Water and electricity in PCC

Water and electricity are two of the fundamental necessities of nearly everybody here on earth.

This is also the case for Hand in Hand and that is why we find it essential to have electricity and water (almost) always at our hand in PCC. Some children are e.g. scared of sleeping in the pitch-dark or need regular care at night and an energy-saving light bulb on during the night can be a welcome reassurance. And of course our two water pumps can only function well if enough electricity is generated.

 

Unfortunately, it is not self-evident in Ghana that a tap will always produce water when turned on and that a light will burn when pressing the switch, far from it. Ghana has a structural problem with the capacity of its power plants these last few years and it cannot meet with the fast growing demand for electricity.

In what way is Ghana solving this problem then? Well, neighbourhoods and complete cities are regularly “put in the dark” for one or more evenings a week or sometimes even for days. Combined with frequent electricity failures and power loss for technical reasons you will understand that we often have to sit in the dark in Nkoranza or have to make do with the little light from a torch.

How romantic, some readers might say, however, if this happens regularly it is not really funny anymore and not very romantic, but mainly terribly annoying (probably I am a little bit too old for this kind of romance….. ). By the way, Ghanaians are much better at handling these recurring inconveniences than spoilt Europeans are…..

 

If possible, running water is even more important: we use it for drinking, working in the kitchen, washing the children and clothing, cleaning and of course the swimming pool. That is why there are 2 separate pumps in PCC, just to make sure….. . However, there has been a structural problem with the borehole since recently, which is very unfortunate.

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During the last 2 years three (very expensive!) pumps have broken down, probably because there is a bad substance in the water of the borehole, which affects the pumps. We will not be able to use the borehole until we have found a good solution to this problem and that is a great pity, because the water has always been constant and very clear. Due to this development our water supply has suddenly become vulnerable, because we now depend on the one pump down the rocks, which supplies us with water from the river and when it would break down for one reason or another we will be confronted with a huge problem. So hopefully we will be able to solve the borehole problem soon.

 

Luckily, we have 15 Waka waka’s, which are solar-powered torches, at our disposal for sufficient lightning at night. These are a fine acquisition. We are able to always shine a light for the children now, even when there is a power failure!

 

Another wonderful innovation in Hand in Hand:

Some time ago we decided with the approval of Hand in Hand Holland to install 24 solar panels in 2014 to make our Community (even) more Green. Yes, PCC goes Solar! In Europe this probably is a very common choice, but in Ghana it is a relatively unknown phenomena, certainly in Nkoranza and its surroundings. Consequently there were a lot of onlookers when we started Solar panels phase 1. Now we stare at the counter of the converter and ammeter in excited anticipation to find out how much power is produced by the solar panels in PCC each day!

We take water and electricity for granted until one – or even worse – two of these facilities are not available. That is why we are very content with each step PCC can take to make the Community less vulnerable and dependent with regard to these matters. We would like to guarantee the availability of water and electricity as much as possible and preferably constantly for our residents.