July 16, 2008

The Prem Rawat Foundation Gives US$100,000 for Clean Water in Ghana

The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) has made a grant of US$100,000 to Community Water and Ecological Sanitation Care (CWESC) to provide 10 impoverished communities within Ghana's Wa West and Gemoa East districts with potable water and proper sanitation essential to eliminating debilitating diseases associated with contaminated water. The grant is the third in a series that will help a total of 23 communities and nearly 100,000 people in Ghana.

"Less than five percent of the residents living in these regions are currently able to obtain safe drinking water. Many are forced to salvage what they can from streams, ponds or makeshift wells -- sources scientifically proven to be unsafe for human consumption," notes TPRF President Linda Pascotto. "On average, these sources lie nearly two kilometers (over a mile) away from residences, forcing women and children to haul water over exhausting distances in order to satisfy the needs of their communities." Bacterial growth within this water leads to guinea worm infestation, a parasite that causes extremely painful and long-term debilitation. Such parasites and other dangers are easily avoided by the use of safe drinking water and simple changes in personal behavior.

TPRF's grant will fund construction of sustainable, demand-driven water systems, including rain harvesting, mechanized boreholes and hand-dug wells and dams, providing 20 liters of fresh water daily to each individual within the 10 villages. These safe water supplies will be within 500 meters (0.3 miles) of every household. In addition, ecological sanitation toilets will be installed in 10 households within three separate communities.

To make this project sustainable, CWESC will organize and train local residents to spearhead relief efforts, emphasizing the involvement of women previously burdened with the task of finding water. Once formed, these water and sanitation committees will help build, own and maintain the clean water systems, providing long-lasting benefits for their communities. Further education on sanitation will promote better living conditions, better health and increased productivity for all residents.

"We wish to express our profound gratitude to you for this opportunity," says Ralph Osei-Agyemang, project coordinator of CWESC.

TPRF's grant will fund the 12-month project, culminating in April 2009. George Ortsin, National Programme Coordinator of the UNDP Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme-Ghana, who managed a previous grant of $100,000 from TPRF, will retain oversight of the project with CWESC.

About The Prem Rawat Foundation

The Prem Rawat Foundation was created in 2001 by Prem Rawat, known also as Maharaji, and has a dual mission of bringing his message of peace to people around the world and providing essential humanitarian aid to those in need. TPRF partners with other humanitarian organizations to bring food, water and rapid disaster relief where it is most needed. To learn more about TPRF's humanitarian initiatives, Prem Rawat and his message of peace, please visit http://tprf.org/pressrel/20080714-Ghana_grant.htm.

About the Community Water and Ecological Sanitation Care

Community Water and Ecological Sanitation Care (CWESC) is a local non-governmental organization, managed and implemented as a collaborative effort among local communities in Ghana. CWESC operates through the local partners formed at the community levels and functions as a decentralized, demand-driven funding mechanism for sustainable community-based water and sanitation development and management.