Finding safe water for communities is payment enough for drilling expert Nathan Adams
UNICEF has created a series of personal profiles of the men and women in Ghana who work for children’s survival. Here, Nathan Adams Junior speaks about his work finding water for communities.
By Madeleine Logan
GHANA, YENDI, 09 May 2013 - Nathan Adams Junior loves his job on the days when his driller strikes underground water. Nathan’s work is to provide safe water to communities in Northern Ghana. UNICEF works with his organization Rural Water Development of Church of Christ, to drill boreholes in Yendi. In the past six months, his has worked on a UNICEF project to drill 20 new boreholes and rehabilitate 91 dead boreholes – bringing them to life again. That work has provided safe water for more than 33,000 people.
"The best days as a driller are when you strike water. The water shoots high into the air. All the community members who see it start dancing, shouting and laughing as the water falls on the dry earth.
"The job is stressful. You’re in the sun and the dust, and the equipment is all hot metal. When the water comes, it cools everything down. That alone is the salary.
"What is important about my work is the relief it brings to people. Besides the reduction of water-related diseases, it also reduces the stress on women in communities. If there’s no borehole, women can be forced to work from 4.30am to 11am every day fetching water. Once the borehole is built, they don’t have to walk for hours for water, or suffer with sick children.
"I grew up by the drilling rig. My father started drilling for water in the Yendi area 22 years ago. At that time, Guinea Worm was at its peak. He came to Yendi as an evangelist and visited the village of Wenchiki, where he found everybody had Guinea worm. He had never seen Guinea worm before and had a desire to find a solution to treat the problem. Safe water was that solution. He started up the Rural Water Development for Church of Christ, rented a rig and built three boreholes. We’ve been drilling here ever since. I am the operations director. The most difficult thing to get in this area is water. The geography of the Yendi area is very difficult. We have the highest success rate in the region of 55-60 per cent.
"In the past six months, we have worked with UNICEF to drill 20 new boreholes and rehabilitate 91 dead boreholes – bringing them to life again. That work has provided safe water for more than 33,000 people".