Saha Global COVID Response

At Saha Global, we are proud of our comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Since March, when the first cases were confirmed in Ghana, we have:

  • Trained our entire team on social distancing and hygiene protocols
  • Created an unlimited sick leave policy
  • Enabled our office-based staff to work from home
  • Supplied our field staff with PPE – face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer
  • Trained over 600 women entrepreneurs in social distancing and hand-washing procedures
  • Posted hand-washing and social distancing infographics at each water business
  • Distributed COVID infographics to households
  • Distributed over 3,000 reusable cloth masks to entrepreneurs and village elders
  • Created the Emergency Coronavirus Water Fund to enable our businesses to provide free clean water

To learn more, you can read our two press releases, below, or peruse our blog posts.

For further information, contact: ghana@sahaglobal.org 

 


Press Release (FOR IMMEDIATE RELASE September 2020)

Saha Global extends free water to 100,000 customers through December 31, 2020.

Access to clean water for hand washing and drinking is crucial in the fight against COVID-19. In northern Ghana, the majority of the people in rural communities rely on contaminated man-made dugouts as their only source of water which leaves them at risk for waterborne disease. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it means people in rural communities are also vulnerable to infection if they are not able to follow the World Health Organization guidelines on handwashing and hygiene due to the lack of clean water.

The government of Ghana has extended the free water for all Ghanians initiative for an additional three months.  In response, Saha Global has also extended the Emergency Coronavirus Water Fund through December 31, 2020. Saha Global is an NGO that has trained over 700 women “water-preneurs” in rural communities across the Northern and Savannah Regions to operate water treatment centres. Previously the Emergency Coronavirus Water Fund was to provide 3 months of clean water, but today they announce it will be extended through December 31, 2020, providing 7 months of free clean water in 227 communities and a total population of ~99,000 people, supporting the Ghana government’s free water initiative.

Saha Operations Manager Rhiana Meade says, “The Emergency Coronavirus Water Fund is critical to ensuring that even people who live in the most remote rural villages have access to the same free water benefit as urban dwellers.  At Saha Global, our mission is to make clean water access universal.”

The first three months of the Emergency Water Fund were encouraging.  Saha Global distributed more than 3,000 facemasks to more than 600 women entrepreneurs and trained them in social distancing and handwashing procedures.  Printed infographic posters detailing COVID protocols have been placed at each business and distributed to all households.  There has been an enormous increase in clean water distributed daily from all Saha businesses. 98% of Saha customers report consistent free access to water, 99% of customers report that social distancing protocols are being followed at their Saha business, and water entrepreneurs have been wearing their face masks 100% of the time that Saha field staff have observed them working at the business.

A senior officer from the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) conducted a site visit in August. After observing our water business and the logistics of how the EWF is allowing entrepreneurs to provide free water during the pandemic, this officer reported “certainly CWSA cannot cover such communities. They are too far away and the population size is way too small for any of their models. But, we cannot leave them behind so it is important that SWE’s such as Saha collaborate with CWSA to reach as many rural folks as possible.” And then he added, “and well done on the stickers! We already know social distancing is hard to enforce.”


Press Release (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 2020)

Over 99,000 people living in rural northern Ghana get three months of free water through Saha Global’s Emergency Coronavirus Water Fund. 

Free water services, funded by Saha Global begin in Gidanturu, East Gonja District

Access to clean water for hand washing and drinking is crucial in the fight against COVID-19. In northern Ghana, the majority of the people in rural communities rely on contaminated man made dugouts as their only source of water which leaves them at risk for waterborne disease. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it means people in rural communities are also vulnerable to infection if they are not able to follow the World Health Organization guidelines on handwashing and hygiene due to the lack of clean water. Today, Saha Global, an NGO that has trained over 700 women “water-preneurs” in rural communities across the Northern and Savannah Regions to operate water treatment centres,  launched the Emergency Coronavirus Water Fund in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund will allow the water-preneurs in 227 communities to provide free clean water for a total population of ~ 99,000 people for the months of June, July and August and supports the Ghana government’s three months of free water initiative.                                       

In a statement issued in Tamale, the Director of Ghana Operations for Saha Global, Theo Boateng, stated that “after the government’s announcement on providing three months of free water to all Ghanaians, we had discussions with executives from the district assemblies, the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) and the Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation,(CONIWAS), and we all agreed that CSOs and NGOs will have to augment the government’s efforts to ensure that Ghanaians, including those living in far away rural communities and not connected to the national water pipelines, also get access to three months of free clean water. By setting up this emergency water fund, our goal, like that of the government,  is to ensure that the best health and safety practices to prevent the spread of COVID 19 are followed and many lives saved. Rural dwellers in Saha’s partner communities, will have access to clean water and good hygiene during this critical period.  

Over the past weeks, the Saha Global team received training on social distancing, using a face mask and hand washing practices. The team will, in the coming weeks, train the water-preneurs to be able to provide free access to clean water to the members of their communities while ensuring that the safety protocols are being followed. Saha’s partner communities have already received Safe Storage Containers to keep water safe and now will receive safety stickers on best hygiene behaviour “We want to make to make sure our water-preneurs are well equipped to be able to serve clean water in a safe environment” stated Eric Awini, Operations Coordinator at Saha Global.

About Saha Global: Saha Global gets clean drinking water to the people who need it most by setting up entrepreneurial women in rural villages with a chlorinating business that provides clean water that all can afford. Saha provides simple water treatment technology to each  village, mentors the women entrepreneurs on how to run a business that will last, and monitors water quality and consumption for 10 years. Saha has opened 246 water businesses in rural Ghana.