Tamale, Ghana 28 July 2021—Samata Abdullahi believes that installing a water tank in her Shichegu neighbourhood, courtesy of a project led by UN-Habitat in the Disaster Prone Communities in northern Ghana, has contributed immensely to better health for the women of her community.

“Before this water tank was built here, we used to walk long distance in search of water. The trek and the heavy load of water always left the women tired and this brought with it other health complications but this is now a thing of the past and we are really grateful for the organisations that joined hands to bring us this gift,” the 70-year-old mother of six said on the sidelines of a site visit by  journalists.

The water tank at Shichegu was part of the USD 16 million WASH in Disaster Prone Communities (DPC) project which was implemented in five zones in northern Ghana. With support from the Canadian government, the WASH in DPC targeted 265 communities with a 100 per cent access rate to resilient and flood prone water supply infrastructure. Some 200,000 people have benefited from the three-year project.

This ground-breaking project brought together UN-Habitat, UNICEF, World Health Organisation (WHO), and UNDP, with the Office of the Resident Coordinator providing overall guidance and leadership for the project.

Explaining the context of the project, UN-Habitat’s Eric Moukoro said Shichegu was chosen as a “safe haven” because it was in a flood prone area. “We first thought of building a mechanised borehole but when we realised a mains from the national water corporation was passing nearby, we settled for the water tank and we are very happy with what we have achieved so far,” he said.

The local community chairman Zakaria Mohammed Amin says he has seen great improvement in the development of their children since the water tank was installed. “Parents now have enough time on their hands to prepare their children for school, something they could not do effectively when they walked long distances in search of water,” the 50-year-old says.

He says he has seen lots of development in the 11 years he has lived in the community. “When I first came here, we didn’t have roads, schools or potable water. I have seen all that change and I can only envision a brighter future,” he says.