July 18, 2013

BGI Partners with Safe Water Network in Ghana


(From left to right) Safe Water Network's Africa Director, Charles Nimako and CEO, Kurt Soderlund; Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Ashanti King; BGI Partners chairman Dan Rose and CEO, Irwin Barkan

BGI LLC is contributing $150,000 towards our expansion into the Ashanti Region of Ghana. This support will fund construction and support of four water systems providing safe water to over 16,000 people in need in rural communities. 

These four sites form the foundation of a cluster of locally owned and managed systems in the region which will expand over the next four years. BGI's funding will also cover the community training and support required to keep safe water systems running until the villages are self-sufficient. 

Daniel Rose, chairman of BGI LLC, announced its funding for Safe Water Network's Ashanti expansion program at a Yale University event held in Accra on July 17. "Our goal is to demonstrate that American business involvement overseas can be a 'win, win, win' game," says Rose. "This work is good for Ghana, and this work is good for those we serve; good for our employees and investors too." 

BGI Partnership Announced at a Yale College Event in Accra

Daniel Rose, chairman of BGI, announced at the international event: From Success to Significance: Thought Leaders in the African Renaissance, their partnership with Safe Water Network. The Yale College sponsored event held July 18-19 was also attended by a delegation from His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, who also discussed the project and its importance to the region. 

BGI is the only U.S.-based real estate firm developing commercial properties in West Africa, making strategic commercial and real estate investments in the emerging economies of the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa.

With the support and assistance of Ghana's Community Water and Sanitation Agency, the Ashanti sites in Asante Akim North, Asante Akim South, and Ejisu Juaben districts were identified based on the significant water and health challenges posed by the lack of safe water access. 

"One of Otumfuo's key objectives for his reign is to improve access to sustainable potable water for all communities," says Nana Adu Gyamfi, spokesperson for Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Ashanti King. "Our partnership with Safe Water Network and BGI sits squarely within these objectives." 

The Ashanti sites will use Limited Mechanization Systems (LMS) technology to improve water yield, convenience in access and operational efficiency of existing boreholes. LMS is also cost-effective to operate for communities of less than 5,000 people. 

A lead community will be identified in the next few months to play an important role in assisting the other communities, setting the standard for best practices in management, consumer demand, cost control and operations as part of efforts to establish a viable cluster in the region. 

This effort is part of a broader Ghana expansion program supported by other lead partners including the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the Newman's Own Foundation. Combined, this funding is focused on creating a viable cluster that leverages the economies of scale necessary to provide the ongoing service and maintenance requirements for long-term sustainability of water systems. 

Over the next three years, Safe Water Network will work with communities in this region of Ghana to launch new safe water systems, providing safe water access to over 40,000 people. Additional program elements, include centralized technical services, training and spare parts management at the cluster level. 

Ghana and Safe Water Network

Our work in Ghana is important because more than 40% of the country's 25 million people do not have safe water access despite an investment of roughly a half a billion US dollars over the past twenty years from the government and its development partners[1]. 

Safe Water Network is overcoming the obstacles to local sustainability by demonstrating the viability of locally owned and managed water systems, as well as standardizing and packaging all aspects of these systems for others to easily replicate. To date we have provided safe water access to nearly 50,000 people in Ghana. 

"We are solving the challenges to local sustainability and refining our model so that access to safe and affordable water will be a reality for millions throughout Ghana," says Charles Nimako, director of Africa initiatives for Safe Water Network. "Partners like BGI make achieving this mission a very real possibility."

For more information on our work in Ghana, contact: Joseph A. Boakye, jaboakye@safewaternetwork.org 
 

1. Water Sector Monitoring Platform-Ghana (2010) Compilation of Information on Water and Sanitation Sector Investment in Ghana. WSMP/Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing-Accra.