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Royal Engineers transform the lives of Ghanaian villagers
Published Monday 28th November 2005
The boreholes will provide Kpalusogu and Koshibu with 1.3 and 3.5 cubic metres of water an hour. [Picture: St Dunstan's]
Thanks to their own efforts, and the help of St Dunstan's and the Royal Engineers, the villagers of Kpalusogu and Koshibu have clean running water for the first time in 800 years [Picture: St Dunstan's]
Captain Brian Duff of the Royal Engineers pictured with local children [Picture: St Dunstan's]
The lives of around 2,400 people in the villages of Kpalusogu and Koshibu in Northern Ghana have been transformed, thanks to a six-man team of Royal Engineers.
The soldiers, who are all members of 521 Specialist Team Royal Engineers (Water Development), part of 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group, have completed a five week project which has seen fresh running water being delivered to the villages for the first time in 800 years.
Working with St Dunstan's, the charity that provides life-long care for blind ex-service men and women, the Royal Engineers connected a 5.7 kilometre pipeline to the region's existing water infrastructure which can now supply the fresh water at the turn of a tap to the two villages.
Working 18 hour days the Royal Engineers also installed latrines in the village of Koshibu at the end of the pipeline and drilled bore holes. Water was located at two sites at a depth of 80 metres and 90 metres. The boreholes will provide 1.3 and 3.5 cubic metres of water an hour.
Minister for the Armed Forces, Adam Ingram, who recently visited Ghana to open the second phase of an internationally-supported peacekeeping training centre said:
Captain Brian Duff of the Royal Engineers, spoke for the whole team, saying:
St Dunstaner David Stuttard, an ex-Royal Engineer, who was left blind after loosing his battle with diabetes explained:
David, who deployed to Ghana with the Royal Engineers, spent time showing the local people who had 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 were two Army medics from 5 General Support Medical Regiment.
The project is the first phase of a long term water aid project being undertaken in the region by St Dunstan's. The villagers themselves raised 15% of the funds needed to extend the pipeline; the remaining funding was raised by St Dunstan's. £12,000 was provided through the Ministry of Defence Veterans' Challenge Fund to St Dunstan's towards the project.
The Tolon-Kumbunga district of Northern Ghana has some of the highest incidences of visual impairment in Africa. The foremost cause of the epidemic is as a direct result of Trachoma.
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 everyday.
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