EWB-ISU Water Distrubution System Project in Ullo, Ghana
The Iowa State University Engineers Without Borders chapter trains the next generation of internationally focused engineers and leaders to partner with both professionals and developing communities to solve real-world challenges through sustainable engineering projects. Our chapter is focused on long-term partnerships with communities and ensuring the projects we design are simple and sustainable that the community can independently maintain.
ABOUT THE COMMUNITY:
Ullo is a small village in northwest Ghana of about 1100 people. Almost all villagers practice subsistence farming as a necessity since the area has a daily income of about $0.75 per person. Despite these conditions, the people of Ullo have strong, optimistic spirits and go about their daily lives with joy. Almost 1,500 students come to Ullo to attend the local high school as residents. Even though the school has the capacity to serve 1,500 students, it is limited on water availability to feed the students. The students often struggle to find and prepare food for their own daily routine. Women and children wait over 3 hours for water and there are few sanitary, functional pit latrines available for use.
ABOUT THE PROJECT:
Because agriculture is the main industry in Ullo, they rely heavily on water for their livelihood. Unfortunately, the seasons in northern Ghana are very harsh and only three months of the year consistently provide enough rain to yield crops. The long dry season puts strain on the wells and pumps in the community, and often time they begin to go dry before the next rainy season. Our goal is to implement a water distribution system by drilling a borehole into the closest aquifer to the community to feed water to a distribution tank to supply access points in the school and around Ullo. This will give students a nearby source of water in order to cut down the amount of time and labor put into retrieving water during school hours and instead spend that time learning. The additional water availability to the students will allow the school to more appropriately accommodate the large demand for education in the Upper West region of Ghana.