It was often a herculean task for pupils of the Saabisi Primary School at Nagtugnia in the Upper East Region, to fetch water for handwashing and for the school’s kitchen before the days’ lessons begin.

The nearest borehole was about a kilometer away and this often resulted in their lateness to class or their lack of concentration during lessons because they became tired after fetching the water.

Saabisi Primary School mechanized borehole

Today, they heave a sigh of relief as a philanthropist has given the school a new mechanized borehole.

The philanthropist, James Ali Griesbaum is a native of Natugnia who migrated from the community when he was a child to Burkina Faso and later to Germany.

He is now a sales agent and after 25 years away from the country, has returned home to give back to his community.

James Ali Griesbaum has drilled and mechanised a borehole for the Saabisi Primary School, to help reduce the plight of the pupils as they often struggled to get water for the School or even to drink.

James Ali Griesbaum, Philanthropist

“I remember what it was like, going to look for water when I was a child growing up in this community. We walked under the hot weather; almost 40 degrees and it was not easy”, Ali said adding; “So now if I have the chance to provide water, I have to help [the community]”

The Saabisi Primary School currently has a population of 425 pupils.

Pupils of Saabisi Primary School excited to see water flow from their new borehole

The school is under the Ghana School Feeding Program which makes the mechanized borehole very crucial, especially in this era of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hitherto, pupils in the Upper Primary level of the school often went to fetch water from the community borehole located almost a kilometer away from the school.  

“We used to go and fight with the community [members] in order to get water for our cooks to cook food for us to eat. And it always takes [us] very long but now, this water is here so they can always just fetch and cook”, Clemencia Alukre, a Class 6 pupil of the school told Joy News.

Khadijatu Suleman – Mahmud, Pupil of Saabisi Primary School

Another Class 6 pupil, Khadijatu Suleman – Mahmud said; “[At] first, we used to go far away to get water to drink so the borehole will help us a lot. We can always get water to wash our hands with soap before eating”.

Headmaster of the Saabisi Primary School, Benjamin Ageemina said school management had a difficult time managing the pupils with regard to the covid – 19 protocols, since handwashing is a very crucial aspect of the protocols. But that was now a thing of the past.

Saabisi Primary School Block

He used to opportunity to call on other philanthropists to assist the school with furniture because half of the pupils of the school did have access to furniture.

Classroom of Saabisi Primary with not furniture

“We are appealing to anyone that will be touched to get us furniture and renovate our lover primary block for us. There are no chairs in the entire lower primary block and the children sit on the floors for lessons and it is very difficult”, the headmaster said.

 The chief and elders of the Natugnia community who joined James Ali Griesbaum to commission the borehole for the Saabisi Primary School, were full of joy and expressed their gratitude to the philanthropist for his gesture.

Assemblyman for the area, Moses Alemya said the mechanised borehole was not only going to serve the school but some parts of the community as well.

“Our brother has come to the aid of not just the school, but the entire community because access to potable water is a major problem here”, he said.

James Ali Griesbaum has also assured the people of Natugnia that he will do more to help the community in the near future.