Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL), in collaboration with WaterAid Ghana (WAG), has commissioned an integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facility for the Akropong School for the Blind. The initiative is part of its Water of Life community investment programme.

The GH¢50,000 ($15,500) WASH project was funded by GGBL, the Diageo Foundation and funds raised through the 2013 World Water Day fundraising walk organized by GGBL and WAG. The project comprises a complete Rain Water Harvesting System, a 60,000 litre storage tank and disability friendly washrooms fitted with hand washing facilities.

Speaking at the commissioning, Mr. Richard Ahiagble, Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility Manager, said, in March 2013, employees of GGBL, WAG and hundreds of Ghanaians signed up to  participate  in a 10KM walk in aid of raising funds to provide a WASH facility for the Akropong School for the Blind in commemoration of World Water Day.

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“Today, we are commissioning this WASH project on behalf of all those who contributed and supported this worthy cause. At GGBL, we have seen at firsthand how WASH facilities contributes to school attendance and academic performance”, he said.

In a recent impact study of our Water of Life programme, it was revealed that access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities corresponds to a 93% increase in academic performance.  WASH creates a healthy and congenial environment where pupils can learn and develop.  It is our belief that this project will go a long way to create an enabling environment for our visually impaired brothers and sisters.

As part of the project, pupils and teachers of the school were trained on hygiene and hand washing, leading to the formation of a health club to spearhead peer to peer hygiene education in the school.

Commenting on the partnership with GGBL and why the school was selected, Dr Afia Zakyia, WaterAid Ghana Country Representative said ‘It’s heart-warming to be able to reach children at The Akropong School for the Blind through this partnership with GGBL.  WAG is committed to reaching everyone everywhere with safe clean water and adequate sanitation.  When GGBL approached us for a possible collaboration, we selected the Akropong School for the Blind based on our commitment to our principles of equity and inclusion and reaching the most marginalised.  WaterAid has been operating in Ghana since 1985 and since then we have helped over 1 million people gain access to safe clean water and adequate sanitation, but there is still so much to do.  Without access to safe clean water for drinking, cooking and cleaning, people are more likely to suffer from water-related diseases..

It’s our mission to transform lives by improving access to these basic needs (water/sanitation) and we call on the public to join us in this fight so every Ghanaian everywhere has access to safe clean water and adequate sanitation. ‘

Samuel Opare, District Chief Executive of the Akropong-Akuapem district and Mrs Mahila, headteacher at the school thanked GGBL and WAG for supporting the school and called on other well-meaning corporate bodies to emulate this example.

The brewery giants also donated some of their non-alcoholic brands to the school.

GGBL has since 2007 provided access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities to more than 500,000 Ghanaians in vulnerable communities through its flagship Water of Life programme.

Source: Ghana Trade – Govt of Ghana