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 Health  Ghana Project #32263

Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana

by Project Maji Foundation
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Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana
Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana
Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana
Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana
Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana
Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana
Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana
Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana
Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana
Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana
Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana
Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana
Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana
Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana
Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana
Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana
Sustainable Solar-Powered Water Kiosks in Ghana
Our team member handing over a bar of soap
Our team member handing over a bar of soap

In light of the COVID19 pandemic, access to clean water and handwashing has gained a new value altogether. Your support in providing this basic human right has now, more than ever, been proven to be a life-saving investment.

Against the backdrop of a COVID-19 outbreak now taking its grip in Africa, we recognize our responsibility to ensure rural communities across Ghana are equipped to shield themselves against the virus. Not only do we continue to provide sustainable access to clean water in Maji communities, we have ramped up our efforts to ensure hand hygiene in these communities. Since the onset of the pandemic, Project Maji has launched an aggressive handwashing and soap distribution campaign across rural Ghana, targeting 12 communities, 2,000 households and 10,000 people to help shield communities from the virus.

We are delighted to share that not only have we successfully reached our targets, we are now actively fundraising to double our impact, targeting another 12 communities, 2,000 households and 10,000 people. Hand hygiene is our frontline defense against the virus, therefore we recognize that our handwashing trainings and soap distribution are indispensable in preventing an outbreak. 

The Project Maji Community Handwashing trainings are essentially focused on teaching key steps to proper handwashing. The 30-minute training is designed in line with a participatory approach whereby our trainers employ colorful visual aids and encourage questions and comments to keep the participants engaged. Participants are also encouraged to volunteer step by step demonstrations of hand washing by the end of each session. Recognizing the urgent need for these trainings while ensuring the safety of our teams as well as the local communities, we have now adopted a capacity-building approach. Participation is restricted to a maximum of 50 community members who are trained in groups of 5 to pass on their learning on proper handwashing to their respective households and the wider community.

Due to mobility and social gathering restrictions and the very imminent threat posed by COVID-19, mobilizing our teams and rolling out these trainings has been nothing short of an uphill battle. Nonetheless, we recognize that our work not only has to go on, it has to intensify. We aim to continue to strive to find the right balance between raising hygiene awareness and ensuring the safety of Maji communities as well as our local teams. Click here to join us and save lives. 

We will keep you posted. Thank you for your overwhelming support in providing sustainable access to safe water through this project!

Ama Wilson - Ghana Team
Ama Wilson - Ghana Team
Participant engaging with trainers
Participant engaging with trainers
Training in process
Training in process
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The community of Otuaplem.
The community of Otuaplem.

Each day across the developing world, women spend a collective 200 million hours fetching water from distant, unsafe sources. This not only puts their health at great risk, it also takes away precious time from their families and from pursuing a brighter future. But while women shoulder the majority of the world's water burden, they also stand the most to gain from access to clean water. 

The Project Maji team recently travelled to Otuaplem in Ghana; a farming community of around 700 people on the outskirts of the capital Accra, to learn how clean water access has impacted the daily lives of the women who live and work there. 

Meet NaOsambia, Queen mother of Onniansanna, and First Lady (wife of the Chief) of Otuaplem. "I’m holding two posts here. So there is a lot of responsibility!". 

"At first, we were using the river Densu for our water. There is a small dam nearby. People would go there to bathe, and once you finish bathing, then you would fetch the water. So at times, people would fall sick from drinking the same water". 

"Then we had some kind people give us a hand pump. But you had to work very hard to get enough water to fill your bucket. There was always a long queue to fetch water because it took so much time. We were using it for several years, but in the dry season there was no water in the well. So we had to go back to drinking dirty water from the dam. And so people got sick again". 

“We were so lucky when Project Maji came to this village and gave us a solar-powered pump. Now, we just open the tap and the water comes easily. You simply take your bucket of water and go about your day. No more waiting in the queue! It is much easier and we feel free to fetch the water at any time". 

