Team Amin discusses a day of monitoring in Kpanshegu, a community whose business has been running 1 year now.
Before meeting the Chief of Kpanshegu and monitoring his village, we met his wife the queen mother. I barely had time to get to a full “Despa” before she hugged me at my waist, spun me 180 degrees around and plopped me on her bed to sit. Stacy got the same welcome. We didn’t mind any of it because it was completely out of her own excitement and kindness.
Through our translator, Amin, we learned that she was so happy to see a team from Saha after the organization had implemented a clean water village in their area a year prior. Saskia and Jamila are still running it today. The queen explained their previous situation in which they would moto to town when they could, often hitting traffic along the way.
It’s problems like these – the reliability of transportation and proximity among other factors – that prevent villages all over Ghana from accessing safe drinking water.
While we walked through the town asking about households’ kom yurum bambala, or safe storage containers (SSC),people asked Amin about the previous field reps who helped establish the business. Through our conversations we learned some people used their clean water for cleaning and some used it for tea. Others had issues with their storage containers, for instance, leaky faucets that required Amin to wrench a new one into place.
Despite some snags in monitoring, like, our first household’s dusty SSC,which presumably hadn’t been refilled in a number of days, and another SSC’s water containing dirt, we ended on a celebratory note.
For instance, the Mahamaru household kept polytank water in their SSC. It was clear and reflected the sunlight. If you’re familiar with Pulp Fiction, the feeling of seeing that clean water after other contaminated SSCs is similar to the briefcase scene.
Additionally, Chief A. A. Abudu who also happens to be the president of the Northern Region High Chiefs tried to get us drunk. If the chief says it’s not alcoholic, but it clearly looks, smells, and tastes like strawberry liqueur, it’s probably alcoholic. Additionally he offered us beer to which we declined. The chief was supportive of Saha and happy to shoot the breeze with Jason, Stacy, Amin, and I on among other things his time spent in Germany, the weather in Virginia, what and where Illinois is, and his phone number.
Just based on a visit with six or seven households and the local government it was apparent that Saha has a positive reputation within this community and is an important partner. We were able to meet our own community and we can tell already it’s going to be another successful partnership.