Harvesting rainwater in Ghana

Mary McGovern will volunteer in Ghana from February 1, 2014
We all take water and rain for granted, but in the rural community of Srafa Aboana, Ghana their wells have dried up .

We all take water and rain for granted, but in the rural community of Srafa Aboana, Ghana their wells have dried up .

As we stress about Christmas presents, feasts and parties the community of sub-saharan Africa have to worry about their drinking water being festered with mosquitos and diseases such as malaria.

Second year DCU student Mary McGovern daughter of John & Agnes McGovern from Corlough/ Swanlinbar and past pupil of Ballinamore PPS is volunteering to help construct rainwater harvesters in Ghana, Africa from February 1, 2014.

For almost two weeks she will be helping to build toilets, rain harverters and teaching local children about how to prevent water contamination with the world’s largest student led sustainable development organisation, Global Bridges.

Mary told the Leitrim Observer, “Srafa Aboana is an old salt mining town which flourished in the years they exported salt.

“Once the salt dried up however there was no more jobs/income. All the young generation (16-25+) don’t have the opportunity to continue in education and have to travel up to three hours to bring money into the community.

“Due to the salt mines, the ground is high in salinity, erasing the option of digging wells.

“They rely on artificial ponds, these ponds allow for the growth of bacteria and viruses and due to the stagnant water is festered with mosquitos that carry diseases such as malaria.

“We also will be building four toilets for a rural Ghanaian primary school to reduce the rate of public defecation/water contamination through fecal matter.

“We will also be going to the local primary school to educate them on how to prevent water contamination.”

The costs of this volunteer trip are roughly in the area of €1,500 which includes vaccinations, Ghana visa, accommodation, food, water, building materials, flights, etc.

To help fundraise for the trip Mary is hosting a number of events locally which she would appreciate local support to attend.

The first event will be held in Cullen’s Lounge, Swanlinbar on Friday, November 29.

There will be a raffle on the night with big prizes to be won such as €100 worth of oil sponsored by Breffni Oil and St. Mary’s GFC, Swanlinbar, €50 worth of petrol/diesel sponsored by Spa Service Station, Swanlinbar and much more.

Music on the night by Eugene Cunningham, refreshments will be served. The night will start at 10pm.

On Saturday, December 7, another fundraising night will be held in Feehan’s Lounge, Corlough.

There will also be a raffle on the night with home fuel to be won and much more to keep you cosy over Winter! Music on the night by Andy Murphy from 10pm – till late.

Mary and her helpers will also be bag packing at Tesco, Ballinamore on Saturday, November 23 and in SuperValu, Ballinamore on December 14.

Your support for these events would be very much appreciated.