Suma Ahenkro is an agricultural community of approximately 8000 people located in western Ghana. Situated in the Brong Ahafo region, the town lies two miles east of the border with Ivory Coast. Most members of the community live off of the equivalent of less than $1.50 per day. The town is home to one secondary school, Sumaman Senior High School, which enrolls nearly 750 students.
The Suma Ahenkro, Ghana program officially started in May 2014 when EWB-USA approved EWB-UMCP’s request to partner with the community. In an effort to bring positive change to Suma Ahenkro, EWB-UMCP is collaborating with the non-governmental organization (NGO) Changing Lives Together Inc. and the leadership of Sumaman Senior High School. Through this initiative, the school hopes to improve the academic performance of its pupils, ultimately increasing the number of students sent to tertiary institutions.
EWB-UMCP’s first project involved the implementation of a solar energy project. The school experiences blackouts averaging six to ten hours per day. Some of these outages last upwards of 24 hours. Students could not study at night. In response, EWB-UMCP designed a solar power system to establish a more reliable source of electricity to two classroom blocks on campus. The project is being implemented in multiple phases, with the project set to be complete on the next trip.