Resource 1: Problems of getting water

Background information / subject knowledge for teacher

  • Long distances to travel to obtain water.
  • Leaving younger children behind to get water.
  • Pupils out of school to collect water.
  • Is the water clean and safe?
  • Size of containers to carry water and weight of water to carry over long distances.
  • Time taken to obtain water stops people doing other things.
  • The water collected may be contaminated by poor sanitation and animals’ use.
  • Open to infection by water-borne diseases.
  • Drought can restrict access to clean water.
  • Lack of infrastructure e.g. pipes and storage containers to capture rainwater etc.
  • Lack of systems to purify water.
  • Lack of education about ways to use and keep safe natural water resources.
  • No sustained access to water.

Water problems in Ghana

The consumption of unsafe water in Ghana, along with poor sanitation and hygiene practices, continues to result in diarrhoea, worm infestation and other water and sanitation-related diseases, which can lead to death and disability. Children are usually the first to get sick and die from these diseases.

Diarrhoea is responsible for 18% of all deaths of children under the age of five in Ghana – some 15,000 children whose lives could be saved by simple preventive steps such as washing hands with soap. Guinea worm, largely attributable to drinking unsafe water, continues to plague the country – Ghana is the second most Guinea worm-endemic country in the world, next only to war-torn Sudan.

Over 30% of the rural population in Ghana does not have access to safe drinking water. Nationally, 22% of the population still lacks access to safe water.

3.Organising a campaign

Resource 2: Water usage diary