Datoyili (N/R), Aug. 28, GNA - The Rotary Club of Accra Airport, on Saturday handed over two water pasteurisation facilities to the Datoyili and Diare communities in the Northern Region to provide potable water to the people.
Rotary Club of Accra Airport, Rotary Club of Fresno, California, United States and Rotary Club of Northfleet, United Kingdom, sponsored the projects estimated at about 28,000 dollars.
Each of the facilities has a lifespan of more than 25 years. Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Mercy Bannerman, Past President of Rotary Club of Accra Airport said a joint WHO/UNICEF report indicated that more than 2.6 billion people in the world did not have access to basic sanitation while more than one billion lacked access to safe drinking water.
Dr Bannerman, a medical doctor, said pasteurisation of water reduced the incidence of water-borne diseases such as guinea worm, typhoid, cholera and intestinal parasites, which accounted for over 87 per cent of illness in the Northern Region.
She noted that Ghana was the third most endemic guinea worm country in the world, after Sudan and Nigeria and said the Northern Region alone accounted for up to 65 per cent of all reported cases. "The level of endemicity poses considerable limitations to the socio-economic development of the region and substantial man-hours are lost due to disability," she said.
Dr Bannerman said in social and economic terms, the guinea worm disease prevalence was highest in adults between the ages of 15 and 45 years adding, "although significant rates of infection occur in children between five and 15 years".
She said the provision of safe drinking water was the ultimate in achieving complete eradication of the guinea worm menace, but technical and financial constraints were limiting factors.
"The elimination of the disease in the country will result in improved health, education, agricultural productivity and general economic development for several million people at risk," she said.
Ms. Theresa Osei-Tutu, Vice-President of Rotary Club of Accra Airport, said Rotary embraced some 1.2 million men and women in more than 27,000 Rotary Clubs in 150 countries in the world.
She said all Rotarians were united in their commitment to carry out its motto of "Service above self" adding, "our call to service teaches us to reach out to the sick, the hungry, those with no clothes, no shelter, no education, no future and no hope".
"Ironically, in fulfilling our duties as Rotarians, we become the beneficiaries of our benevolence because we fulfil the very reason of our existence; that is to serve others."
Ms Osei-Tutu said the Club together with its partners worldwide, spent a minimum of 1.3 million dollars annually towards the eradication of polio in the country between 1998 and 2003.
The Club also donated a kidney dialysis machine to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, provided several hand-dug wells in Northern Ghana, built libraries and donated books running into millions of dollars to several communities.
Ms Osei-Tutu said: "It is unacceptable that today over a billion of the world's population does not have access to clean drinking water. It is my hope that the two projects will provide treated and clean water to the people in and around the Datoyili and Diare areas."
She urged the people to maintain the facilities saying: "Let it be that these projects are as good as you keep them".
Naa Imoro Alhassan, chief of Datoyili expressed gratitude to Rotary Club of Accra Airport for the facilities and said they would be put to good use.