We, Stan Griffith and Pat Canson-Griffith, have been partially living abroad in Ghana, West Africa for fifteen years. During that time, we have been incessantly struck by the social and economic needs of so many of our family in this beloved country.
Our decision to spearhead the Abonse Pipeborne Water Project developed from a need to help provide clean water in the village of Abonse, Ghana. Aside from the current necessity for potable water, historically this village also served as a watering source for enslaved Africans from further north. Thus, many of us will be in obedience to our ancestors to provide water security for this area.
The specific mission of the Abonse Pipeborne Water Project is to provide funding and oversight for the purchase, delivery and construction of necessary materials and salaries for the repair of the currently existing water pipe and to provide funding and oversight for the purchase, delivery and salaries for the construction of an extension to the existing water pipe, construction of a second water tank, installation of a new water pump and completion of an existing water fixture in Abonse, Ghana, West Africa. The estimated cost is estimated $25,000.00. This will be a one-shot fundraising venture; the Abonse community will administer the ongoing functioning and maintenance of the water tanks, fixtures, pipes, etc.
Location and History
The village of Abonse is a farming community in the Eastern Region of Ghana, in the Akwapim Ridge. Abonse was an important cross-road on the old slave route during the 17th and 18th centuries and traces of the slave market can be found still. The historical association between the towns location as part of the route for enslaved humans, further substantiates the need to improve sanitation and hygiene.
The community of Abonse is built on a steep incline/mountain and consists of approximately 2,000 individuals as well as household vegetable farm plots and small farm animals. The Ghana government provided the Abonse community with one pump located at the base of the town several years ago. The pump is now decayed and follow-up by either governmental or non-governmental agencies has not been provided. As a result, the large number of families who live upward in the town must walk down the steep incline with “jerry-cans” and plastic containers as far as three quarters of a mile each way daily in order to obtain non-hygienic water from a local river. When full with water, jerry-cans can weigh up to twenty-plus pounds. The transporters of the water tend to be women and children. The children are often unable to attend school or are extremely late in order to complete this task twice daily. Many of the women are elderly, with compromised mobility and health challenges.
The Advsory Committee for the project includes the following:
Chief Nana Asare Anobi, Asonahene for Abonse; Hon. Kwadwo Ansah, Assemblyman for Abonse; Nana Okromo Apetesi II, Queenmother for Abonse; Abontendomhene Oteng Arthur, Ecobank; Patricia Canson-Griffith, Ph.D., U.S. Fundraiser; Kwesi Gyang Lartey, Unit Committee Chair for Abonse; E. Osei-Owusu, District Manager for Aqwapem District.
We are also associated with a non-governmental organization Water AID Ghana, that will assist with verification of the needs, the appropriate tools and appropriate personnel for the work. It is anticipated that 90% of the unskilled labor will be drawn from the community of Abonse and will not receive direct monetary compensation.
The process for funding will entail grouping the project into four funding increments. For example, in the first increment, assessment of existing works will be conducted, followed by a current estimate of costs. At the completion of each increment, a report on the success as well as a visual approval by members of the Advisory Committee will be conducted prior to the release of the next funding increment. Ongoing maintenance of the project will be administered by the Abonse Advsory Committee’s utilizing small fees for purchase of water.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Our goal is simple. We need to raise approximately $25,000.00 to enact the project and it can be done by U.S. dollar donations. Your 501(c) 3 (tax credit) donation will be banked in the US until time for distribution and you will receive periodic updates as to our progress. We are especially appealing to you to expand the visibility of African Americans as “givers” and as motivators toward an actual commemoration to our foreparents who may have received rest and water from this same area. Please give; no contributions are too small!
Medasi paa, paa! We look forward to working with you on this important commitment to clean and accessible WATER for Abonse!