Students living in Ghana, without access to safe and clean water, will soon benefit from the generosity of HSBC Malta employees. Together they have together contributed €16,000 towards a WaterAid project at a high school in the East Gonja District, northern Ghana.
WaterAid, an international charity, works with some of the poorest communities around the world to provide long-term water, sanitation and hygiene solutions.
Following the gesture by staff, HSBC Bank matched the total collection by another €16,000 and to date 50 per cent of the total cost of the project has already been delivered to WaterAid.
HSBC Malta CEO Mark Watkinson said: “The contribution raised by HSBC Malta employees will help touch the lives of 1,800 students in northern Ghana, and go a long way in improving water provision, sanitation and hygiene standards for the school. The generosity of HSBC Malta staff is a testimony to their well-placed belief in humanity.”
The goal of HSBC Malta project is to provide the students with access to new toilets, safe water and hygiene education. The water supply for the school, situated about two kilometres from the town of Salaga, cannot run due to pressure problems and blockages in the pipe lines. As a result, the school depends on water tanker services. Some students travel an eight kilometre round trip to nearby Kpembi dam for water, leading to concern among teachers about students’ health as well as wasted time and energy.
Most students that were interviewed during WaterAid’s scoping study in May 2013 said that the time spent fetching water was having a negative effect on their education and health. They also suffer from water, sanitation and hygiene related illnesses, such as skin rashes and diarrhoea.
HSBC Malta’s target is to collect €32,000 through staff fundraising activities, while the Bank will match this sum to reach the project target. Over a one year period, the total funding of €65,000 will provide two rain water harvesting systems, three toilet blocks with separate facilities for boys and girls, and a biogas facility to support safe disposal of waste and flow of gas to the school kitchen.
The ambitious funding is also envisaged to help with training and capacity building workshops for biogas artisans, project oversight visits, facilitation of a learning and sharing forum for the school and community, at least two school health club training sessions, promotion of school hygiene activities, community mobilisation and sensitisation, and training of community hygiene volunteers.
The Bank recently raised another round of funds for WaterAid Ghana during the HSBC Malta annual triathlon challenge. Part of these funds were also directed to the Malta Community Chest Fund.
As part of the global HSBC Water Programme, HSBC is supporting WaterAid projects in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Ghana and Nigeria, bringing safe water to 1.1 million people and toilets to 1.9 million people.