Community Water Solutions

To implement community-level water treatment businesses in communities of the developing world that: - are run by members of the community - provide clean water for residents of that community - generate economic growth and - empower women in the community
Jan 20, 2015

Meet Our Entreprenuers

Damu from Balampuso
Damu from Balampuso

When we launched the new Saha Global brand, one thing that we were really excited about was the new "Meet Our Entreprenuers" section on our new website. To date, we have empowered 168 women entreprenuers in Ghana who earn an income while providing clean water and electricity to their communities. These ladies are incredible and we really wanted a space where our supporters in the US could learn more about their strength, skills, and lives! Below are the ladies that we have featured on our site since August. Check back each month at www.sahaglobal.org to meet more of these rockstar women!

 

Abiba from Wambong

Abiba, or as she is affectionately called, Chang Chang, runs both the water and solar businesses in the village of Wambong. She is a wife, farmer, and mother of 8. Chang Chang joined the Saha Global team in June 2010 when she partnered with a team of Summer Field Reps to open her water business. After successfully running her water business for three years, Chang Chang was nominated by her community to also run Wambong’s solar business. The solar charging center opened in November of 2013 and since then, Chang Chang and her business partner, Salima, have more than tripled their annual income. These amazing women were even the first women in their village to open their own bank account!

 

Damu from Balampuso

Damu is one of our newest water entrepreneurs! She opened her business this past June after working with 2014 Summer Field Reps Haley, Hannah, Julia and Caroline. She is 48 years old and is the mother to six children. In addition to running her water business, Damu is also a farmer. Her favorite crop to grow is groundnuts (known to many of us as peanuts)! So far, Damu has really enjoyed her work and says that she is very happy to be providing clean drinking water to her community.

Ayi from Kurgu Vohoyili

Ayi is one of the water and solar entrepreneurs in KuruguVohoyili. She is 60 years old and has 7 children. Ayi was born and raised in Tibogo before moving to KuruguVohoyili to marry her husband. She has been running the water business with her partner Fuseina since January 2012, when she worked with Saha Field Reps Zander, Michelle, Peter and Janelle to open the water treatment center. Ayi and Fuseina were later selected by their community to also run the solar business when it opened in March 2014. Ayi says that she enjoys working at the water business because she is proud to be giving clean water to her community. Her favorite part of running the solar business is that the community now has less scorpion bites because their lanterns allow them to see at night!

 

Fulera from Kalinka

ulera is one of the three women who run the water business in Kalinka. She has been working to treat and sell water to her community since January 2013 – almost two years now! In addition to running the water business, Fulera is busy farming maize and groundnuts while also taking care of her many children and grandchildren. She has seven daughters and two sons and all but two of them have children of their own! Ten of Fulera’s grandchildren live with her in her home and they enjoy accompanying her to the water business in the morning.

Fulera says that she enjoys working at the water business because is gives her community good health. She would also like to pass along her greetings to Uroj, Ty, and Casey — her team of 2013 Winter Field Reps!

 

Zenabu from Changyili

Zenabu is one of Saha Global’s newest entrepreneurs. She has been working alongside two other women from her community, Damu and Fuseini, to run the water business in Changyilli since June 2014. Before working with Saha, Zenabu was a farmer. Her favorite crop to grow is groundnuts (peanuts). She still finds the time to work on the farm for most of the day, opening the water treatment center in the early mornings and evenings.

Zenabu is a mother to eight children but sadly, two of them passed away when they were very young. She really enjoys being able to provide clean drinking water to the village of Changyili and thinks that it is very important for children to drink healthy water. Zenabu had a great time working with Field Reps Jeremy, Cara, Selana and Brielle last summer and frequently asks Shak, who monitors Changyili, to send her greetings to them!

Zenabu from Changyili
Zenabu from Changyili
Abiba from Wambong
Abiba from Wambong
Fulera from Kalinka
Fulera from Kalinka
Ayi from Kurugu Vohoyili
Ayi from Kurugu Vohoyili

Links:

Oct 16, 2014

CWS is now Saha Global!

