The last time we had one of these celebrations was two years ago. Our 2020 plans were finalized and ready to go but sadly cut off by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, our work remains social distanced to keep every one as safe as possible. Despite missing the party, we are all hard at work today to keep delivering clean water to the people who need it the most.
The Emergency Water Fund is coming to an end this month, so after 9 months of free water, our field staff and entrepreneurs are working together to get their communities ready to begin paying for water again. User fees are an important part of a sustainable clean water economy for all water enterprises, not just Saha businesses. It’s also dry season here in northern Ghana, so many dugouts and streams are beginning to dry, so many businesses will be on hold waiting until the rains start again in June or July. As the EWF winds down, our expansion plans are ramping up. With a small team we are ready to start opening new businesses in new villages. As we know, COVID-19 doesn’t lessen the need for clean water – it only highlights how crucial water is for health. With our COVID safety protocols, we are confident that we can open new businesses while keeping our staff and community partners safe. Luckily for us, almost all our work takes place outdoors!
Until next year, when we hope we can celebrate World Water Day properly, enjoy some images from previous parties!
For a year now at Saha, we’ve been using remote calling to water business entrepreneurs and customers to enable Saha to keep in touch while avoid direct contact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This technique gives Saha opportunity to listen to success stories, learn about problems that need immediate attention and continue education on COVID-19. During a routine phone call, field officer Amin Bangaham learned that Mr. Muda has been an active customer and strong advocate for the Saha water business in his community of Zowu.
Entrepreneurs in Zowu (most closely pronounced “Zoh”), in Central Gonja, opened their water business in 2018. Since day one, Mr. Muda was glad to have an option other than the dugout water for his family to drink. He lives with with wife and children as well as his elderly father. His wife, Mrs. Muda, refills the family’s safe storage containers whenever they are empty. Mr. Muda said that at first, the children and his wife were reluctant to drink the new water, but over time they’ve come to enjoy it even more than he does! He told Bangaham that they used to go to the community health center every month to get drugs due to someone in his household experiencing diarrhea, but since they’ve been drinking the clean water from the Saha business, it has been almost an entire year since he’s had to visit the hospital. He attributes this change to the drinking water, since he learned in the very first community meeting before the business opened that drinking the dugout water causes diarrhea.
Mr. Muda is the head of one of 62 households in his community, and Zowu is one of 246 Saha water businesses. Saha water businesses are impacting over 100,000 people just like Mr. Muda every day.