Rural water services in Ghana, particularly those provided by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), are typically seen as responding primarily to the need for good quality drinking water. It is with this in mind that the basic service level of 20 litres of water per person per day of good quality water, located not more than 500 metres from a person’s home and available 95% of the time has been formulated.
Published on: 28/08/2012
However, experience from Ghana and many other countries around the world shows that rural people's need for water is more complex than this. Typically, water plays a variety of roles in the livelihoods of rural households, of which domestic use (drinking, washing, cleaning and preparing food) is just one.
Depending on where they live, and what sort of livelihoods they are involved in, people may also use water for their livestock, for watering vegetables around their house, for preparing food for sale, or other small businesses. There is increasing recognition that rural water services should be designed with some of these additional needs in mind, with the aim of maximizing the benefit that rural people gain from access to a reliable water service. This approach to rural water service delivery is sometimes referred to as a Multiple Use Service (MUS) approach.
This Briefing Note 8 in the series, focuses on findings from WASHCost research relating to the pattern of use of water by rural people in Ghana. It is part of a series of notes drawing on research work carried out by the WASHCost Project in 2010 and 2011.
It finds evidence that rural water users are taking water from a range of sources, formal and informal, to meet their various water needs.
Briefing Note 8 Uses and sources of water in rural areas