You may have noticed we’re a bit behind on our Monitoring updates these days, but with good reason! Saha is revamping our data collection and distribution methods, which will make it easier for you to understand how all 93 of our communities are doing.
Saha’s growth in recent years is extremely exciting for many reasons, but during the process we outgrew our ability to keep up the old style of village-by-village monitoring updates. The goal in the coming months is to be more transparent with how our daily visits go, and have more comprehensive summaries each month for both water and solar centers.
But of course change takes time, so we hope you’ll understand the delays! Check back soon for more.
All of the newly implemented villages from the GLP Summer 2016 are running very well!
The following villages had 6/6 during at least 1 visit: Sagbarigu, Naha, Galinkpegu, Warvi, Moya, Tindan II.
Kalinka, Moya, Komonaayili, Gburma, Kushini and Kagburashe are planning ahead to move their centers as their dugouts are getting flooded.
There are 18 new households (16 Fulani) in Tunga and Peter gave them safe storage containers.
The entrepreneurs of Kushini plan to open a bank account soon!
As it’s the rainy season, most of the villages have low sales with their water business because people are harvesting rainwater.
Villages that have problems with their water businesses are:
Chandanyili, Tijo, and Laligu have dry dugouts, and their centers are closed. Chandanyili plans to move the center to a new dugout. Djelo and Sagbarigu polytank taps were leaking and they couldn’t treat water, but that is fixed now. Kalinka and Chandanyili polytank taps broke and have been fixed.During lab testing week some households came out with total coliform and E. coli. Staff followed up with households that came out with positive results and give advice.
Villages with problems with their solar businesses are:
Kurugu Voyili, Djelo, and Vogyili complain of lamp batteries problems. They don’t last long after charge and sometimes people don’t want to pay for batteries that are not well charged. The door to Djelo solar center is broken by a storm and needs to be fixed. Two families in Chani have purchased batteries for their lamps, and some other people in that village want to buy batteries too. Nekpegu and Chani have complaints about their lamps and lamp batteries. Yapalsi has a genset problem but they have electricity now. It was mentioned that Kpanshegu had some households complaining of not getting lamps during implementation and Amin is to find out from the assembly man why their names were omitted from the household list. Bamvim solar center was leaking and has been fixed now. With Solar, Kurugu Vohoyili batteries are dead and Nekpegu have no battery chargers as all are broken. There is a plan to have a meeting in Nekpegu with the community to discuss price for charging phones as women entrepreneurs complain.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Jarayili, Libi, Gbung, Gidanturu, Chanaayili, Kushini, Chongashe, Kagbrashe, Kagbal, Kuruguvuhuyayili, Zanzugu, Zanzugu Yepala, Balomposo, Changyili, Yakuru, Galizengu, Laligu, Kpalyn, Tijo, Tindan I, Sagbargu, Chandanyili, Kpalguni I, Sagbarigu, Warvi, Naha, Galinkpegu, Chihigu, Cheshagu, Kpaliga, Namdu I, Namdu II, Gundaa, Kpalguni II, Futa, Wovugumani, Wovugu, Janakpen, Gburma, Manguli II, Tapkli, Yepala, Kpanshegu, Komlanyili, Gbandu, Garizegu, Kuldanali, Bogu, Tindan II, Kpanayili, Komlanyili, Kalinka, Tohinaayili, Nekpegu, Kulaa, Kudula, Moya.
The percentage of clean water in households that were monitored this month was 84%! This is progress that we are very proud of because it is the third month in a row with over 80% usage. The following water businesses had high sales: Yepalsi, Naha, Moya, Gidanturu, Kpalguni II, Yepala and Sakpalua. Our solar businesses have seen great successes this month. Chandanyili had high solar sales and two additional lanterns were sold in our communities! Gundaa was able to buy extra cell phone chargers this month to support their solar charging center. 42% of the solar businesses have opened bank accounts with the hopes that Chandanyili will open a bank account very soon.
