It is another school day at Government Technical High School, GTHS Ombe, Fako Division of Cameroon’s Southwest Region. Chinje Promise Atanga, EPS Form 1 student, is sitting outside on the lawn, tasty to drink water but he is skeptical of its hygienic conditions. However, he did not have any choice since he never brought water from home as was requested by the school administration.
Chinje Promise, presumably 14 years of age, like other students, decided to quench his thirst by lifting off his school jacket to filter water that he has fetched from the lone tap in school before drinking.
The idea of filtering was because the water in his school was sourced from the nearby Ombe River, which is not good for drinking, owing to the unsanitary and deplorable conditions that have plagued it.
That had been the situation of students of Government Technical High School Ombe for over ten years since the potable drinking water got bad and the school started compelling the students to bring drinking water from home while using the tap in school only for laundry and mopping the cement floors in. However, students were hardly respecting that request. When Cholera broke out in the Southwest Region, the school officials were scared but none of the students was contaminated, despite the dirty water they have been exposed to.
“When we first arrived, we noticed that the water was not clean because it was tapped from the source called Ombe River.” Said Chinje Promise. “We have been drinking it though it has been restricted to dry-cleaning”
Now, Chinje and thousands of his fellow students now have their faces full of excitement. That is because ex-students of their school who graduated in the 1980s, called OOSA Global– Ombe Old Students Associated Global – have decided to give back to the school that gave them so much for so little.
They have donated potable drinking water to the school to solve the major problem that has existed for over a decade.
The construction of a borehole that now supplies waters to different corners of the school and even its environs was inaugurated on Friday, May 13.
The project realised within a year was funded by OOSA Global to the tune of FCFA eight million.
According to OOSA Global President, Paul Saah, it was an honour of a lifetime to him alongside members of the Association to see that children have clean water.
“The project is specifically intended to address the need for human rights, which include water supply, health, and basic sanitary environs,” he said. “Today, the students and community will be able to enjoy a better water life with such amenities in their everyday life now being possible with the new water supply system”.
Saah believed that the water was OOSA Global’s contribution to ensuring the purpose for which the association was created. He noted that, in the coming years, they will be solving other problems too, especially that of insufficient training equipment for GTHS Ombe.
Before the presence of educational Authorities in the Region and members of OOSA Global, the Principal of GTHS Ombe, Mukoto Mewanu Mbone Elizabeth, was wowed and she said the water will relieve them of many problems.
“It is a blessing to the institution,” she said. “This water has made a barrier to cholera”.