Water is essential for life, but for many rural indigenous groups around the world, access to a secure, clean source of water is not guaranteed. Benjamin, a Ph.D. candidate here at uLethbridge, hopes his study will be the first step towards improving water security for marginalized populations around the world.

Water security is defined by UN-Water as the “capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development.” While the UN recognizes access to safe drinking water as a human right, 1.1 billion people around the world lack water security.

Benjamin’s research seeks to provide substantial and concrete data regarding the impact water security has on rural indigenous communities. His efforts are focused in Ghana, whose rural populations are the world’s most water insecure. Through interviews, surveys, and focus group discussions, Benjamin gathered data on the household experiences in selected rural communities in Ghana. “My research focuses on the issues which affect the daily lives of geographically marginalized (rural) people.” By gathering these stories, he hopes to show that governments must focus infrastructure development where people need it most.

Benjamin is driven towards creating a better world: “The inspiration for my research stems from being part of creating the kind of society we all wish to see. Being able to voice out the plights of marginalized communities through my research is what gives me the drive to work harder.”

Benjamin completed a B.Sc. in Development Planning in Ghana, and an M.A. in Environmental Policy in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.