ACCRA, Ghana – Xylem has launched two new water filtration towers in Cape Coast, Ghana, supporting the Dehia community and Oguaa Football for Hope Centre. Under the guidance of Planet Water Foundation, Xylem employee volunteers joined forces with Manchester City fans, Club legend and ambassador Joleon Lescott and young leaders from Play Soccer Ghana to build the towers on the first and second of February 2023. Local leaders and representatives from each of the partners unveiled the new towers, part of a collaboration to solve water issues across Africa.
The event formed part of Xylem Water Heroes Academy, a unique collaboration between Xylem and Manchester City's global foundation, empowering young leaders in 10 cities around the world to solve local water challenges using the power of football. The two new towers contain water filtration systems, which will help provide for the daily drinking needs of 1,800 people, reduce the burden of collecting water and counter water-borne diseases, keeping children healthier and in school. Before the towers' arrival, collecting water required a lot of time. Across the world, women and children spend 200 million hours daily carrying water. Dehia's people are not exceptions.
Yet today, young people in the community can reinvest the time saved into their education and local activities such as football training provided by Play Soccer Ghana as part of the Water Heroes Academy programme. During the week, young leaders delivered a football and water education festival for 100 local children at the Football for Hope Centre, supported by Manchester City community coaches and Joleon Lescott. Local kids also enjoyed reading events that debuted Splash, the children's book character helping kids learn about water security, to the region. Created in Africa by Xylem's social investment division, Splash brings the message of water's importance and protection to people across the continent through fun and colorful adventures. Since January 2020, Xylem Water Heroes Academy has supported 75 young leaders in Cape Coast to develop innovative football-based sessions to educate more than 4,000 young people on the importance of water, sanitation and hygiene.
Helping Ghanaians Build Their Futures
Football helps bring communities together and is a powerful vehicle to uplift the health of young people and drive social change.
Joleon Lescott, Manchester City legend, said: "I was honored to join this visit to Cape Coast in Ghana alongside our partner, Xylem, and our amazing fan volunteers. To see first-hand the impact young leaders are making in their communities through the power of football and to be able to contribute to the building of the water towers was an incredible experience."
The new tower will make a lasting difference to the lives of Cape Coast's people, says Chetan Mistry, Strategy and Marketing Manager, Xylem Africa:
"We take a lot of inspiration from the positive attitudes and activities of Cape Coast's people. They work hard to create their futures and also play hard through their passion for football. This tower supports their goals and dreams. At Xylem, we are thrilled to work with Manchester City Football Club and Play Soccer Ghana and thank our global NGO partner Planet Water for their role in this collaboration. Together, we support people to look after water and make it available for everyone."
Country Director of Play Soccer Ghana, Franklin Asuo said: “We at Play Soccer Ghana are happy that thousands of people in Cape Coast, particularly school children, will have access to clean water through these towers. We appreciate the commitment of our partners Manchester City, Xylem and Planet Water. There are a lot of talents in Cape Coast. This initiative is an immense contribution to developing such human capital, and to realise more and more children pursuing their passion to the fullest, including football."
Young Leader Emmanuella added: “I grew up in Dehia and every morning walked for 30 minutes and then queued to fetch clean water before school. This project is helping to change lives. Now children have easier access to clean water as well as vital knowledge on sanitation and hygiene. Having the chance to meet Joleon Lescott and the Manchester City coaches has been very special and given me more inspiration to keep making a positive difference.”