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Clean Water in Ghana: A Community Member Project

Hello ACCL Family!

My name is Abby Ismail and I had the pleasure of hearing your founder and executive director Gordon Halm talk about his experiences and the work that you do at an event for a club called Worcester Poverty Stoplight Initiative here at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. This club is working on developing holistic indicators of what poverty looks like in Worcester, beyond just an income value, in order to more effectively connect families with the proper resources to help them improve their situations.

I’m currently in my junior year at WPI studying Civil Engineering and International Studies. One of my passions is finding ways to help people help themselves. This summer, I will be traveling to northern Ghana with a non-profit called Saha Global. Saha translates to “opportunity” in Dagbani, a local language, and that is the core of Saha Global’s mission: providing opportunities for community empowerment. The Saha Global leadership program partners college students and young adults like me with villages in the Northern Region of Ghana to establish water treatment businesses and train local women to run them. These businesses rely on a small fee paid by each household for clean water, which allows the women to purchase supplies, make repairs, and save money for their families.

This summer will be my second trip with Saha Global. In June 2016, I was part of a small team that partnered with a village called Changbuni to establish a water treatment center. This business is run by four entrepreneurs named Adishei, Salima, Adamu, and Salamatu, the Queen Mother of Changbuni. It has been providing clean, safe water to the entire village since June 16, 2016. I’ve seen firsthand the simplicity and impact of the Saha Global approach. In just about two weeks, our team was able to meet the village, build the treatment center, train the entrepreneurs on the treatment process and common repairs, distribute safe-storage containers to every household, and hold opening day! I still remember the emotion I felt on opening day as every single household in Changbuni came to the center to fill their containers with clean water. We were standing right next to the dugout, where the village previously collected all of its drinking water. This water was dirty and often made people sick. Only a few feet away, and after just a few days of work, the whole community now had access to clean and safe drinking water.

Since the Saha Global approach utilizes simple technology, existing water sources, and supplies like aluminum sulfate and chlorine tablets that can be purchased at markets in town, the business in Changbuni will be providing clean water for years to come. Saha Global also has full-time local staff devoted to supporting the entrepreneurs through any challenges or problems with the treatment center. Because of this, 100% of the 114 water treatment businesses that have been established by Saha Global remain in operation today, providing clean water and economic empowerment to communities.

I am currently fundraising to cover the start-up cost of the treatment center that I will help establish in June. This includes water storage drums, safe storage containers for each household, and supplies for water treatment. The cost of ongoing monitoring of the business by Saha Global staff is also built into this start-up cost to ensure that the business will be supported for years to come. If you are interested in supporting this project, I have a fundraising page located here. I can assure you that your donation will have an impact that lasts far into the future.

For just $12, you can provide one person with clean water for life.

For $20, you can support the purchase of water storage containers for two households. These containers have lids and a tap to prevent recontamination of the water once it has been purchased from the treatment center.

For $50, you can support the purchase of storage drums for the treatment center. These are where water from the dugout is stored during the first stage, where it is treated with aluminum sulfate to remove particles.

For $150, you can support the purchase of a 1400L clean water storage tank. This is where water is transferred after the particle removal stage. In this tank, it is treated with chlorine, then stored for purchase.

Thank you in advance for any support that you are able to provide, and thank you for taking the time to read about my story!


Abby Ismail

Click here to be redirected to Abby's fundraising site!

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