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#sahdrydated New Village Updates!!

Hello Hello Saha Supporters!

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

Kids in Darvoguyili all smiles about their clean water

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

Vene having a busy sales day!

Here are the latest reports from the newest Saha communities:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With gratitude,

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

And now … for the jumping pics!

Team Cameron, Sita, Maya and Nick in Vene

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

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

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

Team Nestor, Dylan, Rae and Lexie in Gbunja

Team Alex, Delaney, Lupita and Shak in Tingpangyili

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

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

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

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

Updates From Our Newest Communities

Hello hello! Morganne and Eda here, sending a report straight from Tamale!

Monitoring has been busy since the end of our Winter Global Leadership Program (shout out to our #sahappytobehere crew!). As you might know, we opened our 100th water business in January, which means 100 villages to get out to and check up on! Here’s the latest from the first 2 months in our newest communities:

 

Village Full-time Monitor How’s it going? Center Status Household Visits Lab Samples
Defisa Amin, he visited on March 31st Jahama and Lukaya said sales are going well, however the dugout is very turbid so they have to use more alum to make sure the water is clean! Polytank is ½ full and the 3 “Blue” Drums were empty 5 out of 6 households had water in their safe storage containers The Polytank sample came out clear!
Juni Wahab, he visited on March 27th The dugout has dried because the rainy season hasn’t started yet. Wahab spoke to Jamila who said sales were going well and the women are ready to treat water as soon as the rains come! PT Empty and 3 “Blue” Drums empty No household visits because the dugout is dry No lab samples were taken this visit.  The polytank was sampled earlier this month and came out clean!
Kpumi Peter, but Shak visited on March 29th while Peter monitored our Salaga communities The water is getting very turbid but sales are still going well! Polytank is more than half full and the 3 “Blue” Drums were empty 4 out of 6 households had water in their safe storage containers No samples were taken this visit. The polytank was sampled earlier this month and came out clean!
Labariga Peter, but Shak visited on March 29th while Peter monitored our Salaga communities Fusheina said sales are going well and they treated water yesterday afternoon! Polytank is more than half full and the 3 “Blue” Drums are empty 4 out of 6 households had water in their safe storage containers No samples were taken this visit. The polytank was sampled earlier this month and came out clean!
Parishenaaya Wahab, he visited on March 30th Salamatu said some farming families have returned to Parishenaaya so sales have picked up a bit! Polytank is more than half full, 3 “Blue” Drums are empty 5 out of 6 households had water in their safe storage containers No samples were taken this visit. The polytank was sampled earlier this month and came out clean!
Tuya Wahab, he visited on March 30th Mohammed, who helps with the center when the women travel, said sales are going well and that the recent rains increased the water level in the stream! Polytank is more than half full, and 3 “Blue” Drums are full but don’t have alum yet 6 out of 6 households had water in their safe storage containers, YAHOO! No samples were taken this visit. The polytank was sampled earlier this month and came out clean!
Zuro Peter, but Shak visited on March 29th while Peter monitored our Salaga communities Abiba said everything is going well! Polytank is ¼ full, and 3 “Blue” Drums are empty 3 out of 6 households had water in their safe storage containers The polytank sample came out clean!

 

 

 

Peter monitors Kpumi’s water center

And our newest solar businesses:

Village Full-time Monitor How’s it going? Center Status Household Visits
Chihigu Peter, but Eric visited on March 28th while Peter monitored our Salaga communities Hawabu said everything is going well! There were 8 phones and 6 batteries charging at the center All 6 households had working and fully charged lanterns, yay!
Jagberin Wahab, he visited on March 27th Ramatu said sales are going well but some farming families have left because their dugout has become very turbid. As soon as the water level increases these families will be back and increase solar sales! There were 15 phones and 8 batteries charging at the center All 6 households had working and fully charged lanterns, wahoo!

 

Eric takes a selfie while monitoring in Chihigu

 

Special thanks to our Winter 2017 Field Reps who got these 9 communities off to a great start! Ti paya pahm!

Water Monitoring Sheet Revisions

At Saha we’re always adapting our model to better suit each community we work in. To do that we need good data! We’ve been busy updating our monitoring sheets to reflect the current status of each water business. New additions include a ‘last visit’ section (so we always have the previous visit in mind), more questions about savings/prices, and a ‘summary’ section.