Clean water has had a profound effect on the women of Otuaplem. As a result of improved health and new found time in their day, many women have started up their own businesses. Some have become traders and opened up small shops, while others have found useful, local professions like being a hairdresser, which in turn, has helped to improve the community's economy! 

But perhaps the most inspiring example of all, is the story of Mavis; a young woman who witnessed that many children in her village were spending the day unsupervised, as their parents were often working far away on distant farms, or collecting water. Mavis took it upon herself to open up her own nursery school, to help her neighbours and to prepare the children for a better future. 

For women like Mavis, having an accessible, safe water source close to her nursery school enables her to teach her pupils the importance of handwashing and staying hydrated, ensuring safe hygiene practices and allowing her to keep her children engaged in class, where she teaches them to read, write, and of course, play!  

"The hand pump was too heavy for the young ones. So when they were thirsty, they would go to the dam to drink, and the dirty water made them sick. Now, with Project Maji in our village, it’s easy for even the small children to go and fetch water any time they want. If they are thirsty or they need to wash their hands, you just turn the tap, and the water comes. This water has really changed our lives, and I couldn't run my school without it!". 

The powerful impact of providing a community with sustainable access to clean water cannot be underestimated. With improved health, less medical bills, and more time to pursue economic opportunity, the women of Otuaplem are now building better futures for themselves, their children, and their community. 

Thank you for for your unending support in enabling us to empower these incredible women with the gift of clean water!  


*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. 

NaOsambia, Queen mother of Onniansanna.
NaOsambia, Queen mother of Onniansanna.
The river Densu, Otuaplem's previous water source.
The river Densu, Otuaplem's previous water source.
The broken hand pump which lies rusted and idle.
The broken hand pump which lies rusted and idle.
Otuaplem can now fetch water straight from a tap!
Otuaplem can now fetch water straight from a tap!
Many women of Otuaplem have now set up businesses.
Many women of Otuaplem have now set up businesses.
And others have found useful, local professions.
And others have found useful, local professions.
Mavis founded the community nursery school.
Mavis founded the community nursery school.
Clean water helps the children to stay engaged!
Clean water helps the children to stay engaged!
Thank you from the community of Otuaplem!
Thank you from the community of Otuaplem!
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As we move towards the end of 2019, we have a lot to be thankful for! We are continuing to expand our field presence in new countries and bring our solar kiosk technology to new regions of the world, as a result, our team has been very busy. We have also initiated a new 'cluster' approach, placing solar kiosks in adjacent villages and striving for universal coverage in regions where we work. Whilst the UN standard for access to safe is a 30-minute walk, our goal is provide safe water to communities within a few steps. 

We are pleased to introduce our newest member, Mr. John Otieno. 

John is our newest member of the Project Maji team based in Nairobi. Mr. Otieno is our Project Manager and our eyes and ears on the ground. Having worked in the WASH sector for over three, he brings his skills in Quality Assurance and project management to our global team. John is passionate about providing safe water throughout Kenya and has completed volunteer work focused on peri-urban water distribution sites in Nairobi and research in water crisis and its contribution to conflicts. John is also an active member of the Community Upgrading Committee, a Kenyan county government initiative. He holds a degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Nairobi. We are extremely excited for John to join our team of dedicated staff around the world. 

Please expect more details on all of our accomplishments, new partnerships, and staff in the coming weeks. 

Thank you again for your contribution to the Project Maji Foundation. We truly value your role in allowing us to do our work and expand our footprint. 

Very warmly, 

Nicole Malick

P.S. If you reside in Dubai, we would love to see you at the sixth annual Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Summit on November 11th at 3pm, where Sunil Lalvani, will take the stage and discuss how sustainable business can end water poverty. 

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William, aged 9, dreams of being a footballer.
William, aged 9, dreams of being a footballer.

The Project Maji team has been hard at work, driving from village to village throughout rural Ghana; visiting some of our most remote communities to hear real-life stories, learning how the gift of clean water has impacted so many.

