208862 Water and Public Health: Community Health Planning and Partnership Creation to Bring a Community Water Project to a Town in Rural Ghana, Africa

Monday, November 9, 2009: 9:00 AM

Barbara Wallace, PhD , Department of Health &Behavior Studies, Teachers College Columbia. University, New York, New York, NY
Community health planning in this century, particularly in places such as Africa, requires attention to the essential need for accessible water. Water emerges as one of the most precious contemporary resources, being absolutely vital to sustain life and health. For example, in a rural town in Ghana, Africa, the majority of the families in this mountainous community send their children on the long early morning walk before daybreak down the side of the mountain to access water form a well, or families must purchase water. Water is essential for everything from the morning bath, to cooking throughout the day, to washing dishes, washing clothing, and the evening bath. A rainy season and long periods without rain can put further stress on existing wells and mountain streams. Yet, water is essential to health on a daily basis year-round. This presentation describes the community planning process and partnership creation behind a project to bring water to the center of town for wide distribution via standing pipes. Accessible water emerges as just one component of community-wide plans for fostering health and sanitation; essential steps involve creating toilets and ensuring adequate human waste disposal. The kinds of partners needed are discussed (e.g. non-governmental organizations, traditional community leadership/ Chiefs, Traditional Healers), along with policies, and the goal of creating jobs and fostering economic development. Participants will receive the information they need to be able to identify the planning, partnerships, and policies essential to implementing a successful community water development project in a rural African community.

Learning Objectives:
Describe a strategy for mobilizing community partners and community members in an effort to create a successful community water project Identify the information needed as a guide in designing a community water project alongside community members so that there is community buy-in and ownership of a successful water project

Keywords: Community Collaboration, Community Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an expert in delivering educational content with vast local, regional, national, and international experience making presentations at workshops, via keynotes, seminars, etc... I have organized national conferences myself and worked to ensure the quality of programs and appreciate the necessity of ensuring the content is appropriate for presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.