Arup Community Engagement


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Arup Community Engagement

Project overview

Project overview

  • Preliminary desk study in the UK to review all available geological, geographical and environmental information available about the Ashanti region and identification of data gaps.
  • Two week site visit to 20 villages in the Ashanti region in central Ghana to view community water sources including boreholes, streams and springs.
  • Assessment of all information collected to determine the available water resources to produce a water strategy for Ashanti Development.

Arup staff conducted a water resources survey of the local villages of the Ashanti region to establish the baseline conditions and inform a long term sustainable water supply strategy for the NGO client Ashanti Development. Stage 1 of the project scope comprised the completion of a preliminary desk study which included the desk-based review of all the available geological, geographical and environmental information available in the UK and identification of data gaps. Stage 2 comprised a two-week site visit, which included visiting Ghanaian institutes to gain information and raw data and around 20 village visits to view community water sources including boreholes, springs and streams. And lastly Stage 3 included the assessment of all the information collected to determine the available water resources to produce a water strategy for Ashanti Development.

We provided Ashanti Development with feasible and lasting solutions for water supplies in the most vulnerable villages where they work.  As Ashanti Development work closely with the local authority (the District Assembly), the conclusions and recommendations of the Arup study will inform the decisions and policy of the District Assembly.

The partnership yielded noteworthy benefits for both partners. Ashanti Development received professional expertise that would otherwise have been unaffordable. As a result of Arup’s involvement, new relationships were established between Ashanti Development and national, regional and local water specialists in academic bodies, governmental institutes and local authorities. The project outputs that we delivered included project-specific decision making tools that can be replicated by the NGO and their local partners on a village-by-village basis. Ashanti Development also received strategic advice on their future growth based on the range of Arup experiences with other NGOs.

The Arup team also benefited from; increased enthusiasm to encourage others to become involved in development work; new internal connections between staff in different groups as a result of shared interest; a ‘feel good’ factor resulting from using their time and experience to benefit others and a sense of achievement at having put their skills to practical use.

The Ashanti region is the most densely populated area in Ghana, with around four million of the total 22 million people in the country living there. The study area identified by Ashanti Development comprises the most vulnerable villages located within a radius of approximately 10 miles around Mampong. Current water supply in the villages comes from a variety of sources, including groundwater from local boreholes, surface water from rivers, rainwater harvesting and the Mampong reservoir. Boreholes drilled to exploit groundwater resources are often dry, with a success rate of only around 35%. River water quality is often poor and gets poorer with each downstream village. Connection to the Mampong reservoir is generally unfeasible for outlying villages and is often unreliable and intermittent for those connected.

Ashanti Development is a small London-based charity established with the aim of providing safe water supply to the villages around the village of Mampong in the Ashanti region of central Ghana. Ashanti Development's mission is to relieve poverty and promote health and development in and around the village of Gyetiase by means including the provision of safe and accessible water.

Arup provided two specialists on a 50% funded, 50% voluntary basis and adhered to a number of key principles as follows:

  • Our work must be sustainable; no village shall be allowed to become dependent on us.
  • Villagers must contribute to every project; usually by giving their labour free of charge.
  • Whenever we give a village clean water we will follow it up with training in health, hygiene and the construction of latrines.
  • We will always consult the villagers and take account of their views at a formative stage in our programme planning.

This work provided Ashanti Development with feasible and lasting solutions for supplying water to the most vulnerable villages that they support.
Vicky Coy, Arup, UK



17 April, 2008
Paper resented to the WEDC conference Access to Sanitation and Safe Water
We presented a paper, entitled ‘Global strategic partnerships to share international and local expertise between private sector and NGOs’ to an international field of practioners today. Despite a power cut during the presentation, it was well received and we responded to many questions about Arup and our charitable work.
8 January, 2008
arup- Charitable Trust makes a charitable donation to Ashanti Development

As it comes with no ties, Ashanti Development is now able to buy a much needed vehicle to help volunteers get around in Ghana on often difficult roads. The charity is growing at an exponential rate and Ashanti Development requires help with organising databases and fundraising activities. An internal notice has resulted in six new volunteers from across the range of Arup skills to continue to support Ashanti Development.


11 September, 2007
Fieldwork as stage 2 of the Project
The Arup team started from knowing very little about Ghana and have now gained an understanding of the complex geology, water legislation framework and the jargon of international development. The findings provide us with the baseline information and a list of key stakeholders to meet with during Stage 2 of the project; the fieldwork. The team flies to Ghana to undertake a two week field visit plus spend two days in the capital Accra meeting with the identified stakeholders including regulators, government commissions and institutes to discuss the water regulatory framework and to gain as much water-related data as possible. The team is lucky that everyone they meet offers useful information and invaluable help.
14 June, 2007
Ashanti Development approaches Arup to aid with groundwater assessment

We have been approached by Ashanti Development to aid with the groundwater assessment of the area surrounding Mampong in central Ghana. Boreholes drilled in the area are often dry, wasting valuable time and money, and Ashanti Development want to find out why. Arup have agreed to fund our work on this project and now the work will begin on Stage 1: determining the environmental setting and identifying the key stakeholders.

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