In March we also celebrated World Water Day with a day-long conference at our Tamale office with some of our our water entrepreneurs. The team brought together water business owners from our highest and lowest performing partner communities and lead a day of sharing sales techniques, advice, and community engagement strategies. As always, the conference was a lot of fun and a great success.
There are a number of communities that have had to close their water business due to dry dugouts. These communities include Karayili, Kpalbusi, Chanaayili, Zanzugu, Zanzugu Yepala, Galizengu, Yakuru, Chihigu, Chandanyili, Jagberin and Kpachiyili. There were also a few communities that had issues with their water businesses and had to close for a while until they were able to reopen. These communities include: Original Kabache, Kasulyili, Dundo and Jabayili. We are working with these communitites to find solutions to their problems. As always, entrepreneurs are always encouraged to make announcements when the water centers are available for business!
Villages with problems at the solar centers are Chani, Nekpegu and Yepalsi. Chani and Nekpegu had lamp battery problems with their solar business. Our staff has been working with the women entrepreneurs to solve these battery issues. Additionally, Yepalsi has a broken inverter, which we hope to be replaced soon.
For detailed, week by week monitoring reports from March, click here.
Jarayili, chongashe, libi, gbung, kushini, kpalbusi, gidanturu, chanaayili, original and indigenous kabache, kideng, tunga, laligu, kpalyn, yepalsi, jangbarigiyili, zanzugu, zanzugu yapala, changyili, balamposo, tijo, tindan I, kpalguni I, chandanyili, jagberin, sagbragu, gondaa, namdu I, namdu II, warvi, kpalga, chihigu, galinkpegu, naha, cheshagu, futa, kpalguni II, wovugumani, wovugu, manguli II, janakpen, gbruma, takpili, chani, cheko, kpanshegu, komlanyili, yepala, bamvim, Kpenchila, kulaa, komonaayili, moya, kudula, voghyili, djelo, manguli I, kuldanali, bogu, tindan II, nekpegu, kalinka, tohinayili, gurumanchayili, gbandu.
The new water villages implemented during the Winter Global Leadership Program were shared among the staff to monitor. Wahab monitors Naha, Galinkpegu and Chihigu. Amin monitors Futa and Kpalguni. Eric monitors Komonaayili and Shak took over monitoring Kagbal.
February marks the second month in a row with over 80% usage in our water villages! Given that our average usage rate over the past 7 years has been closer to 70-75%, it’s exciting to see this upward trend. The monitoring team and our field reps have done a great job focusing on water and health education, not just business logistics, which really helps with long-term behavior change. We are proud of this progress! The following villages had 6/6 household visits at a point in the month (meaning that all of the households that we stopped into see that day had clean water in their safe storage containers): kushini, kpalyn, warvi, galinkpegu, chihigu, naha, yepala ,futa,k.kpalguni, djelo, nekpegu, and komonaayili. And, since they always say a picture is worth a thousand words, here are some pictures from monitoring our water villages this month!
On the solar front, we’ve had a couple of great successes this month. The entrepreneurs in Kpenchila were able to open a savings account with Bonzali rural bank! We are so proud of these ladies! The lighting wasn’t great, but we were able to capture a few photos from this day.
During February, the Sakpalua entrepreneurs bought 40 AA size rechargeable batteries to replace worn-out batteries. After months of talking about this with them, we were thrilled that the ladies committed to re-investing in their business. Also, the entrepreneurs from Namdu I, Namdu II and Voghyili told us that they plan to open savings accounts soon.
