Laurel Fain is the Health Office Chief for the USAID Mission in Ghana.

On August 21 I joined Rotary International’s President Kaylan Banerjee as he led a delegation of American and Ghanaian Rotarians to meet Government of Ghana officials and local chiefs in a ceremony in Ghana’s Volta Region. The occasion was the handover of ownership and management of three mechanized water schemes to the Government of Ghana and the local communities of Abutia-Teti, Takla Gborgame and Nyive in Ho. The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Rotary Foundation each contributed $1 million to a Global Development Alliance (GDA) to provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation facilities in 114 communities in the Volta Region, Central Region and Greater Accra. According to Banerjee, this represents the largest investment the Rotary Foundation has made in any single project to date.

As the director of USAID/Ghana’s Health program I appreciate how participating in a GDA helps USAID leverage non-governmental funding to achieve US Government program objectives. Participating in the Abutia-Teti ceremony with the Rotarians gave me a new perspective on how GDAs enable non-governmental organizations like Rotary to leverage the experience and technical expertise of USAID.

Rotary Clubs are very popular in Ghana. Most of the Rotarians in the delegation to Ho were Ghanaian. The pride that they displayed in having helped bring safe drinking water to 10,000 of their countrymen was inspiring. It makes me proud to have been able to provide a cost-effective and efficient program through which their caring and their financial assistance could be channeled.

Be sure to check out Rotary’s blog and website, which are carrying the USAID story to an even wider international audience of Rotarians.