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NGO calls for tax exemption on water treatment equipment

Easy Water for Everyone, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) focused on quality delivery of water at very low cost to hard-to-reach communities is calling on government to exempt imported water treatment equipment from tax payment.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) would be easier for the country if government will be able to remove the tax on imported water treatment equipment because it would reduce the cost clean water.

Mr Harrison Matti, the Country Director of Easy Water for Everyone made the call on side-line of a stakeholder discussion on efficient and sustainable cross-cutting water treatment solution for different population held in Accra at the weekend.

He said removing taxes on water treatment equipment would better assist in providing safe and clean water for people in hard-to-reach communities across the country especially communities close to water bodies or around surface water.

Mr Matti said removing import duties for the water treatment equipment would assist them to scale up to assist more communities in the hard-to-reach communities with their amazing technology for water treatment.

He said through the activities of the NGO, they had noticed that although it was easy to find water in those areas but they were not safe for consumption, adding that it is difficult to drill boreholes in those communities.

Mr Matti said the NGO currently had 13 sites in the Ada Community of the Greater Accra Region assisted with water treatment technology developed by them, and was providing town folks with clean and safe water.

He said Afram Plains and Dambai have two sites each currently running with seven communities benefitting from the technology.

He said: “Boreholes can work in some areas, but doesn’t work in other areas but our technology will work in almost every area because once there is water, we can easily mount our technology and get the water wholesome for drinking.”

Explaining how the technology works, Dr Nathan W. Levin, the President of Easy Water for Everyone Global said the device works in a way that contaminated water is forced through a filter with a hand pump or through gravity feed system, producing approximately 126 gallons of purified water per hour.

He said the device, by name NUF 500 is a unique system that is electricity-free filtration system developed for rural communities, using the existing and affordable resources to produce high level of water cleanliness as determined by the World Health Organisation.

Dr Levin said the device and its technology was highly needed in Ghana to provide water citizen in the rural communities adding that approximately 46 per cent of the country’s population live in such areas.

He said due to some reasons such as inadequate electricity and inefficient water filtration system, indigenes of rural areas and hard-to-reach areas end up not getting clean water and were being exposed to sickness like diarrhoea.

He said children less than five years in those communities with shortage of clean and safe were more vulnerable to diarrhoea, which is the single most common cause of death in children across the world.

The discussion session was attended by organisations and actors in the water sector such as the Afram Plains Development Organisation (APDO), Community Water, Water Health, Pure Home Water, Safe Water Network, Medical Practitioners and the academia.

Madam Grace Achisah, the Senior Community Development Promoter of APDO took participants through the activities of APDO in the Afram Plains area and the gaps that needs to worked on.

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