It’s that time of year when we start to see dugout drying out in some of our communities. In February, the dugouts in bamvim, manguli II, futa, chihigu, futa, zanzugu, zanzugu yepala, galinzegu, gbruma, voghyili, buhijaa, balomposo, kpaliga, chesagu, yakura, kpachiyili and jangbarigiyili all dried up and water sales have stalled until it rains and there is water treat. Bamvim and voghyili both had very high sales before their dugouts ran out. The women in Dundo have also temporarily paused water sales because people have started to go down the road to the University of Development Studies where they can get tap water for free. We are unsure if this water will continue to be available to for free in the long-term, so they entrepreneurs in Dundo are being patient and will start up sales again if the USD pipe is no longer an option. In Jabayili, the women are still experiencing problems related to their stolen blue drum. Although they still have two of their blue drums, the women complain it’s now difficult to treat water. We are working with the village leadership to find a solution to this problem. In Kasulyili the project that pumps water from the dugout to the community is still running and many people still have the misconception that the water from this pump is treated (it’s not). Our team is planning an education campaign to address this problem. Finally, sales at the water business in Nymaliga were slow one week because the chief passed away and everyone is busy arranging for the funeral. Other smaller problems included a leaky polytank in Moya that was easily fixed.
Villages with problems at their solar centres are wambong, yapalasi, chani and Nekpegu. In Wambong, the main battery at the solar center seems to have a problem. The women can manage the issue by having small repairs done, but eventually will need to replace it. In Yepalsi, the inverter has broken down. However, as we mentioned a few months ago, this village now has electricity from the city and the solar center is just used during “lights out.” So it has not been a huge problem. Finally, both Chani and Nekpegu complain of their lamp batteries not lasting long after charge. This is expected as both centers have been open for over two years. Like Sakpalua, the entrepreneurs will have to replace the AA batteries soon.
December was a great month for both our water and solar businesses. Despite some challenges (see below), our usage rate for the water business was higher than our usual average, with 85% of people drinking clean water! Our team really focused on education this month as the rains have totally stopped and people have no other option, other than the water treatment centers, for safe drinking water. Their hard work paid off!
The solar businesses were also thriving with high sales and exciting purchases made by many of our entrepreneurs. Read on for photos and more info!
This is the first monitoring post written by Saha Manager Eric Angkosaala and Senior Manager Wahab Lawal. I’ll let them take it from here:
The Kpanshegu water business made a lot of they had made a lot of sales this month. The ladies made a total of 70cedis and are planning to buy crops to store and later sell.The following villages had high sales and had 6/6 household visits at some point during the month (meaning every house visited had clean water in their safe storage container at the time of the visit): komlanyili, yepela, tunga, kideng, indigenous kabache, nekpegu, tohinayili, kagbal, warvi, sagbragu, namdu I, yakura, balomposo, jangbarigiyili, and changyili.The overall percent usage rate for the month was 83%, which is above our typical average of 75% Go water villages!
We also had some successes with our solar businesses this month. The Voghyili solar center had high sales because people were coming from Djelo to charge their phones and batteries. This is a success for Voghyili but a challenge for Djelo (see below). The ladies in Voghyili also bought phone chargers for the center. The entrepreneurs in sakpalua bought some crops so they sell later when prices increase.
The water businesses that had challenges during that month were jarigu, kpalbusi, kudula, jagberin, jarayili. All had very low or sometimes no sales. To address this issues, our team emphasized that the entreprenuers shoulld try to make announcements when their business is open and to go round households anytime they treat water. Nyamalga, kasulyili and jabayili have closed centres at the moment, but we are working with the entrepreneurs to get them back up and running. In nyamalga, the stream that they use for their source of water in the rainy season has run dry and they need to move the center back to the dugout to resume business. Moving seems to be taking a long time, but we are hopeful that they ladies will get it set up by the dugout soon. The reason for the delay is that the Chief of nyamalga recently passed away dead so the village is busy arranging for the funeral. As we mentioned in previous posts, kasulyili now has a project that pumps dugout water to the village. Although this water is not treated, the community thinks that the water is safe because it is coming from a pipe. Wahab held a village meeting with chief and elders and women but there is still no change in behavior yet. We plan to do continued education in kasulyili over the next couple of months to help people realize that the water is not treated and unsafe for drinking. As we mentioned last month, J two blue drums stolen were stolen from Jabayili, which has stalled sales. The community is working on buying new blue drums. Additionally, yapie yepela now has running taps and so the women have not been treating water. We don;t really view this as a challenge because all of the water test came out clean from this tap! Go Yapie. We are keeping the water center in this village for now until the community can be sure there there will be consistent water access at the tap.
