Our team consists of Angie, Kirsten, Ethan, Sarah and our translator, Nestor. We’ve been working in the village of Gundaa, about an hour west of Tamale. Our village has about 40 households, divided into New Gundaa and Old Gundaa. Their current source of drinking water is a dugout that is about half a mile from Old Gundaa (the center of the village).
The first day we visited Gundaa, we met with the chief, sub-chiefs, and elders to pitch the idea of a CWS Water Treatment Facility. They were totally onboard, super excited, and extremely thankful! The chief acknowledged that the dirty dugout water they had been drinking was making them sick. He said, “From now on, we will only be drinking clean water!” When we explained we would be working with them over the next two weeks, they even offered to build us our own hut. We organized a community meeting for the following afternoon, so that all of the women in the village could attend after spending the day in the farm (puni). There were over 100 people in attendance.
Our community meeting began with a prayer for a good meeting, led by the assemblyman. BAM! A table that many people were sitting on fell to the ground. Luckily no one was hurt and the assemblyman joked that the prayer hadn’t reached the sky yet. We each took turns explaining parts of the CWS concept and the work we would be doing. Everyone at the meeting was really excited and loved to see the visuals we brought with us (bacteria tests, a safe storage container, and our Fellow handbooks). At the end of the meeting, the community began to sing a song that involved the women clapping, singing, and yodeling. They sang us two songs – the first was a song of appreciation and the second represented the idea of “united we stand, divided we fall”.
Tomorrow we’ll start building the polytank stand that will be near the dugout under the shade of a tree. We’re super excited to start tomorrow and we can’t wait!