GEOSCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

 

water protection

treatment, supply and conservation

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Case Study – Humanitarian Assistance

Humanitarian Assistance Program – Northern Ghana

Figure 1. Community planning meeting to discuss and assign roles to the various stakeholders.

Plate 1. Community planning meeting to discuss and assign roles to the various stakeholders.

Our humanitarian assistance intervention will always commence with community animation and sensitization activities to prep them up for the planned activities. Participants at these planning session will always include community elders, the women groupings and the youth group among others (Plate 1).

The Northern Region has been and remains the least developed region in Ghana despite being one of the major farming regions of the country. The region lacks access to clean water and sanitation facilities. The road network in the region is at best mediocre. In general, the region lacks basic infrastructures including water and sanitation facilities. The indigenous communities used to depend on unwholesome water to meet their water needs. The lack of drinking water has over the years resulted in high mortality and morbidity rates, particularly among children and has adversely impacted the general wellbeing and socio-economic growth of most of the indigenous communities.

Additionally, children of school-going age, particularly the girls are forced daily to get up much earlier than normal and to walk long distances to fetch water from mostly seasonal streams for domestic usage, prior to going to school (Plate 2).

Figure 2. School-going children carrying buckets of water from the stream through the bushes to their homes for domestic usage

Plate 2. School-going children carrying buckets of water from the stream through the bushes to their homes for domestic usage

Needless to say, this scenario had dire consequences on the holistic growth of the children, particularly their education. As a result of this, our staff were involved in the placement of several drinking water points in the communities through the drilling and construction of hand-pump water wells in some of the remotest communities with very poor road accessibility (Plate 3). Over the years, our team have thrived in and successfully completed several prolific wells in some of these remote communities where our competitors will not even dare to consider (Plate 4).

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Plate 3. Our team driving on a heavily flooded road to a remote location at the start of the rainy season to one of the beneficiary communities.


Plate 4. Our staff engaged in the drilling of a water well in one of the remotest villages in the Northern Region. 

 Humanitarian Assistance – Oku Junction, Ghana

Oku Junction is in the Sene District of the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. The shortest access to the district is through the 60 kilometer road from Atebubu, a road patronized by farm tractors only, which have left deep gauges in the road (Plate 5). The region has some of the best arable lands in the country and extensive water resources with high potential for fishing. The indigenes are either farmers or fishermen.

Figure 1. The road from Atebubu to Oku Junction showing deep gauges in the road

Plate 5. The road from Atebubu to Oku Junction showing deep gauges in the road.

With all these resources, the area remains very much underdeveloped and is in fact among the least developed areas in the country.

The region is shunned by almost all the water well drilling companies in the country because of its notoriety to yield groundwater in sufficient quantities to meet the need of the communities. Previous water well drilling campaigns in the region have failed. As such the indigenes, particularly those that have settled inland and away from the saline water bodies have continuously faced acute water problems throughout the year. With this understanding, a team of water specialists, led by our staff conducted detailed investigations in these “groundwater-scarce” rock formations to locate suitable groundwater sources which were then drilled, constructed and properly developed and installed with hand-pumps (Plate 6). The people of Oku Junction also benefited from this intervention and for the first time have access to drinking water sources.

Figure 2. The inhabitants of the village of Oku Junction waiting patiently to fetch their first bucket of clean water after the completion of well development.

Plate 6. The inhabitants of the village of Oku Junction waiting patiently to fetch their first bucket of clean water after the completion of well development.

Humanitarian Assistance – Management Consultancy Services

As part of our humanitarian assistance service MEK does provide management consultancy services to its clienteles to enhance the skill base of their professionals engaged in geoscience and environmental services; and to ensure the long-term sustainability of newly constructed facilities. This is done through the delivery of planning and technical workshops organized at the district, regional and national levels (Plate 7, 8, 9, and 10). Typical workshops brings together professionals of diverse skillset and opinion and community leaders to discuss matters of concern, including prevailing industry practices, the challenges being faced on a day-to-day basis and factors debilitating the longevity of emplaced facilities. MEK staff collects these all these vies, synthesize them together and with its in-house expertise develop approaches and methodology to address the concerns highlighted during the various planning and brainstorming sessions.

Plate 7. A workshop in Ghana, facilitated by MEK staff on the use of GIS tools and satellite imageries to enhance the delineation of prolific aquifer systems in fractured rock terrains. This workshop was organized for geoscientists from tertiary institutions, industry and non-governmental organization


Plate 8. A workshop in progress to identify strengths and weaknesses of beneficiary communities and to determine ways to address the capacity gaps to ensure a successful project implementations and longevity of emplaced facilities.


Plate 9. A workshop to discuss the analytical results of baseline data collected as part of the project initiation process. The findings and decisions made at this stage will inform the execution of the project at the field level.


Plate 10. Men and women discussion groups engaged in a gender-mainstreaming session at the village community level to enlist their concerns, which will ultimately be ingrained into service delivery output.