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Royal Engineers bring fresh hope and clean water to Ghana
Published Friday 21st October 2005
Sappers from 521 Specialist Team Royal Engineers (Water Development) strike water as they train in drilling for water at their base in Chetwynd Barracks, Nottingham [Picture: Chris Fletcher]
Lance Corporal Joe Birch, aged 22 from 521 Specialist Team Royal Engineers (Water Development), will be travelling to Northern Ghana to drill wells and install a fresh water supply for remote villages [Picture: Chris Fletcher]
Lance Corporal Ed Seymour, aged 24 from 521 Specialist Team Royal Engineers (Water Development), will be part of a six-man team of specialist Royal Engineers from the Army who will be travelling to Northern Ghana along with members of St Dunstan's, the charity set up to aid blind ex-service personnel [Picture: Chris Fletcher]
A six hour walk for water will become a thing of the past for thousands of Ghanaians when a team of Royal Engineers install a water pipeline that will deliver water at the turn of a tap.
The six-man team from 521 Specialist Team Royal Engineers (Water Development), part of 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group, based at Chetwynd Barracks, Chilwell, will be working on the six week project in Northern Ghana, together with St Dunstan's, the charity that provides life-long care for blind ex-service men and women.
The project is the first phase of a long term water aid project in the region being undertaken by St Dunstans.
The 5.7km pipeline, which will be connected to the existing water infrastructure, will supply fresh water to the villages of Kpalusogu and Koshibu in Northern Ghana. Local villagers will complete the work, overseen by the Royal Engineers. They will also install latrines in the village at the end of the pipeline, the village of Koshibu.
Captain Brian Duff who will lead the six man team said:
The villagers themselves have raised 15% of the funds needed to extend the pipeline from the existing water infrastructure; the remaining funding has been raised by St Dunstans.
Captain Duff said:
Leading the project is "St Dunstaner" David Stuttard, an ex-Royal Engineer, who was left blind after loosing his battle with diabetes:
Caused by bacteria, Trachoma spreads rapidly in communities where people don't have enough water to wash their hands and face regularly and can be prevented by simply washing with as little as one litre of clean water each day.
The five top causes of death in the area are malaria, guinea worm, diarrhoea, pneumonia and dysentery. Of these five diseases, four can be prevented with the provision of clean water.
David, who will deploy to Ghana with the Royal Engineers, will spend time showing the local people who have lost their sight how to overcome their blindness and go on to lead an improved life and no longer feel a burden on their community. Helping him deliver the lessons on good hygiene practices and sanitation will be two Army medics from 5 General Support Medical Regiment.
The local people will also be taught about the importance of hygiene and how it can prevent blindness.
But it's not just the Ghanaian people who will benefit from the project; it is also the St Dunstaners themselves. David explains:
St Dunstan's water aid project will be working hand in hand with an ongoing project set up by the Nottingham Christian Centre, based in the same Tolon-Kumbunga region.
Captain Sean Milner, the Second in Command of 521 STRE (Water Development) who is a member of the Christian Centre explained:
Captain Milner explained about the project at his church and the three parties agreed that it was a project that they could all work on together.
The Royal Engineers and David Stuttard will leave for Ghana on Saturday, 22 October 2005.
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