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TitleReport for the compilation of information or data on water and sanitation sector investments in Ghana
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsAboagye, E, Abbey, D, Dotse, M
Pagination55 p. : 22 fig., 11 tab.
Date Published2009-11-01
PublisherWater and Sanitation Monitoring Platform, Ghana, WSMP
Place PublishedAccra, Ghana
Keywordsaccess to sanitation, access to water, drinking water, ghana, poverty, safe water supply, WASHCost, water consumption, water supply

Access to potable water and sanitation constitutes one of the main priorities of the Government of Ghana in its strategy for poverty reduction. The objective of the Government, consistent with achieving the MDGs is to halve by 2015 the share of the population which currently has no access to potable water. Notwithstanding the increase in water and sanitation coverage, there still remain a high number of un-served communities for water supply and improved sanitation, incidence of guinea worm and low ground water potential in some parts of the country leading to low success rates of drilling. Positive externalities on health outcomes associated with consuming safe water and improved sanitation provide a strong rationale for public intervention. There can also be negative externalities with respect to environmental degradation, through pollution or excessive depletion of groundwater resources. Access to potable water and sanitation facilities together with improved hygiene behavior and practices can reduce infant mortality and general morbidity by reducing the impact of water borne diseases. They also strongly influence the living conditions of girls and women and can positively influence girls’ enrolment in primary education by removing one of the important constraints on the use of their time. Drinking water and sanitation can thus influence the achievement of other MDGs as well. The rural water supply sector is still heavily dependent on external funding and more specifically on donor grants, although the share of domestic financing has increased substantially since 2000. Guinea worm endemic areas have been tackled as a priority in all other sector investments. On this front, sector investments have been made to help accelerate safe water supply efforts in Guinea worm-endemic villages. These interventions have been complimented with the provision of improved sanitation facilities and hygiene education. The huge investments have significantly made improvements in family health status and quality of life of the population in highly endemic Guinea worm districts.Investment for sanitation and hygiene promotion remains marginal. More attention should be given to activities related to sanitation and the development of behavioral changes within hygiene, as these aspects have a decisive impact on the improvement of heath conditions, a core objective of water supply investments. These include safe disposal of waste and washing hands with soap which can substantially reduce the spread of diarrhoeal diseases. There is inadequate financial resources from both central and local governments for investments. Government investment in the sector remains very low. The current 5% level of investment is inconsistent with the government’s often stated position of water and sanitation being a priority sector.  A manifestation of the lack of political will is the inadequate financial resource provision from both central and local governments for sector investments. Government budgetary allocations for different sectors show a very wide disparity for water and sanitation, education and health. At the central government level, with the exception of the investments made to both urban and rural water and sanitation sub sector, under the Highly Indebted and Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative and a few isolated investments, there is no evidence of any stand-alone government initiated investments in the sector.  There is an urgent need for refocusing and prioritisation of water and sanitation as a means for poverty reduction.  While donors are expected to remain the major source of financing, the achievement of the MDG for the community water and sanitation sector depends on the Government making substantial increases in its funding.Commitment by District Assemblies to effective water and sanitation services delivery is marginal. The effectiveness of the new role of the District Assemblies requires a change in mind set by the DAs with respect to issues relating to rural water delivery in their jurisdictions. CWSA and the relevant stakeholders should initiate appropriate steps to beef up the capacity of the DAs to supervise technical contracts awarded at the local level. The M/DAs should be made to set aside a proportion of their DACF for investment in water and sanitation. The allocation of additional funds to good performing DAs under the District Development Facility for discretionary expenditure (within the framework of the Medium Term Development Plan) makes it imperative for DAs to adopt a positive attitude towards water delivery.There is inadequate financial resources from both central and local governments for investments. [authors abstract]

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