• Overview
  • Medical
  • Water
  • Business
  • Public Health


Egyankwa is located near the coast in the Central Region of  Ghana.  People in Egyankwa are primarily dedicated to farming and charcoal sales. There are no public latrines in Egyankwa, so open defecation is an issue. With Global Brigades’ support an event supplies rental micro-enterprise was established in 2011.  To alleviate issues with water quality and quantity, GB built various rainwater harvesting units in the community. The community expressed that their top needs are improved toilet facilities, improved water system, and an improved health clinic.

District: Ekumfi

Region: Central

Homes : 67
Population : 512
Water System : Standpipes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Clinic : Yes
Midwife at clinic : No
Homes with toilet facilities : 1%
Education : Nursery School Only
Distance From Lodging Facility : 45 Minutes


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete


There are two types of public health clinics available to rural Ghanaians: Health Centers and Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds. Health Centers serve large geographic areas within a district and are staffed by physicians. CHPS compounds serve small clusters of communities and are staffed by live-in nurses. The nurses provide basic services and, if capacity allows, they conduct home visits to families in the communities. 

Even with this coverage, it is important to note that medications, equipment, and essential infrastructure are often not available in these clinics and the physician density in Ghana remains around 0.2 physicians per 1,000 people. According to the World Health Organization, there should be a minimum of 2.3 physicians per 1,000 people to qualify a country as having adequate access to medical attention.

Another key factor for health care access in Ghana is insurance. Ghana’s National Health Insurance plan offers universal coverage, but few rural community members are actively enrolled. During Medical Brigades, community members are educated about the benefits of health insurance, and are encouraged to enroll (or re-enroll) in the National Health Insurance Plan.

Egyankwa has a CHPS compound, and the nearest Health Center is a 1 hr walk away in Essuehyia. The most common illnesses in Egyankwa are malaria and chest infections.




Patient Consultations


Vision Screenings Provided


Health Education Workshops


Medical Brigaders and nurses outside the Egyankwa CHPS compound, 2020

Medical Brigade clinics are hosted in Egyankwa’s CHPS Compound. Volunteers assist local doctors and community nurses to serve patients at each station of the clinic. Each day of the brigade, an average of 6 educational charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.



Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Arizona Medical Brigade December 2012 7 University of Southern California Medical Brigade May 2013 13
Vanderbilt University Medical Brigade March 2014 32 University of Missouri June 2018 32
UC Merced Medical Brigade May 2019 20 Albion College Medical January 2020 14
Virginia Tech Medical Brigade January 2022 13 Regis University Medical May 2022 27
University of Illinois at Chicago Medical May 2022 27


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete


The two main water challenges in the Ekumfi district are: water access and water quality. Where piped water is not available, rainwater is the most culturally accepted form of drinking water. When rainwater is not available, community members will often go to rivers or small dug out ponds for water.

When Global Water Brigades entered the community of Egyankwa, its residents fetched water for domestic consumption out of a stagnant pond on the west-side of the community. The water from this pond is subject to high levels of contamination and is rarely treated before consumption. Using this water for personal consumption can lead to diarrhea, bilharzia, cholera, skin rash and other water related diseases and infections. Furthermore, women and children can spend many hours a day collecting this water in open containers and carrying it back home. One of the few safe water options for Egyankwa’s community members is purchasing water sachets but this is an unsustainable practice as well as an unreliable and in the long-term expensive form of drinking water.




Storage Tank Volume (gallons)


Rainwater Harvesters Constructed


Kilometers of Pipeline Installed


Egyankwa community rainwater harvester

Water Brigades Ghana has focused on three types of water solutions in the Ekumfi District : School Rainwater Harvesters, Community-wide Rainwater Harvesters and Household Rainwater Harvesters.

In January 2011, Pennsylvania State University and Indiana University constructed a Community-wide Rainwater Harvester (CWRH) in Egyankwa as well as helped set up a water committee consisting of a president, treasurer, secretary and two agents responsible for selling the water from the system. The generated funds are used to maintain the system as well as to fill up the system’s storage tanks with purchased water from tanker trucks during the dry season, which is again sold to the community.

In June 2012, Cardiff University constructed a School Rainwater Harvester as well as help set up a School Water Club responsible for gathering clean water for each classroom. Each class was given a Family Lifestraw water filter or Sawyer filter to use.


Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Pennsylvania State University & Indiana University Water Dec 2011 35 University of Cardiff Water June 2012 7


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete


The majority of the community members rely on agricultural work to support themselves and their families. They mainly grow maize and cassava. Another important occupation is charcoal trading. Charcoal provides community members an alternative source of income as farming is seasonal. Charcoal is a high-margin business, yet it is not environmentally sustainable. Seeking quick returns, community members sell the charcoal they produce through intermediaries at a very low price. This saves them the effort and time of going to the markets, but they are vulnerable to exploitation.

Other than the Susus (the traditional savings system), there was no other access to credit or savings in rural areas. Yet with the way Susus are structured, there was very low capital injection into the community. Money just moved from one community member’s hand to another’s, so  community members therefore felt they had no control over their financial future.




Savings Accounts Opened


Loans Disbursed


Capital Invested


GB Ghana Business Program Manager, Shiella, consults with an MHope Group in Ekumpoano

The GB Business Program works with Microfin Rural Bank to stimulate the local economy by organizing community volunteers around a community bank which is entirely owned and operated by its members. Focusing on providing access to credit and savings for their fellow community members, its volunteers are tasked with socializing the community bank and managing the funds. Microfin and the GB Business Program provides training and support to help strengthen these community banks and stimulate the flow of capital within the community. These financial services are especially beneficial for subsistence farmers and entrepreneurs, who can invest more heavily in their production with a loan, pay back the loan after sales, and generate an income with any excess.

Egyankwa does not have a Microfin “MHope Group” established yet. The Global Brigades Business team will engage with community members about this opportunity as soon as feasible.


In Ghana and specifically the Ekumfi district, festivals, wedding ceremonies, outdooring and funerals play a key role in the culture of the people. These cultural activities require a space and basic shade and seating like similar events around the world. Obtaining simple things like seats and canopies was difficult and expensive in the region. In May 2013 with Global Brigades’ support, the community of Ekumfi Egyankwa was able to establish a Chair & Canopy Rental business.


Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Texas Microfinance Brigade 2013 16 Dublin City University Microfinance Brigade 2013 13
University of Oxford Microfinance Brigade 2013 20 Bayreuth University Microfinance Brigade 2013 14
University of Southern California Microfinance Brigade 2013 14 London School of Economics Microfinance Brigade 2013 11
Miami University of Ohio Business Brigade 2014 9

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Egyankwa but has not yet begun with the Public Health Brigades program. Now in the planning phase, implementation of a public health solution will start as soon as feasible.


Homes with toilet facility : 1%
Common house materials : wood, mud bricks, concrete

Local Reference Points

View the map to see the closest volunteer lodging facilities, hospitals, and other relevant points of reference.

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