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10.12.2005 Regional News

Eleven communities provided with tanks to harvest rainwater

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Tamale, Dec 10, GNA- Eleven communities and some selected schools in the East Gonja District, which face acquit water problems, especially in the dry season, have been provided with tanks to harvest rainwater for drinking and domestic purposes.

The communities face water shortage because boreholes cannot be dug due to the low water level in the area, compelling the people to compete with animals for water from the ponds and few dams around. Mr. Eric Chimsi, Project Coordinator of the Northern Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana said this at a workshop organised by the Development Office of the Church on "Rainwater Harvesting and its impact on the communities in Northern Ghana" in Tamale on Friday. Some of the communities that have benefited from the provision of the rainwater harvesting tanks include Vogyili, Sakpalua, Kanjeyili, Nachmbia, Dakpeniyili, Jello, Kpinchilla, Jangyili and Daashie. He said in some of the communities people sometimes stayed on the barest minimum water supply for about three to four months and this had led to the spread of water-borne diseases such as guinea-worm, cholera and trachoma among others.

He said since the intervention of the church in the provision of the rainwater harvesting tanks the lives of the people had been transformed becauce they now have potable drinking water and no longer travel distances of about 14 kilometres in search of water.

This has also given the women ample time to engage in other income generating activities to supplement their family incomes. Mr Chimsi said the communities were also educated on issues of environmental preservation and urged to stop felling trees for charcoal burning and instead plant trees and engage in other profitable ventures such as bee-keeping.

He announced that there were plans to form a Rainwater Harvesting Association to serve as an advocacy group on rainwater harvesting, continual tying of rainwater harvesting to woodlot for environmental sustenance and making the harvesting of rainwater a policy issue of the Presbyterian Church.

The Reverend Adda-Naami Kwesi, Presby chairperson of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana in-charge of the Northern, Upper East and West Regions observed that over the past 20 years, this year had been one of those that experienced a short rainy season and said that if the people were encourage to practice the harvesting of rainwater most households would not face water shortage.

He said if the harvesting of rainwater was not seriously encouraged in the rural areas the incidence of the spread of the guinea worm disease could not be reduced.