With every purchase at Marie-Stella-Maris, you contribute directly to sustainable water projects around the world. Through the Marie-Stella-Maris Foundation, we collaborate with organizations that realize these water projects. One of these partners is Project Maji: a non-profit organization that provides sustainable, solar-powered water solutions to communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.

We had a conversation with Ama Yeborba Wilson, Community Manager at Project Maji in Ghana, about these water projects. Read the interview to discover how your purchase is making an impact!

Can you briefly tell us who you are and what you do for Project Maji?

"My name is Ama Yeborba Wilson-Sarpong, and I have been working with Project Maji since April 2019. My role involves liaising with local authorities to identify potential project sites, raising community awareness, conducting community surveys, and providing WASH training (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) to communities."

What is Project Maji's mission, and how is it achieved?

"Project Maji’s aim is to serve people in rural communities suffering from water poverty with a sustainable supply of safe water using smart technologies, and we realize it by working closely with local government, government agencies, and other organizations that help in identifying communities that are usually overlooked by the Government."

''Project Maji’s aim is to serve people in rural communities suffering from water poverty with a sustainable supply of safe water using smart technologies''

Can you tell us how the water points work and how these water points are sustainable?

"Project Maji offers various types of water points, ranging from small to large, with the ability to interconnect multiple water points. These water points operate on solar energy and require no physical effort to deliver water, unlike manually operated water wells.

Every water point has an e-payment system that comes with tokens and every household is given a token. A caretaker appointed by the community loads and distributes water credits to tokens for the sale of water.

The money generated from the sale of the water credits is how the water points are sustained by repairing damaged parts and annually maintaining them.''

What kind of impact do you observe in the communities after the construction of the water points?

"We see a significant improvement in health and hygiene. For example, in the Liati Soba project, which we realized in collaboration with Marie-Stella-Maris, the community used to fetch water from the stream, which was unhygienic as they didn't filter the water before using it. But after the installation of the water point, they now only fetch safe, filtered water from the water point.

We also see an impact on children and education. With the availability of multiple water points in the community, children no longer have to travel long distances to fetch water from the stream. This means they don't have to arrive late at school or miss school altogether.

"Because women  are solely responsible for making sure there is water at home, it was a huge burden on them when they didn’t have easy access to water and had to walk long distances to fetch water for domestic use. But after the installation of the water points, they do not have to stress about that anymore as water is available 24 hours every day.

The time saved from walking long distances and waiting in line has given people more time for other important activities, such as going to school or working on the farm. It has also created jobs for those appointed as managers in the community."