For the next project in the Suma Ahenkro, Ghana program, EWB-UMCP will work with the community to establish a reliable water supply for the school. The school currently sources its water from the community water supply, which often shuts off without warning, leaving the school without water. In cases where the water is off, students must walk to a stream two and a half miles away to fetch unpotable water. This five mile roundtrip trek cuts into students’ school time, frequently making students late for class. On top of the reliability issues, the community water supply costs the school approximately the equivalent of $6000 per year in utilities fees, money which could be spent on educational materials.
The EWB-UMCP Response
EWB-UMCP is continuing its partnership with the Suma Ahenkro community to develop a reliable, inexpensive water supply for Sumaman Senior High School. In January 2016, EWB-UMCP sent a team of six students, one professional mentor, and one faculty adviser to Suma Ahenkro to implement the solar power project and assess the community for the water supply project. The team sourced materials, collected GPS points, examined school water sources and usage, tested water quality, and met with community contacts who provided the team with a better understanding of the water situation in the area. After collecting data and speaking with the school’s leadership, it was decided that the water supply project would consist of water source development, a pump, a storage tank, and a treatment system. This system would augment, if not entirely replace, the school’s current water supply.
Currently the Ghan team is mid-way through the design and implementation of a water sourcing, treatment, storage and distribution project. This involves implementing a mechanical (electrical or fuel powered) pump to bring water from underground aquifers, developing and installing a treatment system for this water, designing and constructing an elevated tank to store this water, and modifying the school’s distribution to ensure this water remains clean and reliable after initial treatment.