Four Water Supply Projects
In The Jasikan Diocese Of Ghana
FOUR WATER SUPPLY PROJECTS IN THE JASIKAN DIOCESE OF GHANA
The Catholic Diocese of Jasikan was carved out of the Keta-Ho Diocese on the 19thDecember 1994. The Diocese covers the entire Oti Region of Ghana except the Likpe, Lolobi and Santrokofi and Akpafu areas which have just been created and named the Guan District. The Jasikan diocese is made up of 13 (thirteen) parishes and one quasi parish. The diocese covers a total area of 10, 700 km2. About 80% of the total population in the Diocese is peasant farmers.
RURAL NATURE OF THE DIOCESE:
Over 67% of the total population of the Diocese resides in settlements of below 3,500 people. The relatively large communities with over 5,000 inhabitants are to be found in only ten of the numerous settlements of the Diocese. The obvious implication is that the Diocese is rural, even though recent population census may record some slight changes.
The rural nature of the Diocese, the ecological zones in which it is located (semi forest and savannah), and the level of poverty are closely linked and reinforce each other as a major factor which dramatically affects nearly everything in the Diocese. As many communities depend on rivers, ponds, and dams for their water supply, potable in most communities in the diocese is lacking, leading to water borne diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever, hepatitis A, and diarrhea. Government intervention in water supply has perennially remained inadequate. As a result, it is mostly Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that have been at the forefront in the provision of safe drinking water to the communities that have good and safe water supply.
Most parishes in the diocese suffer from lack of good and reliable water supply.
In order of need, I select four parishes and describe their situations as discussed below.
TAPA-ABOTOASE QUASI PARISH.
Tapa-Abotoase is a market town in the Biakoye district of Ghana. It has a population of about 4,350 with children of school going age forming about 20 percent. Being a market town, Tapa-Abotoase welcomes many traders and visitors every four or five days in the week. The St. Augustine quasi parish, Tapa-Abotoase, carved out of the Jasikan St. Peter Claver Cathedral Parish in April 2013 has seen rapid growth with the presence of a resident priest in the community. Through the efforts of the Catholic community, a rectory for the resident pastor was built in 2016. One of the major needs to make the rectory habitable is the provision of a good and reliable source of water. At the moment, the resident priest buys water hauled in from the Volta Lake which is about one kilometer away.
The priest welcomes visitors almost every day, and the provision of water makes hospitality a problem. Major parish events that span a number of days suffer because of lack of dependable source of water.
Close by the new Catholic rectory are the Roman Catholic Basic Schools, the District Assembly Basic Schools, and the Islamic Basic Schools. In addition to the basic schools in the vicinity of the Catholic rectory are new settlements that depend on water from the Volta Lake with the attendant problem of water borne diseases.
The expenditure on water is a big drain on the scarce financial resources of the Church, the Basic Schools and the people in the surrounding settlements. Added to the crippling high expenditure of hauling in water from the lake is the time factor involved in transporting water. With the provision of safe drinking water, water borne diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever, hepatitis A, diarrhea, and bilharzia among children of school going age will be a thing of the past. Personal hygiene will also see a big improvement as the cost of water is a big disincentive for frequent bathing.
Added to the above, the movement of motorcycles and tricycles bringing water for sale to communities near the rectory and the Basic Schools during school time leads to distraction from academic work.
In short, apart from the advantages of potable water to the resident pastor, the surrounding communities and the basic schools stand to gain immensely from the water project.
- A mechanized borehole
- An overhead tank
- Extension of pipelines towards the Basic schools and the surrounding community.
Dodo-Amanfrom is located in the Kadjebi district of Ghana and has a population of about 3,500. Apart from farming, trading activities dominate the economic life of the people of Dodo-Amanfrom. The Catholic Church has a rectory close to the church building. The rectory was completed since the late 1990’s and to date, there has not been a reliable water supply for the resident priest who, like the people of the surrounding community depends on either rain water or on in the dry season on water from a river half a kilometer away. The associated water borne diseases that go with water from an untreated river water that flows through several communities is any ones’ guess.
Over the past years, the Catholic community has made attempts at providing reliable water to the rectory without success. This is mainly due to the low income level of the Catholic Church at Dodo-Amanfrom. With low purchasing power, the parish is unable to meet the cost of materials needed for good water supply.
Immediately close by the rectory are settlements of the local townsfolk who lack reliable water and mostly have to get water from the river.
It is worth underlying that dependable water supply to the Dodo-Amanfrom Catholic rectory with some extension into the communities close by will go a long way to benefit the public and drastically reduce the incidence of water borne diseases.
- A mechanized borehole
- A water tank
- Extension pipelines towards the surrounding community.
Brewaniase is located in the Nkwanta South district of Ghana. The community has a population of 2,409. The parish was opened in the late 1990s and, with the support of the diocese, a rectory was built. Attempts were made to provide constant water resources at the rectory. Unfortunately however, the underground concrete tank with a capacity of over 25,000 gallons from which a pump lifted water to an overhead tank got broken three years ago. Since then, water has been a problem to the priest and the Catholic Basic School close by, as they have to depend of rivers, stagnant water, and dug outs for water. The health risks of depending on water from untreated and doubtful sources are enormous.
To help the surrounding community wean itself from unwholesome water from the river, stagnant water, and dug outs, providing a point (s) where water can be extended towards the Catholic basic schools and the local community will help reduce trekking long distances before accessing water. The parish stands to gain immensely from this project as reliable supply and safe drinking water will enhance parish programs that go beyond one day.
- A mechanized borehole
- One water tank
- Extension pipelines towards the surrounding community and Basic schools
ST PETER CLAVER CATHEDRAL PARISH
The St. Peter Claver Cathedral parish completed its new one storey rectory at Jasikan in December of 2017. Jasikan has a population of about 10, 507. Being the Cathedral parish and located close to the centre of administration of the Jasikan Diocese, frequent major diocesan celebrations take place here. Constant and reliable water supply has been a major problem at this rectory. And with the erratic water supply, celebrations are sometimes marred because of a lack of reliable water supply.
The St. Peter Claver Cathedral Basic Schools lying between fifty to one hundred metres away from the rectory depend on water supply from the parish concrete underground tank which often runs dry when rains stop falling. An overhead tank already exists, but barely goes for 48 hours when filled with water from the unreliable water supply system from town. Dependable water supply will reduce the associated stress in organizing diocesan activities at the Cathedral and reduce the length of time school children spend hauling water from the rectory to the school. The surrounding communities also stand to gain immensely from reliable water supply to the rectory with having to go for water from dug outs, dams and polluted streams.
- A mechanized borehole
- A large capacity water tank
- Extension pipes towards the St. Peter Claver Basic schools
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