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It’s about sustainable water services, not just about pumps and pipes: Assessing and monitoring water services in Ghana

Published on: 29/08/2012

‘It’s about sustainable water services, not just about pumps and pipes’. That was one of the main messages (and title) of the presentation on monitoring water services in Ghana, presented by Marieke Adank from IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre in the ‘Judge us by our outcomes’ session during the World Water week in Stockholm 2012.

‘It’s about sustainable water services, not just about pumps and pipes’. That was one of the main messages (and title) of the presentation on monitoring water services in Ghana, presented by Marieke Adank from IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre in the ‘Judge us by our outcomes’ session during the World Water week in Stockholm 2012.

Findings were presented from 3 districts in Ghana, where data had been collected under the Triple-S initiative, hosted by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA).

This showed very low levels of compliance with nationally set standards, norms and guidelines, with very few point sources meeting all the basic service level criteria (reliability, quantity, quality, accessibility); with more than half of community-based water service providers not meeting benchmarks on service provider indicators; and with service authorities (responsible for planning, supervision, support, coordination and regulation of water service providers) failing to meet the benchmarks altogether. 

Just counting systems thus is not enough if monitoring data is to be used at different levels for planning, regulating and providing and water service that last.

There is a need to monitor functionality, as well as the level of service provided, in terms of quantity, quality, reliability and accessibility of systems; and to monitor the performance of service providers and service authorities.