Rotary Club of Accra-East in Ghana, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Spivey Clayton County in Jonesboro, Georgia, United States of America (USA) and Rotary International through its Rotary Foundation, has commissioned two (2) mechanized boreholes for the residents of Omenako and Obretema at a ceremony at Omenako in the Suhum Municipality of the Eastern Region.
The potable water facility, which costs Thirty-Seven Thousand Dollars ($37,000.00) or about Four Hundred and Seven Thousand Ghana Cedis (Ghc407,000.00), is expected to benefit some two thousand (2,000) inhabitants of the beneficiary communities.
The provision of the mechanized boreholes was in line with the theme of the Rotary year 2023-2024, which is ‘Create Hope in the World through Water’ – a source of hope for several communities around the globe.
The commissioning of the boreholes has brought to an end the dark days when some residents, including children and women, lost their lives through fatal road accidents in the quest to fetch water across the main Accra-Kumasi highway that passes through the two (2) beneficiary communities.
The mechanized boreholes are unique in the sense that they both have in-built treatment plants that get the water treated before its use. It is expected that the managers of the water facilities will expand the distribution to cover all corners of Omenako and Obretema for the inhabitants to realize the full potential of the projects.
The commissioning ceremony, which was heavily attended by the traditional authorities and citizens of the beneficiary communities, saw the presentation of some hand-washing stations and other hygiene items to help improve sanitation and hygiene practices not only among the citizenry but also the school children who are the future leaders of the country. The items included hand-washing basins and buckets, liquid soaps, tissue papers, and toilet rolls among others.
Speaking at the well-attended event, Governor of the Rotary District 9109, Rotarian David Osei Amankwah, described the intervention by the Rotary Clubs as impactful, saying the provision of the facilities would not only fully address their old-age water needs but also help improve hygiene and sanitation issues among the beneficiary populations. He charged the people and the managers of the water system to maintain the boreholes and have their committees effectively and efficiently manage the collection of such funds, which would go a long way to sustain the facilities.
President of the Rotary Club of Accra-East, Rotarian Serge Sourou Oga, noted that since the beginning of September 2023, his Club has been commissioning a series of projects that the Rotary Club of Accra-East has embarked upon to better the lives of the people of Ghana. He observed that in the absence of water in any community, women and children bear the burden, with the women finding the real solution to the menace.
Mr. Oga expressed optimism that the managers of the facilities would not only take good care of it but also extend the project to benefit the entire community. He also hoped that the presentation of the hand-washing water and hygiene facilities and items would go a long way to deepen their efforts in sanitation issues. ‘Our prayer is that in the next three (3) to four (4) years when we are back here, we will see your communities as one we can trust with more projects’, President Oga intimated.
Past President of the Rotary Club of Lake Spivey Clayton County, Georgia, USA, Rotarian Aileen Conteh noted that water is life, adding that she was pleased the project had ended after journeying for two (2) years. She was also grateful to the Rotary Club for their wonderful gesture and described the support and love for the beneficiary towns as overwhelming and refreshing.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for the Suhum Constituency, Hon. Oboafo Kwadjo Asante, commended the two Rotary Clubs through the Rotary Foundation for their kindness. According to him, water continues to be a critical problem facing his constituents, explaining that the gesture was timely and a giant move to complement the government’s efforts at addressing the water needs of the people.
Respectively, the Chiefs of Omenako and Obretema, Barima Kofi Bonsu and Barima Banin Abrokwa were grateful to the two Rotary Clubs for the gesture. They charged the Water and Sanitation (WATSAN) Committee of the projects under the chairmanship of Mr. William G. Normenyo to ensure that the management of the facilities is done with honesty and transparency.
The Assembly Member (AM) for the Omenako Electoral Area, Hon. Richard Dzipha Afasi described the provision of the facilities as a dream come true. He was grateful to the traditional authorities for their encouragement and support and urged the citizens to support the committee to deliver on its mandate of effectively and efficiently managing the boreholes.
A nurse at the University of Ghana Medical Centre at Legon in Accra, Rotarian Linda Obiri-Yeboah, took the gathering, especially the school children through a demonstration of proper hand-washing techniques. Pupils of the Obretema Basic School also entertained the crowd with a short drama on the importance of hand-washing with water and soap.
There were also poetry recitals by a Junior High School (JHS) form two (2) pupil as well as a Primary five (5) pupil, both of the Omenako Methodist Basic School, Misses Lorretta Ofoua Yirenkyi and Judith Gyamea respectively.