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Project Access to Clean Water for Agyementi (ACWA) September 2010 Status Report 


Project ACWA Report :: September 2010

Dear ADI Members and Supporters, First of all, we would like to thank you for reading this first of our monthly updates summarizing our efforts to use research, assessment, and accountable collaboration to make substantial improvements in communities lacking the resources to do so on their own. The past few months have been incredibly exciting here at ADI. There have been many achievements from finally solidifying our status as an independent, 501c3 non-profit organization to the long-awaited graduation of the Harvard Class of 2010, including yours truly! We are most proud to announce that the research component of our work has recently seen some major successes. The Alternative Thesis titled "The Value of Water and Sanitation in Development: A Case Study of Agyementi" written by Sangu Delle under the tutelage of the Harvard African and African American Studies Department was a recipient of the prestigious Thomas T. Hoopes Prize and the Philippe Wamba Prize. We have also recently submitted two papers to peer-review journals as a part of our continued efforts to conduct rigorous assessment and research on our projects, while sharing our findings. We are also thrilled about the expansion of our organization to now include students from the University of Ghana and Asheshi University, both in Accra, enabling our group to now have a constant presence in Ghana while also establishing what we hope will be a long lasting interchange of ideas, culture, and resources. Many of the fruits of this relationship can already been seen in this month’s Status Report, as many of the updates would not have been possible without the efforts of members of our ADI Accra team, namely Nana Ama Akosa, Romeo Owusu-Aning, and Charles Agyeman. Finally, we would like to introduce our Executive Board, comprised of Professor Evelyn B. Higginbotham, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., Kwame Owusu-Kesse, and Sangu J. Delle, and Darryl W. Finkton Jr. Adam Demuyakor, Harvard Class of 2011, currently leads our Undergraduate Board.

Thank you for your continued support and as always, please feel free to contact us with any questions, suggestions, or comments. Sincerely, Darryl Finkton Jr. - ADI Chief Executive Officer Sangu J. Delle - ADI Executive President


Project ACWA Report :: September 2010

The Borehole Facility and Iron Treatment Plant: Improving Water quantity and quality

In 2008, Agyementi’s water source was capable of serving a population of less than 300 people (based on the WHO minimum of 15 liters per day), but was actually

serving roughly 2,000 people. To increase the water supply,

ACWA installed a borehole, or a long, narrow well drilled to access underground water. This additional clean water source allowed young girls collecting water to finally attend school, added much needed water to the community during dry season, and improved the health outcomes in Agyementi. However, three months after the new borehole was installed, ACDEP reported that the community members had stopped using it because “the water tasted funny” and “it stained our white clothes.” Tests conducted on the water revealed high concentrations of iron ore and manganese, exceeding WHO standards. After consulting with CWSA and ACDEP, ACWA and the new borehole engineer Mr. Daniel Ansah constructed an iron

treatment plant.


A local man referred to as “Rastaman” became the community caregiver for the plant and through his efforts, the water from the new borehole became completely free of excess iron and manganese, making it safe for all to drink, to wash clothes, etc.


Currently the plant is not being maintained because the

inhabitants are unable to meet the cost of maintenance. In addition,

Rastaman no longer wanted to maintain the pump because he was not being paid and not receiving any help from the other community members. Due to the water’s high iron content, the filtering material needs to be washed at least twice each month. After each wash, the carbon material needs to be replaced at a cost of Ghc70.00 (USD48.27). As the plant is not being maintained, community members utilize this water for bathing and occasional washing, but not for drinking or cooking. In addition to this issue,

community members complain about the management of the preexisting borehole to the North by the WATSAN Committee. The inhabitants are charged Gh0.05p for each bowl of water fetched from the pump because the inhabitants fought the WATSAN Committee’s initial plans to collect Gh.50p per head every month. They complain about the frequency with which the preexisting borehole is closed down (though this is sometimes unavoidable if the water level drops too low) as well as the lack of transparency surrounding the fee collection and sales from the pump.

Impact “I have to go to the farm every day and in addition, I am responsible for carrying out household activities. In the past, I used to spend sometimes up to five hours a day to fetch water. Since you put in the borehole, my life

has somehow become easier. I now have more time, and can do other activities. I can now cook food to sell in the community to earn some extra income.” “Water presence near our homes has improved our

menstrual hygiene and made us feel secure even in front of others.” “Since 2008, when the borehole was put in place, I have realized that my

children do not get sick as often as they used to. Before they used to drink water from the contaminated spring and they would always get diarrhea, boils and other sicknesses. Nowadays, we only drink borehole water in my house, and we no longer suffer from these diseases.”

