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WaterAid and Helmsley Launch Program to Improve Water, Sanitation & Hygiene in Ghana

March 9, 2022 (New York, NY)—WaterAid and the Helmsley Charitable Trust announce the launch of a two-year program to reach more than 12,000 people with access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene in healthcare facilities and schools in Ghana.

With a $900,000 grant from Helmsley, WaterAid will support the government of Ghana by responding to operational gaps in water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure in the Bongo District. The grant will strengthen essential infrastructure in the region and put local systems in place to help maintain and scale progress. Key activities include:

  • improving access to water, sanitation, and hygiene in three healthcare facilities and their local communities
  • strengthening capacity of 30 local, citizen-led water and sanitation teams
  • supporting the national Ghana Health Service to deliver hygiene awareness campaigns across 10 communities, reaching 185,000 people

“It is essential that we increase access to clean water and improve the quality of healthcare services for those who need it most,” said Walter Panzirer, a Trustee of the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “We are learning from local communities about the underlying problems that prevent progress and how we can enable government support at all levels to create lasting change.”

Access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene are basic human rights, but 5.5 million people across Ghana still lack access to these services due to system failures. This project will empower citizens to demand their rights, build strong and accountable public institutions, and demonstrate how sustainable access to water, sanitation and hygiene can be delivered at scale.

“We’re honored to have a longstanding partnership with the Helmsley Charitable Trust to address systemic barriers to water, sanitation, and hygiene services in Ghana and beyond. We’re working hand in hand with communities and the government to find long-term solutions that can scale throughout the country,” said Kelly Parsons, CEO, WaterAid America. “We won’t leave anyone behind.”

This project builds on the success of ongoing partnerships with the Helmsley Charitable Trust and WaterAid in Zambia and Burkina Faso. These programs support communities, schools, and healthcare facilities to manage, operate, and sustain clean water systems. Healthcare facilities and staff, as well as local authorities, will then continue to build and improve governance, infrastructure, and services at the local, district, and national levels.

“We’ve been waiting to see this happen and the wait has been well worth it. This shifts the way we do things to create greater change. We will continue our work with all stakeholders including the government to ensure that sustainable and safe WASH is accessible to everyone, everywhere in Ghana,” said Kate Kumi, Country Director, WaterAid Ghana.


Jeff Greene, jgreene@wateraidamerica.org; Laura Fahey, lfahey@helmsleytrust.org

About WaterAid

WaterAid is an international nonprofit working to make clean water, decent toilets, and good hygiene a reality for everyone, everywhere within a generation. WaterAid works in more than 30 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalized people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 28 million people with clean water, 28 million people with decent toilets and 26 million people with good hygiene.

About the Helmsley Charitable Trust 

 The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $3 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes.