By Benjamin Adamafio Commey, GNA
Akropong (E/R), Aug 20, GNA — The Year of Return celebrations could not have come at a better time for pupils of Akropong School for the Blind in the Eastern Region, especially at a time they are grappling with access to potable water.
This is because, as part of activities marking the celebrations, a group of returnees on Monday handed over two boreholes to the authorities of the school and residents of Borishe community, a suburb of Akropong.
The two water projects, estimated at GHC 40,000, are aimed at providing easy access and potable water to the institution and the community.
They were funded by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., an agglomeration of associations of Ghanaians based in the United States.
Receiving the completed projects on behalf of the school, Ms Mahela Maku Narh, Headmistress of Akropong School for the Blind, said the school, which started with four pupils in 1945, was currently grappling with numerous challenges, especially, having access to potable water a result of increase in students’ population.
She said the situation became dire when the community had to rely on the school for their water supply anytime there was an acute water shortage.
“The water situation in Akropong is currently better, but formerly we had serious problems when it comes to water. We have one borehole drilled by World Vision International, which was later mechanised by Enterprise Insurance, but that alone cannot do for all the staff and students in the school.
“Even people from the community sometimes had to fall on us for water”, she added.
Ms Narh said even though government was doing a lot to ensure that the school ran smoothly, its efforts alone would not be enough considering the numerous challenges at hand.
While applauding the group for their kind gesture, she appealed to Non-Governmental Organisations and philanthropists to support the school to ease their burden.
Dr Carl W. Bampoe, President of Tau Chi, one of the funding associations said the group would continue to support other deprived communities in order to facilitate development.
“We decided from the States that we will start a water initiative, one to bring water and other basic necessities to Ghana to help those who are in need so that this school of the blind in Akropong and other parts of Ghana can carry on with their lives without having to worry about water.
“We will therefore continue with this just to help those in need. This is the first but certainly will not be the last”, he stated.
In an interview with the media on the sidelines at the handing over ceremony, Dr Akwasi Agyeman, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Tourism Authority, expressed his satisfaction over the impact the celebrations was having on the development of the country.
He noted that several other returnees were currently undertaking various developmental projects at various parts of the country, initiatives he said, would benefit the country immensely.
“For us, we are also looking at the legacy projects around the year of return. Today, what we have seen here at Akropong is one of the legacy projects put together by a group from the US. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. but this is not the only project on-going in the country.
“In Nyame Bekyere in Koforidua we have the Adinkra group also putting up an ICT Centre and we have had different groups coming in and doing different projects for the communities”, he said.
He urged Ghanaian businesses to take advantage of the opportunities created by the celebrations to facilitate development.