Today’s story features the children of Abour Junior School, in the Bono East Region of Ghana.

Before Project Maji's intervention, the children at Abour were using the nearby pond for their drinking water, where local livestock would also come to quench their thirst. A turning point for the school was during the summer of 2018, when the children returned from their mid-term break. The teachers noticed that many of the children had high fevers and extended bellies, and knowing the potential risks, they wasted no time in calling in local Community Health Officers. Eleven children were selected for testing, and nine out these eleven were found to be suffering from Typhoid Fever; a deadly bacterial disease which can be spread through contaminated water. One boy of only 7 years of age was in such critical condition that he had to endure surgical intervention. A tragic outcome, particularly for someone so young!

Thankfully, every child that was suffering from Typhoid is now in good health. And it is with thanks to the support of our friends and strategic partners that this remains so. Abour School now has a Project Maji solar-powered water kiosk, giving the children, and the local community, sustainable access to clean, safe water for years to come. Teachers have reported a higher attendance rate and a higher academic record since Project Maji brought safe water access to the school; the children no longer have to miss class and walk long distances to quench their thirst, and they now have a reliable, safe water source to wash their hands every day. Ensuring the health, dignity, and wellbeing of these delightful children enables them to work towards their dreams, and achieve all that they can be.

"Now we have clean water close to our classroom"
"Now we have clean water close to our classroom"
"The water has helped them to focus in class!"
"The water has helped them to focus in class!"
Abour School's previous polluted water source.
Abour School's previous polluted water source.
"Now we can wash out hands when we need to!"
"Now we can wash out hands when we need to!"
Abour School's Project Maji water kiosk
Abour School's Project Maji water kiosk

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    Imagine walking 20km a day, every day, just to fetch water. 

    This was the reality for communities in Machakos County, Kenya, where Project Maji is working to bring sustainable, clean drinking water to those in need. 
     


    Kenya
    Expanding our footprint geographically, the Project Maji team was in Kenya last month to oversee the kick off of three new sites with our partner, the Water for Life Trust; now serving sustainable, clean water to 8,000 people in Kenya, with many more sites to come! Progressive discussions took place on how we can build upon this momentum to bring much-needed safe water access to communities living in dire conditions.

    In partnership with the Water For Life Trust and Festive Bread, these sites were built in desolate, remote villages in Machakos county, where people walk up to 20km a day to access their nearest water source. This kind of scarcity is unfathomable to most people, yet these populations face the same issues that we see around all the geographies we work. Women losing productive time and kids missing out on school, all because of the time spent collecting water; with journeys so long that there is no choice but to walk in the hours of darkness, putting women and children at great risk.

    Hearing the cries of joy and seeing delight on the faces of these communities as we turn on the our taps for the first time remains an indelible inspiration and motivator for all of us at Project Maji. All the hours of hard work and long travel pale into insignificance when we see the value our water brings to these people so desperately in need.
     



    AIDF Africa Innovator of the Year Awards
    Project Maji was placed in the top 10 out of 130 applicants for ‘AIDF Africa Innovator of the Year Award’ at the AIDF Africa Summit, which engages all relevant aid and development stakeholders within Africa and beyond. The award recognises individuals and teams for their inspiring leadership, forward-thinking, creative problem solving and implementation of innovative programmes that have helped drive African progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

    The AIDF Africa Summit advocates a cross-sector approach through inclusive, effective collaboration and coordination between national and international NGOs, government and UN agencies, Red Cross, donors, investors, development banks and the private sector. Our Kenyan Project Manager, John Otieno, represented Project Maji there.



    Youth Engagement
    As our global footprint expands, so too does our community outreach. With the aim of inspiring today’s youth to become tomorrow’s change makers, youth engagement has become a core focus of Project Maji, in the hope that we encourage our global community to take action against the social injustices we witness around us.
     
