November 19, 2014

Four New Station Launch in Ghana's Ashanti Region

As part of a three-year expansion program across Ghana, Safe Water Network launched four Safe Water Stations in the Ashanti Region of Ghana that will provide up to 56,000 people with affordable and reliable safe water.  The project was launched in partnership with BGI, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and Vitol Foundation.

Safe Water Network has been in Ghana since 2008, developing locally owned and managed water stations for communities in need. Close to 35% of Ghana’s 25 million people lack reliable safe water access, with an estimated over two million living in the Ashanti Region. To date Safe Water Network’s community-led systems provide nearly 90,000 people safe water access in Ghana.

The Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Honourable Nii Lantei Vanderpuye, performed the official commissioning ceremony of Safe Water Network’s community-led water station for the 7,000 people living in Ofoase. He later commissioned all the three additional water stations in the Sekyere South District. “We are already seeing tangible impact from Safe Water Network’s commitment to work in partnership with local government authorities. There is tremendous potential to improve access to safe and reliable water supply across the country with their approach and we look forward to working closely together to make this a reality for all communities here in Ghana, still in need of safe water” says Nii Lantei Vanderpuye. Also in attendance at the commissioning was the CEO of BGI, Mr. Irwin J. Barkan and the District Chief Executives for the Asante Akyem South and Sekyere South Districts.

The Safe Water Station at Ofoase in the Asante Akyem South District, together with water systems at Bipoa, Afamanaso and Bedomase in the Sekyere South District now provide over 15,000 people safe water access.

“We partnered with Safe Water Network here in Ghana’s Ashanti Region last summer,” says Irwin Barkan, CEO of BGI. “Six months later, safe water is flowing in several communities. That’s meaningful impact.”

"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."

Last August former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, visited Safe Water Network’s community led station in Obeyeyie, 40 miles north of the capital, Accra. “What’s exciting about this approach,” he said, “is that it’s sustainable.”

“A total of 50 systems will be added over the next three years across all of the regions in Ghana where we operate,” says Charles Nimako, Country Director for Safe Water Network. “This will provide over 200,000 more people access to safe water. Partners like BGI, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and Vitol Foundation are important to our ability to reach more people, faster.”

The Ashanti Region expansion is part of a broader initiative to take Safe Water Network’s local success to scale that includes Vitol Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. “Anyone can install a water system,” says Kurt Soderlund, CEO of Safe Water Network, “keeping it going is the real challenge. We have developed a comprehensive package of support, training and knowledge on how to design, launch and maintain these safe water stations. Over the next three years, with the help of partners like BGI, Vitol Foundation, Hilton Foundation and support from Ghana’s government and leaders like the honorable Ashanti King, we can make a real impact on people’s lives.”

Honourable Nii Lantei Vanderpuye, Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development
We are already seeing tangible impact from Safe Water Network’s commitment to work in partnership with local government authorities. There is tremendous potential to improve access to safe and reliable water supply across the country with their approach and we look forward to working closely together to make this a reality for all communities here in Ghana, still in need of safe water.