There are fears that the people of Karaga in the Northern Region could run out of potable water from natural and artificial sources after this year’s dry season sets in in November; that is according to civil society organization GDCA.
According to the Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA), many of the over one hundred boreholes in the district have broken down, compelling citizens to resort to the use of water from unhygienic sources such as dams and streams.
With a population of nearly 90 thousand people, the looming but dreadful water crisis situation if not curtailed by local authorities, could eventually lead to the outbreak of water borne diseases sooner or later in the dry or harmattan season which usually last between November and May.
Suweidu Abdulai, Coordinator of Empowerment for Life (E4L) programme jointly being implemented by GDCA and Youth Empowerment for Life (YEfL) in Karaga and several other districts in the Northern Region, made this startling revelation at a media review meeting organized by GDCA in Tamale.
The media review meeting was organised to take stock of activities carried out in the last quarter and strategise on the next planned of activities to be executed. It also serves as a platform for journalists to give appropriate advice to the E4L Team on how it could effectively implement some of its activities.
The issue of potable water is one of the major developmental challenges facing residents of Karaga. Residents share water bodies such as dams, streams and rivers with cattle and other animals. The district has over one hundred boreholes, 4 mechanised boreholes and 10 hand dug wells for a population of 89,870.
According to Mr. Abdulai, many of the boreholes are currently not in use because of the fact that some of them are spoilt, dried up and also far away from the people. “For instance, every woman in Tong community is entitled to one basin of water a day which is not enough for cooking and other domestic chores.”
E4L is implemented in 15 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the Northern Region of Ghana. They include Tamale Metroplis, Yendi Municipality, Tolon-Kumbungu, Savelugu-Nanton, Karaga, Gushiegu, Saboba, Chereponi, Nanumba North, Nanumba South, Zabzugu, West Mamprusi, East Gonja, West Gonja and Kpandai Districts.
The first phase was implemented between 1st January, 2010 and 31st December, 2011 whereas the second began in 1st January 2012 and ended 31st December 2014. Currently, the programme is on its third phase which started in January 2015 and expected to end in 2018.
E4L aims at empowering the poor, vulnerable and marginalised groups in the target MMDAs to have the capacity and ability to improve their quality of life through education, employment, local organisation as well as better access to and management of food and water resources through a rights based approach.
E4L is also relying on strategies that will focus more on advocacy as compared to service delivery and tracking all root causes of inequalities and making them known to those who should fulfil those rights.
Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Osman Executive Director of GDCA said communities in the beneficiary MMDAs are gradually becoming highly aware of their rights and responsibilities, and work together on critical issues affecting their progress.
“Unions are formed to organise communal labour in support of development in their areas. Established community advocacy groups have received attention from duty bearers through the provision of water facilities and agricultural services, especially in the Karaga District and Yendi Municipality.”
According to him, under the first phase of the programme, 5,062 out-of-school children became literates in their mother tongue under the School for Life literacy programme, stressing that out of the figure 4,369 graduates were integrated into the formal school system by the end of September 2010.