History

After a life-changing journey of the unexpected, faith in Jesus Christ led us to where we are today.

What started as a small project to provide clean water for people of northern Ghana, Ghana West African Missions (GWAM) has amplified its efforts by transforming into an umbrella organization to help reach its goals. Water for West Africa (WfWA) is focused on public outreach and increasing awareness of the issues impacting Ghana communities and providing them with the resources needed to lead a healthy life.

In the late 1980s, Michigan preacher Josiah Tilton traveled to the northern region of Ghana on a mission trip. During his time in the Saboba-Chereponi District, he discovered the lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation was causing a high number of guinea worm infections, leading to avoidable sickness and fatalities. These communities simply needed access to clean water.

When he returned home, Tilton and the Church of Christ began raising funds to drill wells for the people he’d met in Ghana. With an original goal to drill three wells, they raised enough money to build 15 wells. (Matthew 14:13-21)

Tilton and the church hired a team of Ghanaians, none of whom had ever drilled a well before but were eager to learn. Curt King, an American driller, went to Ghana to train them. Tilton and his family who had lived in Ghana for two years in the early 1980s moved back to help launch the project.

Wanting to keep their early success going and help more people, Tilton and his team formed the non-profit organization Ghana West African Missions. They built partnerships to expand the well drilling operation to more communities, which required more funds, more equipment and more technical drilling experts. World Vision International and the United Nations Children’s Fund joined the effort.

Now, 33 years later, the water wells that were first built are still pumping and have brought clean water to three generations. Thanks to extensive partnerships with aid organizations, churches, universities, government and non-profits, we’ve helped:

  • ~2.5 million people receive fresh, clean water for drinking and cooking
  • Drill 1,250 wells
  • Refurbish, clean and rebuild more than 2,500 wells
  • Build water systems and restrooms for 35 rural schools
  • Baptize over 50,000 people
  • Establish more than 1,000 churches

As a result, health outcomes and economic opportunities in villages with wells are improving. We’re proud to report the infant mortality rate is down nearly 20 percent!