Improvment of water supply in Kabonwule, Northern Ghana
About the Project
The village Kabonwule in the Northern Region of Ghana with more than 5000 inhabitants suffers from shortage of water during the dry season. Only one of the existing five boreholes is working at that time. At one borehole, the ground water level is too low during the dry season. The other three boreholes are not equipped by a pump. Additionally, the fluoride content in the ground water is highly extended. Joseph from RG Accra and Edmund from RG Kumasi did a field study in 2018 and found out that the fluoride content was far above the WHO guideline of 1.5 mg/L. Too high fluoride exposure can lead to several diseases, such as metabolic disorder, lung disease and damage of teeth by dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis could be proved in several children in Kabonwule by the brown coloration of their teeth. Fluoride content was particularly critical in two boreholes which is one of the reasons why they are not equipped by a pump. Consequently, the village suffers a heavy shortage of water during the end of the dry season and the village inhabitants either wait in a queue at the only functioning borehole for many hours or dug holes with hoes to get access to water.
Our aim in this project is the improvment of the water supply by a new hand pump and the removal of fluoride ions from the water by appropriate filter systems. It is known from the literature that plant materials, such as coconut fibers and moringa seeds, are suitable as fluoride filters. For this reason, Joseph from RG Accra visited Kabonwule again in February 2019 to take water samples and to test different plant materials on them. He conducted the tests at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi together with John from RG Kumasi. Moringa seed was found to be the most appropriate material whilst other plant materials also have potential and are still under investigation. Fluoride analysis, before and after coagulation and filtering with Moringa seeds, showed complete or over 90% removal of fluoride depending on the quantity of moringa used. Furthermore, the pH value could be reduced from a critical value of 8.7 to around 7. As known from WHO drinking water is harmless in a pH range from 6.5 to 8.5.
In March 2019, Joseph, John and Edmund went to Kabonwule to successfully implement a new hand pump at one of the non-functional boreholes. Therefore, the inhabitants now have two working boreholes. Additionally, our ghanaian members trained the inhabitants in how to easily filter their water in the households to decrease the flouride content to an uncritical concentration.
Finally, we would highly express our acknowledgement to the rotary club Göttingen-Hann. Münden and our third board Robert Schullan for the financial support.