Mr Nathaniel Nii Sasah Adams, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Church of Christ Rural Water Development Project (CoCRWDP) has stated that the vision of the project was to provide water for needy communities throughout the country, especially those in deprived areas.
Mr Adams, who made this remark in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Ashaiman on the objectives, achievements, and challenges facing the project, said, the strategic goal of the project was to promote and eradicate water-borne diseases, especially guinea worm and diarrhoea in endemic communities, to ensure quality human development.
He explained that, while CoCRWDP was committed to poverty eradication and sustainable development, it aimed at providing integrated water with hygiene focused services, using participatory approaches and evangelization to address the needs of deprived communities and society in general.
Recounting the achievements of the project, Mr Adams indicated that since its inception in 1989, RWDP had drilled a total of 997 wells out of which 545 are wet wells fitted with hand pumps and donated to about 345 communities throughout the country.
These facilities, he said, were serving about 152,000 people with potable water, while over 289 pump mechanics, pump caretakers and hygiene workers, had been trained to serve the beneficiary communities.
The CEO said it is gratifying to note that the project was adjudged the best NGO Collaborator in Water and Sanitation in the Northern Region in the year 2,000.
Mr Adams observed that apart from drastically reducing guinea worm cases in most endemic communities, especially in the Northern Region, the project had reduced the time spent, and distance covered by the vulnerable, in search of water, and increased availability of water for economic and social activities, thus improving the living standards of the beneficiaries.
“The project has alleviated the general hardships of inhabitants of the beneficiary communities, especially women and children who travel several miles in search of water for domestic use,” he said
Recollecting the project's historical background, the CEO indicated that way back in 1987, while in Wenchiki in the Saboba-Chereponi District of the Northern Region for evangelism, Mr Josiah Tilton from the Church of Christ in the United States, together with some Ghanaian members, were overwhelmed by the fact that over 50 per cent of the inhabitants in the community were down with guinea worm infestation.
Mr Adams said when the evangelists sought for the curative medicine for the victims, they were surprised to learn that the disease could only be prevented with the provision of potable water for the community.
He said this resulted in the establishment of the CoCRWDP in Ghana by the Traverse City Church of Christ in Michigan, with support from other congregation in the US in 1989, to drill boreholes that would provide the much needed potable water for the needy communities.
The intervention, the CEO said, continued and in the year 2,000, sponsorship was transferred to the International Health Care Foundation in the US city of Searcy, Arkansas.
He stated however, that, the project had since 2003, entered into partnership with other local and international NGOs, as well as donors in order to meet the water and sanitation needs of the affected communities.
Asked about the focused areas of the project this year, Mr Adams said a total of 70 water wells would be drilled, while the same number of broken down facilities, would be rehabilitated.