Yagha Borehole Project II – Ghana

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

This project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion, scroll down below.

Yagha, Upper West Region, Ghana

Community Description
Yagha is a rural community within the Jirapa district in the Upper West region of Ghana. The community is located right off the Wa-Lawra paved road. The community consists of about 4,000 people, most of whom are from the Dagaaba tribe and speak the dialect of Dagaare, which is only spoken in the Upper West Region of Ghana.

The people in the community are mostly subsistence farmers. Their main crops are maize, millet, groundnuts and yam. All of these are used to prepare local food, but a large portion of millet is used to prepare a drink called pito. This is a semi-alcoholic drink is prepared by almost every woman in every house in the community.

The community has a primary school and a JHS, where a large portion of the youth (mostly boys) attend regularly. The children are the ones who fetch water the most. They go before and after school to fetch for their compound, and sometimes even during school break, because of the overcrowding at the current boreholes.

Problem Addressed
Yagha is confronted with a number of infrastructural challenges, but one of the biggest is access to potable drinking water. While conducting a needs assessment, the Chief of Yagha expressed extreme worry about the access to clean water, the importance of stopping the fetching of dam water and the need for the construction of a new borehole closer to the town center.

The community has three boreholes in total, which is not enough to serve the entire community, therefore most people fetch water from the nearby dam. Yagha consists of over 4,000 people and the boreholes are only capable of serving 1,800 people at maximum. This means that not only is there a severe shortage of water, but also the boreholes that are in existence are being overworked and the resources are rapidly being exhausted.

As the community members are fetching water at the dam for drinking and preparing food, there is a high rate of bacterial infections and diarrhea, due to the fact that animals also bathe and drink from this same water source. The only other source of water collection is from rainwater harvest. However, due to the short rainy season, this does not provide enough water to sustain a household, and most people find themselves in running very low on water during the insufferable hot season.

Project Description
This project is to build a borehole in a strategic location in the community.

The borehole will be drilled to a depth of 70 meters in an area that has a good discharge of ground water. The project will employ an Afridev manual water pump and constructed with NC pipes, which is economical and sustainable.

There will be a concrete platform that leads to a runoff area, with a concrete basin at the end for water collection. This excess water will be used to water the permagardens that are being constructed and the livestock that passes by.

Around the concrete basin, a soak-away pit will be built to manage water overflow. This will prevent breeding pools for mosquitoes.

There will be a fence built, and a chain provided to lock the borehole when not in use. This way, the WASTAN committee can guarantee that borehole users have to pay a small fee when they use the borehole. The funds accumulated can then be used for maintenance purposes should the borehole ever break down.

The work will be directed by Rural Empowerment for Accelerated Development (READ) Ghana, a locally-based NGO based in Wa, the capital of the Upper West Region.

Yagha Borehole Project - GhanaThe borehole will be built on land made available by the community. Volunteers will clear the project site and dig the animal water reservoir. They will also collect all locally available materials for the borehole development work, namely stones and sand. They will also provide much of the labor needed for construction.

The RASHBASH Company Limited will be hired for the construction (the digging down to the water table and the construction of the borehole structure itself). RASHBASH has considerable experience and expertise in the borehole industry in Ghana, having executed several borehole projects at a competitive costs. They have successfully executed similar projects in all the 11 districts in the Upper West Region of Ghana.

In summary, the community will provide the land, labor, water, and resources needed, such as rocks and sand, while Water Charity funds will pay for the remainder (hiring of the RASBASH and the remaining resources).

Project Impact
600 people will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Taylor Bailey

Monitoring and Maintenance
A borehole management committee (an extension of the WATSAN committee) will be established to play a leadership and coordination role to ensure the sustainability of the project. As per the suggestion by community members, it will have 6 members (3 men and 3 women). Their roles will consist of making sure the borehole is being used and maintained properly. To enable this, READ Ghana will provide training for the committee and selected community members on the basis of strong leadership, management skills.

The borehole management committee, together with the whole community, will decide on reasonable fees to charge the users monthly. These fees will be collected and saved in an account with St. Joseph Credit Union-Jirapa. This will enable the community to maintain the borehole whenever it breaks down.

Project Funding
This project has been funded by an anonymous donor.  Additional donations using the Donate button below will be used for future projects in Ghana.

Conclusion of Yagha Borehole Project II – Ghana

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Taylor Bailey. To read about the start of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was designed to build a borehole in a strategic location in the community.

Taylor reports:

The second borehole in Yagha is officially complete!

The project has helped well over 600 people and has decreased the traffic at the other borehole (which Water Charity also helped build); this in turn has resulted in the ability for more girls to get to school on time and even better, more regularly!

Here is a timeline of what we did after receiving the funds:

1. Held a meeting with the Chief and the Queen Mother to discuss where the borehole should be placed.
2. Held a meeting with the community elders and the community members to inform them that the PCV and the Chief have heard their concerns about access to drinking water and that we are in the process of waiting for funds, and what they are expected to do in the meantime (i.e. collect sand and stones for construction, provide food for the workers and offer up some labor).
3. Invited company to Yagha to assess the water table and its depth.
4. Finalized the exact position for the borehole and inform all necessary parties.
5. Community members helped in transporting all materials to Yagha.
6. Then began the digging and construction of the borehole.
7. Held clean up and small informational session.
8. Held workshop training on maintenance for the WATSAN committee.

The end result was a new borehole in the center of town, right across the street from the primary school. On average, we believe that the project has directly affected about 500 women and 75 men of all ages, while indirectly effecting about 250 females and 350 males of all ages.

Quote from the chief: “You will never understand what this means for the community and I’m sure they would never be able to put it into words, but I hope you know we are beyond grateful for you and all parties that made this possible. Our gratitude is plenty!”

We extend our thanks to Taylor for completing this important project.