Residents of Duta community in the Ketu South Municipality can now heave a sigh of relief following the provision of a modern mechanized borehole for the community. The facility is estimated to pump up to about 10,000 gallons per hour into an overhead tank from where residents can access the water. The facility was commissioned in a short ceremony organised for the purpose.
It took the intervention of Team Embak - a student team from the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, who emerged winners at last year’s Community Service Award (CSA) to ensure that this all important facility is brought to the Duta community for the supply of quality and potable water after several years of battling with unsafe drinking water due to cement pollution from activities of the Diamond Cement Ghana Limited (DCGL) at Aflao located near the Duta community.
In his speech, Mr Divine Kporha, the leader of Embak related that Team Embak expects that with the provision of the modern mechanized borehole, the members of the community will have the capacity to carry out their day-to-day activities such as cooking, washing, bathing and so on with no problems whatsoever about the quality of water they are using. In addition, it is expected that the Duta community members will be relieved of the burden of having to walk several kilometres to access potable water.
Mr Kporha further disclosed that Team Embak had a number of stakeholder meetings with the Diamond Cement Factory and were informed during one of such meetings by the General Manager, Mr T. Ramarao that the factory would also provide similar facilities in the other three (3) sub communities i.e. Agbawoeme-Zogbe, Ahiatakukope and Demadikope. It is worth stating that the intervention by Team Embak is in line with the Community Service Award that aims at cultivating the spirit of volunteerism and community service among young people.
Rev. Moses Asafo, Head Pastor of Assemblies of God Church, Aflao, on his part, stressed the need to adopt an effective maintenance culture and entreated the community members to show a good example to other communities to follow. Present at the ceremony were: Dr. Osei Kusi (President of the Foundation), Rev. Pastor Asafo (Head Pastor of the Assemblies of God Church, Aflao), Hon. Elliot Agbenorwu ( Municipal Chief Executive of the Ketu South Municipality), Hon. Foga Nukunu (Former Assembly man of the Duta Electoral Area) and the media amongst other relevant stakeholders.
Two years ago, Duta community was captured on a documentary by Joy News themed; “CANDIDATES FOR DEATH” on the incident of cement dust pollution from the Diamond Cement Ghana Limited (DCGL) at Aflao.
As a result of this, efforts were made to relocate this community from its old settlement which is situated very close to the factory. The migration plan was largely unsuccessful, compelling members of the community to continue residing in their old settlement with a double problem of absence of fresh air and now, clean water.
Initially, the community depended largely on rain water to survive. Wells were their alternative source of water but the two main sources of water became compromised as the cement dust pollutes this open source of water overnight leaving the community to suffer greatly from the absence of potable water.
In an interview with some natives of the community it came to the fore that they access to potable water requires either spending or a fortune or travelling several kilometres to the Republic of Togo to fetch water. Due to the stress involved, most community members continued to risk their health by depending on the contaminated water found in Duta.
The story however changed when Team Embak visited the community last year and spent about eight (8) hours to look out for problems in this community. The following challenges were identified during the eight (8) hour exercise:
1. Poor road network with gullies and pot holes;
2. Lack of portable water;
3. Cement dust pollution in the entire atmosphere;
4. Other health related problems;
The team decided to assist with the available resources at their disposal. So with limited resources and their believe in the saying, “Water is Life”, they decided to construct a modern mechanized borehole in the community which will pump up to about 10,000 gallons per hour into an overhead tank, from where the water could be accessed.
THE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
The Community Service Award is the biggest platform in Ghana for tertiary students to exhibit volunteerism and patriotism as their contribution towards national development. It was initiated in March 2014 by Osei-Kusi Foundation (OKF) and Selfless 4Africa Inc. (S4A) with the aim of cultivating a spirit of volunteerism and community service among young people.
Embak, a student team from the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, emerged winners at last year’s Community Service Award (CSA) held at the University of Ghana Faculty of Law with representations from University of Cape Coast, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Regional Maritime University, Valley View University, University of Health and Allied Sciences and the host, University of Ghana. At the end of the rounds, the 7 member team of Judges scored in favour of EMBAK from UHAS crowning them the winners with a cash prize of GHC 10,000.00. The entire prize together with a GHC 5,000.00 donation from the Foundation Vice Chancellor of UHAS Prof. Fred Newton Binka and another GHC 5,000.00 donation from Rev. Moses Asafo was used for the Duta Community water project.
Members of team EMBAK included Maame Afua Kpodo-Tay, Baba Abdul Hakim, Wannah Vog-Enga Ernest, Johnfiah Akua Diana and Mr Kporha Divine.