In the News

Vitol Foundation Supports Ghana Expansion

With the support of Vitol Foundation, we are pleased to announce the next two installations in our Ashanti Cluster Expansion program: Donyina, population 5,200, and Ofoase, population 4,000—to open in early 2015—today both lack affordable safe water options. 

This new partnership with the Vitol Foundation is an important next step in completing the Ashanti Cluster which will comprise 12 systems servicing over 40,000 people in the region by the end of 2015. 

Safe Water Network in Ashanti Region 
In 2013 we began working with the Asanti King and Ghana’s Community Water and Sanitation Agency to address the need for affordable safe water throughout this region of Ghana. To date, Safe Water Network is supporting three community-led systems that provide nearly 10,000 people affordable safe water. 

An important component of each cluster plan is the Water Services Entity, which provides spare parts and on-going maintenance throughout the region to consistently keep safe water flowing long term. 

The cluster approach is designed to cost-effectively support up to a hundred systems. A portion of the Vitol Foundation grant will cover the phase one development of this Water Services Entity, which will provide the working capital to cover the salaries of a plumber and electrician. Both will operate out of the cluster’s lead community’s safe water station based in Yawkwei. 

Yawkwei opened last year and is providing safe water access to over 2000.  As the lead community, the Yawkwei team provides guidance and support to the other communities in the cluster. This leverages economies of scale and fosters best practice across the region. 

The existing boreholes in Donyina and Ofoase will require mechanization of the pumping system. Because convenience is an important driver in consumer adoption of safe water, each site will be equipped with an extended distribution network, providing up to six service points per community. The water will be treated with chlorine as an additional safety measure. Both communities will participate in the governance of their systems and will undergo extensive training so that they can assume full responsibility for the oversight of their operations as well as ownership of the station. 

“Partners like Vitol Foundation are essential to our ability to empower communities to own and operate Safe Water Stations,” says Charles Nimako, head of African Initiatives, Safe Water Network. “Working together with the regional and local authorities enables all of us to be more effective.” 

Vitol Foundation  joins an esteemed group of partners funding Safe Water Network’s Ghana programs including the Conrad N. Hilton Newman’s Own, Osprey and Stone Family foundations, Kosmos Energy, and BGI, LTD.