Accra, March 23, 2017 – World Water Day; the essence of water; why we must use water wisely and; accessibility of water were some of the topics discussed with about 100 Grade 7 (Junior High School 1) students of Independence Avenue 1 and 2 Junior High School at a World Water Day outreach event.
When asked how many students could relate to the practice of fetching water before school, several of the students raised their hands. According to one of the pupils, it is a household chore and as a matter of fact, they “…cannot sit for [their] parents to fetch water for [them]”.
The discussion on access to water went on and on until 15-year old Alhassan Malik stood up and said “It is wrong for students to travel miles for water before they go to school”. Intrigued by Malik’s response, I asked him to explain why it is wrong for children to wake up early and carry water on their heads before they prepare for school. This is what he had to say: “It is wrong because we will be late for school, we will be tired by the time we get to school and even sleep in class or we may miss important lessons in school”. And the class applauded Malik, perhaps for being bold enough to say what they each go through as a result of fetching water before school.
For many of the students, fetching water before school is a routine. Though they are not comfortable doing it, they have no other choice. For the others who were not engaged in this practice, they saw the need to use water wisely so that the little available will be enough for several households.
Following the discussions, the students were offered pencils, erasers and papers to sketch their thought on the essence of water and therefore World Water Day, after which some students presented their work to the entire class. The need to preserve and use water wisely run through their messages.
At the end of the event, the Head Mistress of Independence Avenue 1 JHS, Mrs. Lydia Bamfo expressed appreciation to UNIC Accra for choosing their school for such an insightful programme and asked the students to take what they have learnt seriously and apply them to their daily lives.