Project ACWA Report :: September 2010

On the issue of water storage, initially,

only 43% of households had water with covered containers. ACWA is proud to announce that now 100% of households store water with covered containers.

ACWA’s assessment: The top priority is to fix the iron treatment plant. ACWA is looking to hire and incentivize a community member to maintain the plant, looking especially at the WATSAN team since they are already trained community members. A pricing system has been established that most people can afford, but some still refuse to pay and choose instead to use the spring source. The ACWA team has concluded that this is more of a reflection of hygiene/sanitation education than a problem with payment ability. However to increase usage, the ACWA team is devising ways to create better service and clearer hours of the preexisting borehole. One option would be a mechanized payment system. Another is to create a better way to collect payments, to devise a recording system of who paid and how much, and to publish this information to the community. We are strongly considering offering free water to the iron plant treatment caregiver and others in charge of maintaining the pumps. As there are a few members of the community who cannot afford the minimal Gh0.05p required to fetch one bowl of water, we believe that free water will be enough of an incentive for people to do these jobs well, while simultaneously solving our problem with some community members still using the spring-water source.

ACWA aims to have the new borehole fully functional again by the end of September, with a system of fee collection and transparency for the preexisting borehole finalized by mid-September. In addition, the ACWA team is currently assessing the feasibility of a promoting household level chlorination for those using water from the wells. This will allow families with safe drinking water to keep their water clean as they store it in their homes.

Impact on Borehole Facility 13%


Access to more clean water Reduce distance & time in accessing clean water Children have enough sleep and still go to school on time


Prevent water borne & water related diseases.

Whereas previously, over 50% of school girls were often late to school or would miss several days because they are needed to help their families in fetching water, today over 90% of the girls are able to attend school on time.1 1 Information from school records and interview with Head of School, Agyementi


Project ACWA Report :: September 2010

The Household Latrine Construction Program Improving Sanitation 

Impact The school children reported feeling healthier and experiencing “less stomach

pains and toilet runs.” Health Outcome: 40% drop in the number of diarrhea cases in households with latrines*

Prior to Project ACWA, there were no

twenty-seven completed latrines are now present in the community. Community

safe excreta disposal systems in the community,

members love the latrines, and have even added bowls on top and decorated their latrines.

resulting in indiscriminate open defecation. Out of the entire community, only six households had their own latrines before intervention, but they were the traditional open pit latrines, which are not sanitary or safe. The ACWA team worked with the community to develop an action plan, resolving to give subsidies for latrine construction to households who attend community meetings. As a result, twenty

households were given subsidies for ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines.

Brandberg B (1997) Latrine Building, IT Publications


Each household was expected to excavate the pit, provide sand, stones, blocks for the super structure, a door and doorframe, wood for roofing, and unskilled labor to assist the artisan. ACWA provided the following subsidies: 6 bags of cement, 3 pieces of iron rods, 3 pieces of iron sheets, and the artisan fee of GH¢60.00 (approx. US$42.00). The construction of all 20 latrines took 6 months. Apart from the twenty household latrines subsidized by the project, one additional latrine has been completed by a household while two other household latrines are at various stages of completion. Thus

ACWA’s assessment: One problem that has been rectified thanks to the education efforts of ACDEP is that people were using the latrines only for guests and special occasions. Now people use the latrines properly and follow hygiene and maintenance protocols with the latrines. Upon rectifying the aforementioned issue, it was observed that 100%

of the latrines constructed are being used properly and are well maintained

because they were all very clean, reasonably free from smell, kept anal cleansing materials inside the pit, and have surroundings free of weeds. The ACWA Team is aiming for

universal coverage with

latrines to completely eliminate open defecation. To meet this goal, 27 new latrines still need to be built. In addition, seven families already requested latrine help but have not yet received it.

Project ACWA Report :: September 2010

WATSAN Committee Updates Improving Hygiene 

The WATSAN committee members reported that they hold regular meetings at least once a month to talk to the people of Agyementi about practices to promote good hygiene. They said they had talked to people about fetching water with cleaner buckets and washing their hands after visiting the toilet. However, the community people denied the fact that the WATSAN committee held meetings with them. According to the community, the committee had never had any meeting with them to discuss any issue. On the contrary, they were disappointed the WATSAN committee did not hold any training for them or give them an account of the water business. They also

complained about the impudence with which the WATSAN committee operated the water.

had no permanent hand washing facilities but claimed they washed their hands inside the house. Similarly, the community scored unsatisfactory marks in environmental cleanliness as the surroundings were weedy and full of rubbish (note, this is in stark contrast to the great job people have done with maintaining their own rubbish and weeds near their latrines). Though

proper hand washing has increased from less than 1% to 25%, more improvement has not occurred because of a lack of communal refuse disposal, which was confirmed by the WATSAN Committee. We have decided to use our research goals to rectify our problems with the WATSAN Committee. •

Furthermore, goals of spreading

Safe Hygiene Message and to increase proper hand washing have not been met. Presently, the

57.1% of the community has been reached with the safe hygiene message through the ACWA educational campaign. The goal is 100%. Only 25% of households in the community had hand washing facilities close to their latrines while 75%


1. 2. 3.

