#WorldWaterDay Recap

This year for World Water Day, we welcomed women from 8 Saha villages: Chanbuligu, Kuchani, Defisa, Wovogu, Wovogumani, Nomnayili, Guma, and Kujeri.

Rain the night before made getting some of the women to Tamale more difficult, but everyone eventually arrived safely!  While we waited, we played the simple but very fun “Stump!” a Saha original game.

Our team led a lively discussion with the women by posing questions that got the entreprensurs talking and sharing ideas.  They talked about difficulties with dry dugouts and using motorkings and donkey carts to bring water from further distances during the dry season.   When discussing marketing and advertising, one woman shared that she has told her customers that if they come with their child, and the child has a small container, she lets the child fill their container for free!

The women discussed savings strategies in depth. Saha does not pay the women they need to save any profit they make in order to buy any replacement parts if things break.  Mariama from Nomnayili is working with a microfinance NGO and has been able to save a truly impressive amount of money in the three short months her business has been running!

Other topics included health and sanitation, community involvement with the businesses, and the larger picture of the Saha mission.  After the discussions, we had lunch and the group socialized and of course, took some selfies!


Our goal for the day was to have the women meet and share ideas, show them some appreciation for their hard work, and have them leave with a better understanding of what a large community they are truly a part of! Some of our villages are very geographically isolated, so we want them know that there are literally hundreds of other women who deal with the same challenges they do!

Thank you to Sachiya and Samata from Wovoumani, Ishatu and Asana from Wovogu, Warihana and Sumaya from Chanbuligu, Mariama from Nomnayili, Mariam and Adisa from Kuchani, Abibata and Zeha from Defisa, Ayi and Maimunatu from Navali Guma, and Asana and Abuo from Kujeri for joining us!

Voices from the Field: Team Amin (MIchaela, Elijah, Naomi, & Abby)

Team Amin: Michaela, Naomi, Amin, Elijah and Abby

Although we have only been into our village, Wuvogumani, three times, being with Community Water Solutions has already been an incredible experience.  We all agree that the most immediate surprise was how welcoming Ghanaians have been to us. We discovered this about the Ghana on our first day as a team during a competition. While shopping around the cultural center and getting orientated with the area, a man selling something on the street jokingly yelled at us. We then struck up a playful conversation about the main differences between America and Ghana. Already we made a friend and continue to meet more friendly faces everyday.

Elijah and Amin on the 2nd day in Wuvogumani

Along similar lines, another small, yet significant, part of our experience has been the ease of connecting with people who do not speak English. Since we must describe how dugout water gets contaminated through fecal contamination, the word poop is translated often. Our translator, Amin, taught us the word in Dagbnai, bindy. While in our initial meeting with the chief, a formal and important occasion, the elders of the community were making jokes about bindy. Humor has been the easiest way to connect with the members of the village we are working in. We decided that you don’t have to share a language to share a laugh.

Abby with some of her new Ghanian friends

An addition thought we want to share is about the failed past water projects we have seen since visiting different villages. It’s almost eerie seeing the past attempts to bring clean water to various communities. Yet by seeing these failed projects, it has motivated our team’s desire to do everything in our power to get the community excited about their Community Water Solutions clean water treatment business.  We now more fully understand all the factors that allow Community Water Solutions to be so sustainable.

One of the keys to CWS’ success is involving the entire community in every step of the implementation process. Here are the women in Wovuhumani after our community meeting!