Villages that had solar challenges were yepalsi and djelo. Both had broken inverters and our technician from Burro had a major delay in helping the women fix them. In Sakpalua, chani and nekpegu people have noticed that their lamp batteries don’t last long after charge. This is something that we anticipated since the batteries only last 500 charges before needing to be replaced. The entreprenuers at these villages are working on buying new batteries to replace the older ones. Addtionally, voghyili had four broken battery chargers. These were still under warranty, so Burro replaced them.
Click here for more detailed, week by week monitoring reports for December.
October was a very successful month for our water businesses. After low sales throughout the rainy season, with usage rates dropping below 70% in September, we saw a huge improvement in October. The rains have slowed with the arrival of the dry season so families are no longer “holding out the next rain” and are frequenting the water businesses again. The average usage-rate was back up to 76% and was as high as 85% in the last week in October!
Things at the solar businesses have also been going well. The women from Tacpuli used some of their profits to buy shea nuts to sell in the dry season. In Djelo, the women entrepreneurs have saved 300 Ghs in the bank. They have used some of their money to buy battery chargers to keep at the business and plan to buy maize and rice soon which they will sell later in the year.
Of course, October also had its fair share of challenges. In Djelo, the genset broke and was out of commission for about three weeks while our partners at Burro worked on it. Luckily, the village down the road, Vohyili, also has a Saha solar business so people were able to go there to charge their phones and batteries. I don’t think the Vohyili entrepreneurs were complaining! Some other solar communities, specifically Chani, Kurugu Vohayili, and Sakpalua have been noticing that the charge in their AA batteries is not lasting as long as it it used to. Sometimes, this can be fixed by cleaning the batteries with running alcohol, but for some of our older villages, this means that they are going to need to replace some of their batteries with new ones. Each battery has a lifetime of about 500 charges. After that, they will need to be replaced. Although we talk about this during implementation, many of our entrepreneurs were not expecting to replace their batteries this soon and were disappointed. Luckily, the solar ladies have a lot of money saved up and will be able to afford to replace their batteries.
The main challenge for our water businesses this month revolved around moving the centers. In many villages, the entrepreneurs set up their water businesses in different locations depending on the season. Now that the rains of stopped, the entrepreneurs need to move their water centers back to the dugouts so they have water to treat. Right now, the ladies in Kpalibusi, Jerigu, Yipela, Gundaa, and Chandanyili all need to move their centers and start treating dugout water. We hope for this to happen in the next couple of weeks. The only other problems are missing blue drums in Tunga and Jabayili, but they still have enough blue drums to treat water.
For detailed, week by week monitoring reports from October, click here.
September was a successful month for many of our solar entrepreneurs! The business owners in Kpenchila opened a bank account for their solar center and deposited 300 GHS, all money that that they had earned since opening night in June! The solar ladies in Yakura also had an awesome month. They have saved 280 Cedis, and are planning to open their bank account in October or November. Each of the women also decided to use 60 cedis of their profit to re-invest in their groundnut farms. Shak, who monitors Yakura, was so excited to hear that the ladies had made enough money to support their family farm. They also recently told Shak that they want to start selling phone credit at the solar business as a way to earn extra income. The women in Djelo started doing this a couple months ago and it has been very successful!
On the water front, sales are still slow at the water businesses due to the frequent rains. The good news? Our water tests continue to show that rainwater being collected the “right way,” meaning people have be following Saha’s instructions for washing their safe storage containers with soap and clean water and collecting the rain directly into their safe storage container.
