In case you were unaware, the 22nd of March was World Water Day. To celebrate the day I attended an inauguration ceremony for a water facility in Aveme, a community along the Volta River. For the previous nine months or so, my NGO and I have been working the community to prepare them for the water facility. This included forming and training a Water Board composed of community members to manage the facility. We are trained school children, food vendors, and natural leaders in the community on the importance of using clean water. We hope that the people we trained will eventually educate the rest of the community.
The water facility, provided by Safe Water Network, pumps water from the Volta River and filters it using slow sand filtration. The interesting part about the slow sand filter is that it uses a natural biological process to clean the water as opposed to other filters that use UV rays, chemicals, etc.
The water is filtered to United States standards. After the ceremony I drank some of the water directly from the tap and it tasted very pure. In fact, I think I may have gotten a little sick the next day because my body isn’t used to drinking water that pure.
Free water! Free anything will cause a mob in Ghana.
For more reading on the facility’s inauguration you can read Ghana WASH’s press release here:
Easter is a big deal in Ghana, especially in the Volta Region. It’s probably a bigger deal here in Ghana than in the U.S. For instance, the day after Easter is a Government holiday in Ghana, but not in America. Ghanaians also celebrate Easter differently than Americans. There aren’t Easter Bunnies, colorful eggs, and toffee (all candy is called toffee) in Ghana. However, Ghanaians do have unique ways to celebrate Easter.
On Saturday, the day before Easter, an annual custom in my traditional area of Abutia took place. People from Abutia dress in red and bring out their drums and hunting rifles to parade dance around the community. During the parade they play war songs, dance war dances, and fire their rifles in the air. The whole event is led by the war chief of Abutia who lives in Norway, but came back to Ghana for the festivities.
Some D&D (drumming and dancing).
On Sunday I went to church in my community. However, instead of a normal two and half to three hour service, we received a five-hour service, partly because more than 50 people were baptized. After church it proceeded to rain for the rest of the night, which was nice because the weather was cool. We also had our regularly scheduled “light off” from 6am to 6pm. Every three days the Government has been turning off our power during those times to save electricity.
Me and the pastor.