 

We’ve started allowing households to fill different containers (besides the safe storage container) at the water center, including garawas and jerrycans. This allows families to skew the ratio of clean water to dugout water in their homes towards more clean water! In our monitoring chats we make sure to talk about how the SSC will always keep water the cleanest for drinking, but a jerrycan with a closed lid is a good backup for cooking, etc. Extra lab samples of these alternative containers is ongoing, and we hope to have data of their safe storage ability soon.

 

Take a look at our latest water monitoring sheet below!

Saha’s 2017 Winter Program Kicks Off!

Akwaaba (as they say here in the south of Ghana) to all our Winter 2017 Field Reps! Caleb, Wyatt, Erin, Sarah, Shanelle, Joanne, Shane, Qingyi, Louis, Micah, Caroline, Elijah, Lexie, Maureen, Tess, Yu, Mona-Mae, Alex C, Ann, Kalin, Matt, Zulean, Shaminika, Kevin, Walker, Morgan, Nikita, Terynek, Yueyue, Alex K, Becky, Laura, Olivia and Shannon all arrived safely throughout the day today and yesterday, even despite some Harmattan flight cancellations in Accra.

Tomorrow, the fun begins! Most of us are busing up to Tamale right now, and the late-comers (Shane, Louis, Sarah and Lexie) will bus up with Ghana Program Director Peter Friday! Then it’s orientation, so stay tuned.

Over and out,

– Team Saha

#SahaSwag

Several months ago we had a number of inquiries from recent Saha Global alumni about the availability of shirts, mugs, or other gear to show their support. After careful consideration, collaboration, polling, and number crunching, we have decided to make several designs/items available to Saha supporters!

tee2
By purchasing Saha gear, you are supporting the process that is at the heart and soul of program. That is, you envision an ongoing process of helping communities thrive, not survive. You support the process of educating individuals and the subsequent ongoing sustainability in order to build a business that meet their community’s basic needs and improve their quality of life.

tee1
The availability of these items is not limited to anyone! If you’re alumni who have been looking for a way to engage others about the work you did abroad – we’ve got you covered. If you’re a soon-to-be participant in the Global Leadership Program and you want to don some new threads while working in the Northern Region – look no further. If you’re a donor (past, present, future) and you support the ongoing work of Saha Global – grab a tee and share how your contribution helped combat the global water crisis.

mug
But we wanted to do more than just sell gear, we wanted to make this campaign, which we’re dubbing #Sahaswag, interactive. If you are to purchase gear and upload a photo of you with your gear to Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with the hashtag #SahaSwag, then you will be automatically entered into an ongoing monthly feature on our website! Selfies, serene settings, and of course, jumping photos, are all strongly encouraged.

Mahamuyili - Savannah Eughenia Yi Chelsea SMLL
What’s even BETTER about this project? 100% of the proceeds generated from it will be directed back into the ongoing programs to improve the quality of life of those in the developing regions in which Saha works.
We hope to eventually make gear available on an ongoing basis and we’re open to suggestions on what to make a staple in our inventory. In our Google Form, you will find a section at the bottom to include questions, comments, sizing suggestions, additional orders, etc. You remain a part of who we are and who we will continue to be, so your opinion is important! Thanks for your continued attention and support!

 

 Browse and purchase gear here!

Bryant Foreman
Saha Global Alumni Advisory Board Co-Chair
Summer, 2013 Global Leadership Program

Orientation Down, Next Step Implementation!

Akwaaba from Tamale! We are excited to have all of our Field Reps here for orientation before heading out to their own villages. The first few days have been spent learning Ghana history, Dagbani training (the predominant language spoken in the area around Tamale), and Saha’s approach to both the water treatment and solar electricity processes. Teams and translators were announced on the first day and their first activity together was spent running around town on a scavenger hunt. Congratulations to Team Simply for getting the most points!

 

simply

 

Next, our teams spent the morning at a village that was previously implemented in for water or solar. It was a great opportunity to see how the businesses run and the challenges and successes that different communities face throughout operation. In Wovugu, our Field Reps learned that the women entrepreneurs had issues getting people to buy water for a short period of time. They were able to solve the problem with the elders of the village to educate people about the need to always drink clean and safe drinking water! Everyone had a great time asking the women questions and playing with the kids!

group pic

dugout water

panorama

If you don’t already, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@sahaglobal) to check out pictures of the Field Reps in action. More to come soon!