We are thrilled to share some exciting news: In August, Community Water Solutions changed our name to Saha Global! The new Saha identity is a reflection of our tremendous growth over the past six years. In November 2013, with the help of Ben Powell and Mark Moeremans, we piloted our new solar electricity program in the village of Wambong. This pilot was a huge success and lead to a new partnership with Boston-based company Next Step Living. Thanks to funding from their philanthropic program, Next Step Giving, we have been able to rapidly grow our solar program and have now launched five solar businesses that provide access to electricity to 2,500 people. We have also continued to expand our impact in water and are currently serving 38,108 people in rural Ghana with our 71 water businesses.

As Saha Global continues to grow our water and solar businesses, we remain committed to long-term monitoring in our current partner-communities, which we believe is the key to our 100% sustainability rate.

I am also very excited to share our new video, which you can view above. When you watch this video, I hope that you feel as proud as I do about  Saha’s impact, which would not have been possible with your generous support.

Links:

Jul 17, 2014

CWS now in 71 communities!

This is my first official post as Ghana Country Director and what an exciting time it is to be updating everyone following the CWS blog on what we’ve been up to since the 2014 Summer fellows left.

Thanks to the fellows, CWS has opened water treatment businesses in eleven more communities: Original Kabache, Sabonjida, Janakpam, Manguli II, Wuvogu, Wuvogumani, Changyili, Jangbarayili, Balamposo, Kagbal, and Sagbarigu, as well as set up a solar business in Yapalsi. This brings the total number of communities we are working in to 71! In addition to the newly established water and solar businesses, nine villages are now independent: Tijo, Tindun, Libi, Changashi, Kpenchila, Nyamaliga, Buja, Kushini, and Zanzugu. At Community Water Solutions, self-sufficiency is our end goal in the communities where we work. Data collected over the years of household visits we have done since the inception of these businesses has shown that the centers have been up and running and community members have purchased water at the center on consistent bases. The staff at CWS will still monitor and assist the women entrepreneurs to ensure the centers continue to run successfully, but we are proud to add them to our list of 23 total independent villages!

On the monitoring side of operations, going to the field this week with Amin, Shak, Wahab, and Eric has been a lot of fun. Figuring out the logistics of integrating our new communities into our existing monitoring schedules was challenging, but the guys have done an amazing job with handling the extra responsibility. Having heard so much from the fellows about the women and community members, I was really eager to go and see the new centers for myself! On Monday, Amin and I went to Jakapam, Manguli II, Wuvogu, and Wuvogumani. While the fellows were still here monitoring in their villages after opening day, community members of Janakpam had made it known during household visits that they felt the water tasted too strongly of alum, the chemical the women use in the first stage of treatment. This is typically a learning process when centers are first established; it is not an easy task to ensure an appropriate amount of alum is used to treat the turbidity of the water while also meeting the taste preferences of consumers. When the women heard of this, they wasted no time coming up with a creative solution: adding water from the polytank to the dugout water in the blue drums so that the alum would settle, then adding one chlorine tablet per blue drum scooped in to the polytank. This worked for the water they sold during the first days after the center opened and by the time Amin and I came to speak with the women on Monday, the problem had been completely fixed and community members no longer had any complaints about the taste of the water.

While monitoring with Eric on Wednesday, Arasheitu, one of the entrepreneurs running the business in Kagbal, joined us for household visits. As a way to gauge our efforts to educate community members on the health benefits of drinking clean water, one of the questions we ask households when monitoring is, “Do you know why dugout water is unsafe to drink?” Anytime we asked this question and a community member would respond with, “No,” Arasheitu stepped in to explain why dugout water was unsafe to drink and the negative implications it has for health. Community members also told Eric and I that Arasheitu and her colleagues at the center, Adamu and Sanatu, were teaching people how to collect rainwater properly and reminding people to come and refill at the center with their safety storage containers on a regular basis. It was really amazing to see the level of Arasheitu’s initiative and her enthusiasm for helping her community. Eric and I also lucked out because one of the women in Kagbal had recently given birth to a baby boy and community members were celebrating the naming ceremony. Thanks to the CWS fellows and the women of Kagbal hard at work running the treatment center, this new addition to the community, Abrahim, will always have the option of clean drinking water. That is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job as Ghana Country Director.

I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and interacting with the entrepreneurs and community members of the newly established treatment centers. As with all of the entrepreneurs we work with, these women are creative, kind, and devoted to improving the lives and health of the members of their communities. Their level of enthusiasm for running the treatment centers and the amount of hard work they put in to make sure their community has the option of clean drinking water never ceases to amaze me. I look forward to working with them during my time as Ghana Country Director.

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