     



    Sevenoaks School, UK
    Forty students from Sevenoaks School in the United Kingdom swam the equivalent distance from their school grounds to Ghana (3172.80 miles), in an innovative and action-packed campaign: Get in the water to help provide water! to raise funds for the installation of a Project Maji water kiosk in the community of Ekoso. After the village hand pump broke down two years ago, the community of cocoa farmers were living without a safe water source, and with no choice but to fetch water from a muddy stream more than 5km away. In the blistering sun, carrying heavy loads over such a distance was costing the community valuable time, and more importantly, putting their health at great risk. Thanks to the efforts of the students at Sevenoaks School, the community now fetches sustainable, clean water at their newly installed Project Maji water kiosk, which is central to the community; allowing the children of Ekoso to get to school on time, and women to spend more time attending to their cocoa beans in order to provide an income for their families. 12 Sevenoaks students visited the community for the commissioning ceremony, in partnership with a local charity, Reading Spots, to learn about the critical link between education and safe water access in developing nations. A huge thank you to the students of Sevenoaks School for this inspirational achievement, and for being such active global citizens!  

    Middlesex University, Dubai
    Project Maji took part in the Middlesex University Institute of Sustainable Development Impactathon, where students solved real-world problems, and designed innovative solutions to the question ‘How can organisations solve global development challenges?’. Taking place on the margins of the 2019 World Government Summit in Dubai, teams of 4-5 postgraduate students had a mere 100 minutes to hack their solutions and then five minutes to pitch that solution to a panel of judges. The aim of the event is not only a learning experience for the students but also to give participating social enterprises fresh ideas and the opportunity to implement them to scale their impact.
     




    Cambridge University's Judge Business School, UK
    Our CEO and Founder, Sunil Lalvani, presented to students at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, sharing the story of his journey from businessman to social entrepreneur. As future world leaders and business moguls, students at top institutions such as Cambridge University are poised to become the next generation of world leaders, whereby the choices they make in their professional lives will have the power to create real impact on the global development stage. 
     
     


    Arcadia School, Dubai
    Furthering Project Maji’s community engagement in the UAE, Sunil also spoke at Arcadia Primary School Dubai as part of their entrepreneurial speaker series; teaching children about water consumption practices and the issue of water poverty in developing nations. The children were so receptive to Project Maji’s cause that they brainstormed various fundraising ideas which resulted in hosting a fundraiser sale!


     



    Project Maji Executive Retreat
    As an organisation that is so lean and widely dispersed geographically, building personal relationships and sharing experiences on the ground is vital if we are to work together to achieve our ambitious target of positively impacting 1 million people by 2025. In March, the Project Maji management team came together for our annual Executive Retreat to strategise and solve the foreseen challenges as we push forward over the next 12 months. With over 80 years of cumulative experience, each member of the team brings something different to the table, be it commercial business, solar and water expertise, or execution in the field; his collective experience comes together on a deeper level in our shared passion for this common cause as we look forward to doubling our impact in 2019. With special thanks to our Kenyan Director, Gordon Mumbo (who struck us a very special accommodation deal), we stayed at a beautiful venue in the spectacular Masai Mara, starting our days with 6am safari drives before sitting together to brainstorm ideas.
     
     



    A new team member!
    Last but certainly not least, we wish to welcome Ama Yoborba Wilson to the Project Maji team as our Administrative Assistant in Ghana! Ama attended our World Water Day event in Ghana as a visitor and was inspired to approach us that evening to ask to join our team. 

    Ama has a degree in Management Studies from the University of Cape Coast and has a passion for social work. Prior to joining the Project Maji team, Ama worked at Ghana Water Company Limited and was a member of the Red Cross Society in her youth. With her keen interest for community development as well as her education in business, we are confident that Ama will bring much-added value to our busy team, and we look forward to working with her!   

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    Organization Information

    Project Maji Foundation

    Location: Accra - Ghana
    Website:
    Facebook: Facebook Page
    Twitter: @projectmaji
    Project Leader:
    Sunil Lalvani
    Accra, Greater Accra Region Ghana
    $136,789 raised of $150,000 goal
     
    186 donations
    $13,211 to go
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