Funding Provides Safe Drinking Water to Communities and Jobs in Northern Ghana

DRI’s Center for International Water and Sustainability (CIWAS) works to identify and solve problems related to human health and the management of environmental resources, especially water.

Sara and Leonard Lafrance believe in the life-changing work that CIWAS is doing in the Savanah Region of Northern Ghana, “It is more than just well drilling – this funding will provide provisions to help the people.”

Their two-year gift will ensure long-term access to safe water in healthcare facilities and surrounding communities with additional new wells. The funding also provides new water containers for safe water transport and storage (up to 60% of households have E. coli present in their stored drinking water), as well as water quality management, including disinfection, testing, safe storage and transport, and monitoring.

The gift will also provide jobs for local women who will be provided with loans and trained in small business management to collect tariffs from users of the boreholes. These proceeds will ensure the availability of money for repairs as well as for expansion of water supplies as the communities grow.

The Lafrance’s have been donors to DRI for many years, and Dr. Braimah Apambire, director of CIWAS and DRI are grateful for their continued support of the Institute and the impactful work that CIWAS does in Northern Ghana.

To support DRI’s CIWAS program or for more information on how to make a gift to support DRI, please contact Kristin Burgarello, director of advancement, at 775.673.7386 or

CIWAS in Northern Ghana

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Philanthropy is a multigenerational Lewis family tradition. During his childhood, Robert Lewis wanted to be a scientist. He has supported DRI for almost 15 years and was part of an instrumental group of donors that provided philanthropic support to launch the Innovative Research Program (IRP) in 2018.

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