Saturday, March 1, 2008

Women Demonstrate for Potable Water

Women Demonstrate for Potable Water

The Mirror, Saturday, March 1, 2008. Page 34 (News from the Regions)

Zakaria Alhassan, Savelugu

Residents of Savelugu in the Savelugu/Nanton District of the Northern Region at the weekend embarked on a massive demonstration to press home their demand for potable water.

The peaceful demonstration was dominated by women and children, who often bore the daily burden of searching for water for domestic use in the district, which is notorious for having the highest cases of the debilitating guinea worm disease in the country.

The aggrieved residents marched through the principal streets of Savelugu township, with some of them carrying placards bearing such inscriptions as, “We have suffered for long; we need potable water now,”; “What crime have we committed to deserve this neglect?” “Our children and women have suffered enough pain”; “We need relief now.”

People in the area had suffered perennial water shortages over the years, compelling them to resort to the use of unhygienic water to survive, for which reason the guinea worm disease still thrived in the district, despite various interventions.

A 28-year old housewife, Azara Mahama, said “sometimes I spend the whole day with my children searching for potable water, because we tired of drinking the unwholesome water from the very dams my entire family have suffered guinea worn infestation.”

A 14 year old drop out, Fatawu Issah, explained that he decided to join the demonstrators because “we heard that the assembly was charging water tanker drivers who sell water to us at exorbitant prices.”

However the District Chief Executive (DCE), Alhaji Abubakari Atori, hqas explained that his outfit, in collaboration with the UNICEF, has provided a purifying machine at the dam at Libga in Savelugu.

Treat water from the dam is stored in an overheard reservoir from where water tankers draw water for onward sale to the public, in addition to some mechanised boreholes.

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