There were a handful of water businesses challenges in the month of September. Tindan, Kadula and Manguli II had leaky polytanks that the women entrepreneurs had difficultly fixing on their own. Wahab, Eric and Amin were able to help the women fix the leaks and used the opportunity to train the ladies about how to fix this issue on their own.
The water issues this month took place in Kasuliyili and Jabaiyili. In Kasuliyili there is a new water project in the village which pumps untreated water from the dugout to a standpipe in the village. Although this water is not treated, and is still fecally contaminated, people in Kasuliyili prefer to fetch this water because it is more convenient then walking to the water business. This was disappointing because we have spent a lot of time on water, health and hygiene education in Kasuliyili. But, the reality is that families in this community, like all of our partner communities, are very, very busy. Their lives are hard and convenience often wins. Wahab and Peter met with Aisha and Fati and came up with a plan to move the water business to the center of town. They then plan to collect water from the standpipe and treat it in the polytank. We are all confident that this plan will increase sales and make it easy for families to access clean water again.
In Jabayili, someone stole two of their blue drums. The community is investigating the situation and hope to find the thief. If they can’t find the thief soon, then they will work out a plan for buying new blue drums. In the meantime, sales have slowed because the women only have one drum to use in their treatment process. Luckily, most families are collecting rain as their main source of drinking water, so the community has at least a month to figure out a plan before the rains start to slow.
The solar communities did not have any major issues this month. In Yapalsi, the Genset needed some small repairs, but the women paid for them on their own with the money they had saved and the business was up and running within the week.
Below are some more pictures from monitoring during September:
There were many success stories from the month of August. For our water communities, we have successfully transitioned into the rainy season. Although sales have been low at many of the water businesses,due to the rains, people have been collecting rainwater in their safe storage containers correctly. Our August water tests showed very little re-contamination, even our newer communities who haven’t had any previous experience collecting rainwater with their safe storage containers. In the few instances where our testing indicating re-contamination, our team did a great job of following up. They re-visited specific households to make sure the family cleaned their safe storage containers and then did presentations at the schools and at community meetings about way to collect and store rainwater correctly. The team did such a great job with these presentations, that we saw immediate results. For example, in Kpachiyili, Azara saw such a high demand for soap after Wahab’s presentation that she started making some to sell at her water business!
August was also a successful month for our solar businesses. The entrepreneurs from Wambong each used GHC100 of their profits from the business to invest in their farms this season. The business owners in Djelo and Nekpegu bought extra cell phone chargers, to help their business grow. Now they can charge any phone at their solar center, even if the customer has lost their charger. In Yapalsi, Sanatua and Asheitu have been doing research to figure out which grinding mill they would like to purchase. They are very excited to expand their business!
All 15 of our solar businesses ran very smoothly in August. In Sakpalua, the entrepreneurs saw a slight decrease in sales due to the opening of the new solar center in Vogyili. In the past, people with cell phones in Vogyili would travel to Sakpalua to charge and now they no longer have to, which is great for Vogyili but not for the business owners in Sakpalua. This was not a significant change in monthly income for the Sakpalua ladies, but it was reported as a challenge from them.
There were not a lot of major challenges in August. Our new community partners seem to have really gotten the hang of things and our more experienced communities transitioned into the rainy season well. Although sales are slow at water businesses in the rainy season, the entrepreneurs adjust their hours, treat less water, and focus on other endeavors, like farming. Once the rains slow, sales will start to pick up again because people will not be able to collect rainwater for free. Some water businesses, like Nymaliga and Kulaa, closed briefly while the business owners moved the treatment centers to new locations for the rainy season.
Wahab faced the biggest challenge of the month in the community of Gundaa. Here, the main water entrepreneur moved out of the community after a quarrel with her husband. The other business owner was unable to sell water because she had been accused of witchcraft. More information about witchcraft in northern Ghana can be found here, but this issue is very polarizing in our partner communities and is something that Saha Global chooses not get involved in. The community is in the process of selecting two new women to run the water business in Gundaa.