Published on: 22/01/2014
Triple-S Ghana Initiative in collaboration with the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), the governmental agency responsible to facilitate rural water and related sanitation, and the host institution for Triple-S in Ghana, have collaborated to undertake a number of research/study on specific issues in the sector.
1. Looking Back Study (Volta & Northern regions)
2. Assessing the scope for Asset Management in rural Ghana
3. Report on the Review of the Project Cycle
4. Expenditure on Direct Support Cost (Fact Sheet)
Tremendous interventions in the provision of potable water to rural communities and small towns have been made by various donors and the Government of Ghana since 1982. However, despite these interventions and high level of community commitment, there are still challenges associated with operation, maintenance and management of facilities and this is affecting quality and reliability of service. There are rich experiences in the implementation of different models of donor interventions in the provision of water facilities, but unfortunately these have not been adequately documented to inform policy and project design.
This Study by IRC in collaboration with the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) sought to document processes and learning experiences in various projects and how these impacts on sustainable water service delivery of installed facilities and arrangements put in place for operation and maintenance and other post project activities.
Studies have proven that rural water supply systems in the developing world are not being sustainably managed. This is demonstrated by the approximated 30-40% rate of system failure at any one time. A common cause of breakdowns has been identified to be the inability of service providers to ensure the timely maintenance and renewal of water supply assets across their service life. This has been linked to inadequate mechanisms of financial planning and budgeting that do not account for the life-cycle costs of maintaining a water service over time.
Once a primary component of water supply system breaksdown, it can often be months before financial resources are mobilised from communities, government or donors to rehabilitate the system. Without improved asset maintenance and financial planning, it is likely that premature breakdowns will keep happening and the cycle of unsustainable rural services will continue.
The Triple-S Project with the overall goals of improving sustainability of rural water services and greater sector harmonization has identified the project implementation process as a critical area that can have an impact on long-term sustainability either positively or negatively depending on how the project is implemented.
Consequently, the Project has carried out a review of how the Project Cycle has been implemented across the country and across different projects to assess the relevance of the phases of the cycle, how it has been implemented across projects and the impact on long-term sustainability.
This report outlines the process for the review, highlight issues that need to be addressed in terms of post-project operation and maintenance and make recommendations for improving the implementation of the cycle towards long-term sustainability.
The provision of support from national, regional and local government to water service providers in Ghana is not adequately budgeted for. The current operational budget of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), the governmental agency responsible for rural water in Ghana, is not enough to fulfill its roles and responsibilities as specified in the national norms and guidelines. The benchmark obtained by a CWSA led committee on the provision of support of US$ 0.54 per capita per to ensure sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services is much higher than current expenditure of CWSA on support of US$ 0.33 per capita per year observed by the WASHCost project. Increasing expenditure on support is essential to improve sustainable WASH services and reduce current rates of non-functionality of handpumps in Ghana of around 30%.