Laudia Sawer, GNA
Teikpitikorpe (GAR), Sept 13, GNA - The
Volta River Authority (VRA) has handed over a solar powered mechanized water
facility to the Teikpitikorpe community in the Ada East District to address its
high prevalence of bilharzia.
The facility, which is the first of its kind, filters water drawn from the Volta River, cost GH¢ 50,000 to construct.
Madam Elizabeth Maku Kisson, Research Officer at the Public Health Section of VRA, said research conducted by her outfit in communities along the Volta River revealed that residents were at risk of contracting Bilharzia due to the availability of the parasites in the waterweeds along the river.
Madam Kisson explained that people became infected when larval forms of the parasite released by freshwater snails penetrated the skin during contact with infested water and later developed into an adult schistosomes.
She noted that prior to the impoundment of the Volta River, Onchocerciasis was predominant in the communities adding however that the impoundment caused a reduction in flow rate of water which was conducive for the proliferation of aquatic weeds which served as habitats for the snail vectors of Schistosomiasis leading to drastic increase in the disease.
According to her, the VRA in collaboration with partners had put in many mitigating measures including the screening and treatment of infected persons, mass drug administration, and sensitization programmes as well as the provision of safe water and sanitation facilities in the communities to reduce the Bilharzia cases.
She urged residents to make good use of the facility as it was the same fresh river water being served without parasites that causes the sickness.
Mr Emmanuel Dankwa Osafo, Deputy Chief Executive (Engineering and Operations), VRA, in a speech read on his behalf, said the VRA’s initial decision to provide borehole mechanized facility failed due to the high salt content beyond the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended levels, in the borehole they drilled.
The speech read by Mr Ken Arthur, Director Kpong Retrofit Project, VRA, stated that as a result, Project Maji Foundations, VRA’s water solution partners, agreed to design a sand filtration system using the river water.
He added that, “Teikpitikorpe, your community is the fourth to benefit under the VRA CSR Water Project but first to receive this type of facility that would provide reliable and sustainable water supply to deprived and bilharzia-endemic communities along the Volta River.”
Nene Lomo IV, Divisional Chief of Lomobiawe Clan of Ada and Madam Sarah Dugbakie Pobee, Ada East District Chief Executive, commended the VRA for the project and promised to maintain it properly.