Ullo, Ghana Project
Ullo is a small village in the Upper West region of Ghana with 1100 permanent residents and capacity for 1500 students who travel from all
over the region to attend the local high school. Ullo is an impoverished community where almost all of the villager’s practice subsistence farming
and the area has a daily income of about $0.75 per person. Ullo is a traditional village and has a chief that is in charge of the area. While the
people of Ullo have a hard way of life, they have strong, optimistic spirits and are proud of their community and the people in it.
Throughout the year, Ullo gets about 3 months of heavy rainfall and 9 months of drought. This makes it extremely difficult to obtain water to meet basic human needs for the majority of the year. The current boreholes in the community stop producing water 4 months into the dry season and break down frequently due to heavy use.
The Ullo community has eight nearby boreholes and wells that act as water sources during the dry season. The primary issue with these boreholes is that they do not have a high enough yield to provide either the community or the school with an ample amount of water. They are slow to pump and slow to recharge. Women and students spend up to 5-7 hours a day waiting in long lines to obtain their daily water. This issue of collecting water greatly hinders the students’ educations. Currently, students must sometimes spend class time or hours all through the night gathering water. They are currently forced to walk great distances, and stay up late nights in order to find available boreholes. This decreases the available class time and puts a greater strain on the community water supply as a whole. Better access to water for the students will significantly alleviate the burden of collecting water for the entire community of Ullo because it will reduce the lines at all the boreholes.
Engineers Without Borders – ISU partnered with Ullo in 2013 to help the community meet their basic human needs. The goal of the initial project of EWB-ISU’s partnership was to provide the boarding high school (and ultimately the community) safe and accessible drinking water for their daily needs. Additionally, the goal included providing students with a better environment for learning in which they can spend more time in the classroom and be better rested for class. This project will allow the people of Ullo the means to improve their quality of life and take the first step in lifting themselves out of poverty and into prosperity.