4. •

To improve

our quantitative data, we

need to do a better job of measuring values such as: the number of households still using the spring-water source amount households with water contaminated during storage families with insufficient funds to purchase water from the boreholes etc. Now, we will attempt to have the WATSAN Committee collect these data pieces,

Project ACWA Report :: September 2010

Committee Updates, continued recording the dates and households. With our Accra

ADI conducting regular

increase our data and improve WATSAN productivity. help


rewards to the WATSAN

Committee for successfully collecting data and spreading education, and replace committee members who fail to complete their assignments.

(and unscheduled) visits to Agyementi, they can request this data from the WATSAN Committee to see if they are actually visiting households. Then, the Accra ADI team can verify randomly selected data points through house visits. If the WATSAN Committee is simultaneously promoting proper hygiene and sanitation during their data collection trips, we believe this system will

We will issue financial

Beginning in October, we will run a 3-month trial of this protocol.

Furthermore, the community people agree that the public

latrine should be closed

completely to encourage those without latrines at home to build one. The public latrine is a filthy place where chickens, goats, and those w/o latrines sometimes enter. Thus, the fecal contamination

spreads throughout the community and into the spring water source where people wash clothes and some still drink.

ACWA plans to build the 27 last needed latrines and close the public latrine by September 2011. This goal date is based on

on fundraising limitations, not the limits of building the latrines themselves or the education needed. In the past, we have shown that 20 latrines can be built at a slow pace within 6 months. 

Project ACWA Report :: September 2010

Summary of Impact Indicators Facilitated by the evaluation team, the communities generated impact indicators to reveal the key ways in which water and sanitation projects have affected and changed their daily lives. These indicators show how the impact of the projects turns out to be further reaching than the initial project objectives.

Impact Indicator

Health and Hygiene • • • • •

Sufficient quantity and quality of safe water supply Reduced distance to fetch water Reduced workload for women Number of households with latrines Hand washing

Impact • • • • • • •

Education •

School attendance

• • • •

• •

Economic Status • • •

Time saved Household income Opportunity for work

Social/ Psychological

• • • • • • • • • • •


• • • •

Incidence of stomach pain reduced by 50% in 80% of households Incidence of diarrheal cases reduced by 40% in households with latrines Reduced fatigue for women and children Distance to fetch water significantly reduced by 300-600 meters Quantities of water for domestic duties increased from 15 liters/per person/day to over 50 liters/per person/day Number of household latrines increased from 6 to 29 (27 completed and 2 still under construction) Increased incidence of hand washing after defecation increased from 0% to 25 Increased use of soap for hand washing before handling food Refuse disposal has not improved Very little improvement in level of cleanliness of community Increase in attendance rates of students, especially girls (90% of girls attended school regularly and on time in 2008-09 school year vs. 50% in 2007-08) Improvement in punctuality, especially among girls Students have more time (average of three hours) for studying Time spent collecting water reduced from an average of six to eight hours per day to twenty to sixty minutes per day More time devoted to agricultural activities Women potters have improved their trade and increased production Income of households improved Housing structures improved Ability to sell iced water WATSAN Committee trained in financial literacy Increase in palm wine tapping No more quarrels with neighboring communities Over 90% of community members reported strong improvement in pride and dignity in community Improvement in color and general appearance of cooked food Ability to serve visitors with safe potable drinking water Improved status of women More time spent with family Social/ community interaction increased

Project ACWA Report :: September 2010

Our Progress 100% Households Properly Cover their Household Water 57.1% Households Reached With Safe Hygiene Message 25% Households have

Hand Washing Facilities close to their Latrines

90% Girls Attending School On Time 25% Households Practice Proper Hand Washing Techniques 100% Proper Latrine Usage 100% Initial Latrine Goal Reached 53.7% Families with Latrines 0% Households with Chlorine Treated Water 

The African Development Initiative 67 Highland Avenue Randolph, MA 02638

Chief Executive Officer, Darryl Finkton Executive President, Sangu Delle For general inquiries, contact


Project ACWA Report :: September 2010

Project ACWA September 2010 Report  

Project Access to Clean Water for Agyementi September 2010 Report - African Development Initiative

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