An hour and a half drive along the rough and dusty roads to the northwest of Tamale lies the village of Kasuliyili. With around 400 households (estimating about 3,500 people), and education-levels ranging from elementary to high school, some electricity, and a dugout the size of a lake, this village holds the title as the largest that Community Water Solutions has ever had the opportunity to work with.
The grandness of the village made it somewhat difficult to believe that they did not already have access to clean drinking water, but the results of the test of the dugout water in Kasuliyili – rife with E. Coli and Coliform – were testament to the fact that we a had a tremendous challenge ahead. We rolled up our sleeves, layered on the bug spray and prepared for the weeks ahead!
Today we had the honor of meeting with the village chief, who is an educator and nothing short of a visionary for his community. Our team met with “Chief Patience Moves Mountains” (awesome name, right?), the village elders, the women leaders and other community members. Collectively, we discussed the different aspects of the CWS concept. We covered the importance of healthy drinking water, the building of the water treatment center, the training process with the women to run the business, educating the children in the community, and the ongoing monitoring of the business.
After laying out the details and answering the questions from the elders and community members, it was now the chief’s time to speak. When he told us how important access to healthy water was for the village and accepted our offer to help, we couldn’t help but be heartened by his comments. When he gifted us yams and a Guinea Fowl, we were even more moved.
Before arriving in Ghana for the fellowship, we each knew that we would meet with the chief and elders about bringing clean water to their village, but we did not know how amazing and important this would be. After the meeting, we asked our translator and longtime CWS employee, Peter, what he would write in the blog post if he had the chance. His response was simple: “it was the best chief meeting I have ever had.”
We are incredibly excited to be a part of such an incredible project in Kasuliyili, helping to move forward Chief Patience Moves Mountain’s mission to bring good health to village over the next two weeks.
-Saja, Chris, Rachel & Corrine