Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Water for Prosperity: Economic and Social Prosperity Through Water Purification in Rural Ghana

Project #
Denison University
  • Alexandria Seward
  • Samantha Price

Water for Propserity

Water for Prosperity: Economic and Social Prosperity Through Water Purification in Rural Ghan

In January 2017, project leader Alexandria Seward did field research for Saha Global, an organization that provides access to clean water for villages in northern Ghana. Having seen the need to expand Saha Global’s reach, she and fellow Denison student Samantha Price brought a simple water purification system to the villages of Kpalkore and Dalibila, then trained village women how to earn income while supplying their communities with clean water.

“Water purification techniques used in developed, high-income nations are either too expensive or technologically unachievable in many places around the world, such as rural Ghana,” the students explain. Other organizations had earlier installed well-based systems — but those were complex and soon fell out of commission. In contrast, Lexie and Samantha trained three women in each village to purify water with alum, a cleaning material that is commonly used in the area.

The villages’ water supply had previously come from dugout trenches, where it quickly became turbid and fecally contaminated. However, after 24 hours’ exposure to alum balls in 200-liter drums, sediment falls to the bottom, and the women could scoop out clean water, treating it with chlorine for storage in a Ghana-made plastic tank.

Villagers welcomed the project — and because it was Ramadan, Lexie and Sam refrained from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk. “Our partnership with Saha Global allowed us to properly allocate our funds to cover expenses and provide monitoring to Kpalkore and Dalibila, ensuring sustainability,” they report.