The Asutifi North District Level Learning Alliance Platform (DLLAP) on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, held a meeting with stakeholders to share experiences and lessons from a recent chlorination pilot initiative that the Aquaya Institute carried out. Since October 2021, the Aquaya Institute has been working with district stakeholders to improve chlorination and enhance the safety of the public water supply. In the pilot program, the Aquaya Institute conducted tests on two chlorination approaches: Mission In-line chlorination and Direct Tank dosing. The objective was to determine the most effective and practical methods for water purification through chlorination, taking into account factors such as feasibility and affordability.
Previous studies conducted by the Aquaya Institute have revealed the presence of E. coli contamination in specific piped systems within the Asutifi North District. In response to this challenge, the Aquaya Institute collaborated with district authorities to establish a system where public water systems in the district would receive regular quality testing services from the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL).
During a DLLAP meeting, District Chief Executive, the Honorable Anthony Mensah, emphasized the need for stakeholders to investigate the root causes of water contamination diligently. He expressed the importance of the water managers and the district assembly taking responsibility, finding sustainable solutions, and effectively communicating water quality and related issues to community members.
During the presentation of research findings, Bashiru Yachori, the Programs Officer for the Aquaya Institute, disclosed that both the mission in-line chlorination and direct tank dosing chlorination methods resulted in a notable rise in free chlorine residual levels that fell within the universally acceptable limits. Yachori appealed to the chiefs and the Assembly to extend financial assistance and other forms of support to the water systems. This is because significant portions of water revenue are currently allocated to expenses related to the payment of electricity bills, making it challenging for water system managers to invest in the expansion of piped networks and water quality testing.
Afua Gyaama Kissi Ampomah, Program Officerfor Aquaya Institute, also stressed the need to expand chlorination activities,as test results showed that samples with positive Free Chlorine Residual (FCR) had four times the odds of undetectable E. coli compared to samples with no measurable FCR.
The DLLAP meeting discussed other concerns, including tariff reviews, capacitybuilding, management plans for water systems, modes of treating stored water in households, and fears that systems might stop chlorination activities as soon as the Aquaya Institute exits the district. Among the stakeholders at the meeting were chiefs, who pledged support for the regular water quality testing initiatives. With this collaboration, the Asutifi North District Assembly and Aquaya Institute are making great strides in improving water quality and access to safe water in the district.