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Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Conservation: Ghana

Water in Africa

Africa, Ghana

by Sasha Bennett, Bongo-Soe, Ghana

People usually conserve water in many different ways. Women do laundry once a week with only a small bucket of water. Any excess water left over from washing or bathing is often given to the animals or is recycled to water dry-season crops. People also conserve water by collecting rainwater for drinking and doing other chores during the rainy season.

by Molly Campbell, Amisano, Ghana

Amisano does not really have a conservation program for water.

by Nell Todd, Mafi-Dove, Ghana

I haven't seen a lot of water conservation in the community, though I think they naturally have systems for cooking, bathing, and washing that do not require a lot of water. Everyone (including me) bathes with just one bucket of water. Clothes-washing is systematic and efficient. Sometimes people will use "old" water to water plants, and we have planted trees and flowers around the bore holes to help soak up the excess water (thus helping drainage). In general, the people use what they need and no more. Remember, all water they need they have to fetch and carry on their heads back home.

by Amy Wiedemann, Gbefi, Volta Region, Ghana

Conservation and recycling of water both occur in day-to-day activities here, seemingly as second nature to the users. My community is fortunate in that they don't face shortage and availability issues. Nevertheless, it takes labor and consumes time to replenish the household water supply; hence, they certainly don't waste what is in the house.

by Steve Tester, Odumase-Krobo, Ghana

Water is conserved in some ways in Odumase-Krobo. When families get drinking and cooking water, they pay 50 cedis a bucket for water from KPONG. When families get washing and bathing water, they get it free from a well. Babies are bathed, and then their bath water will be used to wash an adult. Other than that, water is not recycled (at least not that I am aware of). If you pay for something and you're on a limited income, obviously, you will conserve it for the most effective use.

by Michael Nelson, Gbani, Northern Region, Ghana

Even in the dry season, when water is getting scarce, you will rarely notice people conserving water. If they do conserve it at all, it is primarily by allowing the children to get by with fewer baths and by not washing clothes as frequently. Both of these solutions help explain the high prevalence of skin problems (rashes, acne, etc.) during that time of the year.

Water is also rarely recycled. The one exception I have noticed is that some people plant tomatoes and other plants near the outlets of their bath houses, hoping that water from that source will help the plants.

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