth to four kids: a boy and two girls, one is deceased. Alongside running the water business, Fati collects shea nuts, which she uses to make shea butter and then sells.
“I am very happy to make sales and am thankful for this opportunity,” stated Fati. “Our kids used to complain of stomach pains and many people used to have runny stomachs. But now that we have clean water, all those complaints have stopped.”
Zuweira is one of the water entrepreneurs in the community of Kpenchila. She has been working at the water business since June 2012 and is very proud to be one of the woman chosen by her community to run the center. Zuweira was born and raised in the village of Kpanshegu, which happens to be one of Saha Global’s newest partners! She was so excited to hear that her relatives back home at Kpanshegu have gotten clean water to drink thanks to the 2015 Winter Field Reps!
Zuweira moved to Kpenchila 25 years ago when she married her husband. She is a mother to 10 children, including two sets of twins! In addition to working at the water business, Zuweira also farms okra and groundnuts. She really enjoys providing clean water to her community and says that she is “she is happy anytime she is at the center and sees people going back home with clean water in their safe storage containers.”