Introducing Our 2016 Advisory Board

The Saha Global Advisory Board consists of some of our top Field Rep alumni. After participating in the Global Leadership Program and implementing a Saha business from the ground up, these people really know what we are all about! We truly value their input and feedback. We know that they have the skills, experience and passion that we need to continue to drive our growth and expansion!

The main focus of our board over this next year will be fundraising and Field Rep alumni engagement. We are excited to have their input and ideas!Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 10.56.46 AM

Our 2016 Advisory Board Members:
Brianan Kiernan
DeLaine Mayer
Kayleah Griffen
Sean Dikdan
Signe Lindquist
Bryant Foreman
Jeremy Lakin
Lilly Prince
Stacey Cussen

Over the next few weeks we will be posting bios about each of the members so you can get to know them a little better, stay posted!

On a Quest for Quality Light

After our Global Leadership Program this summer, we were contacted by Burro. They are no longer going to carry the beloved lanterns we have been using at Saha’s solar charging businesses. The durability, price, availability and the fact that they are battery-operated are just a few of the reasons why we and, most importantly, the consumers love these lanterns, so we were sad to see them go. 

Here’s where Saha’s relationship with our suppliers comes in. The great thing about our local suppliers like Burro is that we have built a solid partnership. When Burro decided not to carry this lantern model, they  began researching a new product that could meet our lantern requirements. Now we will hand it over to guest blogger Jacob McEntire, an Electrical Engineer at Burro, who researched and found a new lantern fit for Saha!

Finding good quality products isn’t always easy, so when Saha reached out to my employer to for recommendations on battery lights, I was happy to lend a hand. The challenge was to find a light that was not only powerful and long-lasting, but could stand up to the rigors of everyday use in Ghana. It didn’t make the process easier that their clients’ needs necessitated an inexpensive choice; rather than browsing the cream of the crop, our mission was to pluck a gem from the bottom of the barrel.

We had a bevy of different lights to test.
We had a bevy of different lights to test.

Faced with an order of 75 assorted battery lights that we had ordered for testing, as well as a kerosene lantern that had somehow snuck into the shipment, my partner Edmond and I began by sorting them into categories. Some of the products (headlamps, torchlights, desk lamps, etc.) were instantly nixed, progressing the remaining 15 or so to the next round: drop testing. Since Saha emphasized a need for durability, we began by dropping the products four feet onto the stone floor of the workshop. Some failed completely at this point, some flickered but soldiered on, and a few didn’t even dim. We also did some initial battery testing at this stage; turning on the lights and running them until they ran out of battery. Lights that survived the drop-testing and had long enough battery life enough to be useful continued on to the final round of testing, where we examined their light output more carefully.

Edmond preparing to drop-test one of the lights.
Edmond preparing to drop-test one of the lights.

During our exploration of these products, we discovered how tricky it can be to quantify their light emission. Battery life seemed the most important factor after durability, but there’s a lot that battery life doesn’t tell us. As a light shines, it constantly saps the voltage of its batteries, which in turn decreases the intensity of the light. As anyone who owns a flashlight knows, this means that battery lights will get dimmer over time. Our goal with this final round of tests was to quantify that time: how quickly do these lights dim? At what point do we consider them too dim to be useful?

The difference between our workshop and a darkroom? About an inch of aluminum.
The difference between our workshop and a darkroom? About an inch of aluminum.

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With a little finagling, we converted our workshop into a makeshift darkroom. Combining this with a luxmeter iPhone app, a stopwatch, and diligent data-gathering, we produced a set of curves describing the light output of each of our final three candidates. Exciting! Armed with this knowledge, we settled on our final recommendation: the KNP-W01331NR. It combines strong light output and good battery life with an extreme resistance to physical shocks. As you can see from the picture below, the light was designed with endurance in mind: its rubberized casing and thick joints minimize damage from falls and knocks, and its lack of sharp edges distributes any stress more evenly across the body, lessening wear.

The sleek design of the KNP-W01331NR enables it to take a beating without damage to the circuitry.
The sleek design of the KNP-W01331NR enables it to take a beating without damage to the circuitry.
Our data for light testing; light 2 was our final choice, because of it’s extreme durability.
Our data for light testing; light 2 was our final choice, because of it’s extreme durability.

Meet Our Entrepreneurs: Damu from Sakpalua

Sakpalua- DamuDamu 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.