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Published on: 02/02/2013

A committee looking into the costs of supporting communities and water service providers in Ghana is set to recommend a sizable increase in spending to improve functionality and sustainability in rural and peri-urban areas.

According to draft figures from the Direct Support Cost (DSC) Committee, the direct support cost of maintaining a facility for a year is GHC 395.00 (US$ 206.13) or a GHC 1.11Gp (US$ 0.58) per capita.

The committee was established in 2012 by IRC Ghana in conjunction with the Community Water and Sanitation Agency to “determine the realistic expenditure on direct support cost that would ensure sustainable service delivery in rural and peri-urban areas of Ghana”.

If the figures are confirmed, this would suggest that spending should rise by almost a quarter from current levels. The final WASHCost paper on water (Briefing Note 8), says that expenditure on direct support by the CWSA and District Water and Sanitation Teams in Ghana averaged US$ 0.47 per person per year. This would imply that an increase of 23.4% is needed.  It is anticipated that the final report will give more details of what is required.

Direct Support is support to the local level service delivery chain, service providers, users and user groups to ensure that relevant actors have the capacities and resources to carry out planning and monitoring, help communities when systems breakdown, audit community management structures, monitor private sector performance and raise hygiene awareness.

These activities are not properly budgeted for by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and governmental agencies. The situation has hampered post construction support activities to facilities and service providers.

Mr. Benedict Kubabom, Director for Planning and Investment at CWSA, who chaired the committee, stated that inadequate support for post-construction activities had been revealed by WASHCost research. This was partly responsible for low functionality and limited monitoring of water systems that has been revealed by the Triple-S project. He said that the committee would make a realistic estimate of direct support costs that should be covered to enable relevant actors to meet their post-construction responsibilities.

The Direct Support Cost Committee held its final meeting at the CWSA headquarters on January 22, 2013. Update will carry more details when the final report is ready.


February 2, 2013.

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