Looking stern and firm, 2016 NPP Vice-Presidential candidate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia stretched a finger like a warning, stressing a certainty while addressing a rally at La in Accra.
“In the first two years of an NPP administration under this Infrastructure for Poverty Alleviation programme where every constituency will get one million dollars…”
“….under this programme there should be no village or community in Ghana after the first two years that will have a water problem or a toilet problem.”
Approving cheers followed and much later, motoriders beat the sand with their back tyres running in circles.
The dust at La has settled. Another thing that is settling is the dirt inside water collected from a pond inside the Central Tongu district of the Volta region.
Some 80 km away from the point where Bawumia made his declaration, residents of Mafe Tove Vekpo in this district use this pond for everyday water needs. They drink it and they are part of 14 communities without access to potable water.
The pond ambushed by the greenery is the assembly point of women and young girls after streaming out of the village.
A student explained returning home after using clean water in her Senior High School is depressing. In the village, there is no point wearing anything white because the water acts like a dye.
A woman sinks an old pan and muscles out a full pan, dodging the visible debris and dead matter and leaving the invisible community of germs to make the trip back home.
The germs will now have a new home – the digestive system of a Ghanaian in Mafe Tove Vekpo – to cause fresh havoc.
According to the nurse in-charge at the CHPS compound, Gladys Womenor, diarrhoea is the third most reported disease after respiratory tract infections and malaria.
“They pass bloody stool…that means they have bacterial infection….if we have potable water it can stop diarrhoea.”
This is a community where an algae-infested pond with lurking leeches is the first source of drinking water with the second being seasonal rains.
The District Chief Executive Thomas Moore who spoke to JoyNews, assured “they will be getting potable water very soon.”
He explained survey results shows underground water won’t be suitable because it is salty. This rules out installing a borehole.
The DCE said the district as a ‘big’ treatment plant funded by the Austrian government which is will serve water to 15 communities.
Ghana under the Akufo-Addo government set up a Sanitation and Water ministry. There is also the Ministry for Special Initiatives and also the Coastal Development Authorities.
Technical advisor to the Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation, Patrick Apoya told JoyNews the documentary is “a typical representation of the remaining 20% of the rural people who do not have water in Ghana.”
The Sanitation and Water ministry has been allocated 684million in three years. But Patrick Apoya says these monies “is not just for investments alone”. A larger chunk, he said, goes into emoluments of the ministry and services.
He said the creation of the ministry shows “some seriousness” but not “when it comes to action.”
Dear Nana Addo is a JoyNews program that tracks campaign promises made by the New Patriotic Party.