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Water vendors boost income through kiosk sales

Published on: 02/06/2020

One innovation in Asutifi North has been the introduction of kiosks at water points where vendors sell a range of sanitation products. The kiosks not only provide shelter from the sun and rain but improve the livelihoods of water vendors and help to make water systems more sustainable.

Material prepared by a team from the Ghana National Development Planning Commission and IRC Ghana

The kiosks were the brainchild of Aquaya Institute, one of the ANAM initiative partners working alongside World Vision, and are proving popular with vendors. 

Doris Bosompimaah sells a razor blade to a young man in Panaaba village, Asutifi North

In Panaaba village, Doris Bosompimaah runs the water point with her daughter, opening the pump at 6.00am for morning collections and again at 2.00pm until early evening. She sells two buckets of water for 10 pesewas and has about 50 customers a day. In addition she sells soap and diapers as well as foodstuffs such as gari, sugar and peanuts, and other useful products such as razor blades.

“I really love the work”, she says. “I would like to expand and buy a fridge to sell iced water but I cannot do that yet.”

She set up the shop in the kiosk with the help of a GHS 250 starter fund from Aquaya and invested some of her own money to increase the range of products.

Akosua Nyamekye in her kiosk at Kenyasi No 2Akosua Nyamekye, vendor at Kenyasi No 2, reduced prices to attract business to her kiosk. “Even though I gain profit of just 1 cedi on a whole box of soap, I don’t get discouraged and make some savings. When you analyse it, it’s better to reduce the price and sell rapidly instead of it sitting on the shelf.” She buys from herself to keep profits in the business and takes home about GHS 40 a week (US$7). The main benefit is extra money to feed her children.

Yachori Bashiru, a research assistant for Aquaya Institute, said that many facilities in Asutifi North had previously failed because there was no money for maintenance or repairs. “When we were doing the research, vendors complained that they could not spend enough time at the water source because they don’t have a place to sit when the sun is scorching or when it is raining. We asked what did they think could be done and they asked if we can provide them with something like a kiosk."

The vendors also complained that their income from selling water was very low so Aquaya provided seed grants of GHS 250-300 so that vendors could stock a wider range of goods.

In a pilot study of four kiosks they found that sales rose by 50% and Aquaya has now provided 30 kiosks at water points and will expand further if the scheme continues to prove successful.

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