Feed on

WASRAG-USAID logo 2-11Dear Rotarians in District 5100,

I’ve had the pleasure of working in water and sanitation projects, and coordinating club projects here in D5100, for years.  But rarely has there been an opportunity to make such a big impact on people living in squalor, like this one in Ghana.  Please read the message from Ron Denham, the leader of WASRAG – the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group.  [WASRAG is now the official arm of Rotary International devoted to developing water and sanitation projects, and assisting districts and clubs with theirs.]

The Future Vision of Rotary is predicated on clubs and districts joining hands, on larger, cost-effective projects, with strategic partners … like this one.

Please consider using funds from your club – and asking District 5100 to match your contribution.  Then TRF will match those, 1:1; and USAID will match that 1:1.  That means that your club, if it put in $1000 and D5100 matched it, would end up making a $8000 difference!

I have asked Ron and staff at WASRAG to provide more info, and perhaps some photos or video clips … and will update this post when I get it.

Yours truly, Stewart Martin.  Cell 503 dash 440 dash 18 52.   (Here’s Ron’s message, with links below)

February 10th, 2011


Rotary needs your help – to bring safe water and sanitation to the people of Ghana!

I have just returned from a week in Ghana where Rotarians from 16 of the clubs in that country, with support from their international partner, D-7630, are implementing a huge program to bring safe water and sanitation to over 87,000 people in 116 villages.

The need is great.  In one village the source of water is a polluted pond alive with numerous organisms. Another is a stagnant pond overgrown with algae.  At a school the community toilet is a long unprotected pit, open for everyone to see, with wooden laths on which people squat when defecating.  The stench of human excrement is suffocating.  No child should have to endure such appalling conditions. Seldom, in my millions of miles of travel, have I seen such inhuman conditions.

Fortunately the Rotary clubs of Accra and Tema are tackling the problem. They are managing a program to sink boreholes in villages, build water closets in major street markets, and build VIP (Ventilated Improved Pit) latrines for the schools in needy communities.

This is all part of the US AID/Rotary International H2O Collaboration, a program in which US AID contributes $1 million, The Rotary Foundation $500,000, and Rotarians around the world an additional $500,000.  For each dollar contribute in either cash or DDF, The Rotary Foundation matches your dollar, and USAID matches those $2 – turning your $1 contribution into $4 for program activities in Ghana. And, the impact on the beneficiaries is huge:  less diarrhea, fewer child deaths, and better attendance in school, as children are freed from the chore of hauling water and girls from the fear of going to school during their menstrual period.

US AID has made its commitment of $1 million. TRF has approved its share.  But Rotary clubs and districts are falling behind. We need $230,000 to meet our promise.

This opportunity should appeal to every Rotarian, to every Rotary club and district:

· The magic of matching means that every $1 contributed becomes $4 dollars.
Each dollar you contribute is matched by TRF.  In turn those $2 are matched by USAID

· All contributions qualify for a Paul Harris credit.

· Cash and DDF contributions are accepted.  Information is available on the
following links:  INSTRUCTIONS and a DDF Authorization Form FORM

This is a pilot program.  It is a test of how Rotary can create effective, sustainable partnerships with other organizations who share our goals. We are learning how to become a big player in water and sanitation.  In the words of President Klinginsmith, we are learning how to become “Bigger, Better and Bolder.”

The host Rotary clubs have done a lot.  They have fostered an outstanding relationship with the US AID Mission.  They are working closely with the Community Water & Sanitation Agency and its local offices.  Villages and schools are “onside.” They have formed water and sanitation committees who will be trained to operate and maintain the new facilities.  Everything is in place to ensure a truly sustainable program. It remains for us – Rotarians and Rotary clubs around the world – to show that Rotary is a truly international humanitarian organization capable of teaming up with the best.

Please contact RI/USAID Alliance Project Manager Amanda Robertson at amanda.robertson@rotary.org or 847-866-3412 tomorrow to pledge your support for this exciting and innovative program. You will be playing a key role in helping Rotarians to provide the gifts of clean water and safe sanitation to over 120 communities in Ghana.

Yours in Rotary

Signature final

Ron Denham PDG,
Member, Steering Committee,
Rotary/US AID International H2O Collaboration

Leave a Reply