Local Operators Keep Safe Water Flowing in Communities
The operators of the H2OME! Safe Water Stations in Dzemeni and Volivo play essential roles in keeping safe water flowing in their respective communities of Ghana. Dzemeni was one of Safe Water Network’s first stations, opened in 2009. The Volivo station is one of our newest, opened in 2020.
Both stations rely on the local operator to keep things running smoothly. Operators are provided with on-going technical and management training to maintain operations, handle customer needs, and control revenue and expenses to ensure financial sustainability.
Kwame Gakpo has been the Dzemeni operator for ten years, almost as long as the station has been providing affordable safe water to the nearly 8,000 residents of his community. Before the station was built, many people collected water from the nearby beautiful, but contaminated, Lake Volta.
Kwame was a mechanic before becoming a station operator. “I really enjoy making sure that safe water is available to my community,” Kwame says, “that way the families here won’t have to drink bad water ever again.”
Alexander Tetteh Quashaire was a rice farmer. Today he is an operator at the Volivo community safe water station. Not that long ago, the 3,000 people living in Volivo had to walk far and up a steep hill to reach the lake for water.
“I really enjoy my job,” Alexander says, “and it’s great to see people so joyful about not having to make that journey anymore to get water.”
Once the station was opened in a convenient location, Safe Water Network installed four Water ATMs, or automated dispensers, in other locations around the village. People in the community can now access safe water 24/7 with contactless digital payments.
Because convenience is an important driver in increased safe water usage, water ATMs are an important means of making water more accessible for more people. With over 100 stations currently in operation across Ghana, Safe Water Network continues to introduce innovations that make our operators more effective. We are also piloting direct piped connections to households, health clinics, schools, and businesses to make safe water even more convenient.
But regardless of how people access safe water, the local operator plays in essential role as an advocate for safe water usage as well as the local technician that ensures the station is operating properly.