Srafa Aboano

  • Overview
  • Medical
  • Water
  • Business
  • Public Health


Ekumfi Srafa Aboano is located near the coast in the Central Region of  Ghana.  People in Srafa Aboano are primarily dedicated to farming and fishing.  With Global Brigades’ support a boat was purchased to strengthen a local fishing micro-enterprise.  GB built various rainwater harvesting units in Srafa Aboano and in collaboration with the Ghana Water Company installed three public standpipes providing access to clean water.

District: Ekumfi

Region: Central

Homes : 260
Population : 1525
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Partial Coverage
Health Center : Yes
Midwife at clinic : N/A
Homes with a toilet facility : 2%
Education : Up to Junior High School
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.

Srafa Aboano does not have its own CHPS compound, but community members are served by the nearby Otuam or Srafa Kokodo CHPS zone.

*These statistics reflect data from historical Medical Brigades in Srafa Aboano. Medical Brigades are now held in the community of Srafa Kokodo, where community members from Srafa Aboano attend mobile clinics.




Patient Consultations


Vision Screenings Provided


Health Education Workshops


Brigaders observe as GB Ghana Medical Program Manager, Dr. Cornelius, provides a patient consultation at the Narkwa Health Center

Community members in Srafa Aboano attend Medical Brigade clinics hosted in Srafa Kokodo’s CHPS compound. Volunteers assist local doctors and community nurses to serve patients at each station of the clinic. More information is available on the Srafa Kokodo profile.


Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Santa Clara University Medical Brigade March 2013 29
City University of New York (CUNY) Medgar Evers College & University of Michigan Medical Brigade August 2013 32
University of Oklahoma Medical Brigade Dec 2013 39
Rutgers University – New Brunswick (New Jersey Medical) & University of Arizona Professional Medical Brigade June 2014 39


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete


A home rainwater harvester constructed by GB volunteers in Srafa Aboano

One of the major challenges for the development of their community was lack of access to clean, sufficient water. As it is closely located to the Gulf of Guinea, community members’ options to collect fresh water is limited as many of the underground water sources are saline and not usable for basic consumption needs. Srafa Aboano’s freshwater pond was the largest source of fresh water for most community members and most women and children spent many hours a day collecting water in open containers and carrying it back home.

Not only was the water from the pond used for drinking water, it was also used for washing and bathing purposes. Unfortunately, this same water was pulled from a source very close to where farm animals and humans regularly defecate. The drinking water from this pond was subject to high levels of contamination and was rarely treated before consumption often leading to diarrhea, bilharzia, cholera, skin rash and other water related diseases and infections.

Another safe water option for Srafa Aboano’s community members was purchasing water sachets but this was often an unsustainable, unreliable and, in the long-term, expensive option for drinking water.




Beneficiaries of Standpipes


Rainwater Harvesters installed


Standpipes installed

A standpipe constructed by Ghana Water Company in Srafa Aboano


School rainwater harvester, constructed by GB volunteers in Srafa Aboano

The Ghana Water Company (GWC) is in charge of water distribution and treatment in the region where Srafa Aboano is located. In 2015, Global Brigades worked with the GWC to modify and expand its distribution infrastructure to get treated water to strategic points within the community where 3 standpipes were built.

These standpipes give  community members living in Srafa Aboano, access to clean water, and meet the standards of the World Health Organization. By placing them in areas near the population, families spend less time and energy retrieving water for use in their homes. In addition to the standpipes, GB volunteers worked with community members to install rainwater harvesting units in homes and at the community’s school.


Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
London School of Economics Water April 2011 9 Imperial College London Water Sept 2012 29
Bayreuth University Water Sept 2012 19 Pennsylvania State University Water Dec 2012 18
Indiana University Water Dec 2012 17 University of California Los Angeles Medical Dec 2012 4
University of Virginia Water Jan 2013 5 Dublin City University Water Jan 2013 15
SDI Munich Water Feb 2013 14 Bayreuth University Microfinance March 2013 13
University of Arizona Water March 2013 16 University of Texas Austin Water June 2013 18
Manchester University Water June 2013 22 University of Cardiff Water June 2013 5
King’s College London Water June 2013 7 London School of Economics Water July 2013 10
Arizona State University Water July 2013 5 University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur Water July 2013 15
Chicago Brigades (Loyola) Medical Aug 2013 12 Imperial College London Water Sept 2013 14
University College London Medical Sept 2013 14 Bayreuth University Water Sept 2013 4
Queen Mary University of London Water Sept 2013 3 University of Birmingham Water Sept 2013 19
University of California Los Angeles Water Sept 2013 13 Indiana University Water Dec 2013 7
Pennsylvania State University Water Jan 2014 20 University of Virginia Water Jan 2014 8
University of New Hampshire Medical Jan 2014 19 Columbia University Microfinance Jan 2014 13
Dublin City University Water Feb 2014 47 University of Munster Public Health Feb 2014 26


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete


The community of Srafa Aboano is located near the Atlantic Ocean. The community members are predominantly fishermen but had no boat to help ply their trade. Many younger community members were migrating from the community in search for other work opportunities due to the challenges they face fishing.




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.

Srafa Aboano has not yet established a Microfin “MHope Group,” but Global Brigades is planning to engage the community about this opportunity as soon as feasible.


In September 2015, with Global Brigades support, the community of Ekumfi Srafa Aboano came up with the business idea to purchase a fully operative fishing boat and start fishing business that would create work and generate profits for the development of the community. The boat was purchased and an executive committee comprised of the Chief and selected elders of the community serve as the patron and financial management team to direct the activities of the boat. A group of committed fishermen serve as the crew for the boat and are responsible for the operations and marketing tasks.


Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Cardiff Microfinance Brigade 2012 43
University College London Business Brigade 2013 14
University of Southern California Microfinance Brigade 2014 9
London School of Economics Microfinance Brigade 2014 24

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete


Many community members in Srafa Aboano lack the resources to make improvements to their household infrastructure. As of 2018, only 2% of homes in Srafa Aboano had a toilet. With many households situated near the beach, community members frequently practiced open defecation, putting them at risk for fecally transmitted disease and water borne illnesses. In-home toilets are necessary to improve hygiene practices, prevent contamination and disease, and offer privacy.




Sanitation Units Constructed


People Benefitted with PH Infrastructure (approx)


Hours of Public Health Education


Latrines constructed by GB volunteers in Srafa Aboano

Global Brigades began working with the Public Health program in Srafa Aboano in 2013 to construct pit latrines near the houses of community members.

These projects allow community members to avoid preventable disease and foster improved hygiene and sanitation practices. During their time in Srafa Aboano, Public Health volunteers conduct educational workshops with community members on toilet maintenance and various public health topics.

There is still much work to be done to improve the public health conditions in Srafa Aboano. Global Brigades will continue their partnership with this community as soon as feasible.


Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Chicago Brigades (Loyola) Medical Aug 2013 12 Pennsylvania State University Water Jan 2014 20
Dublin City University Water Feb 2014 47 University of Munster Public Health Feb 2014 26

Local Reference Points

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

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