Sustainability of Small Community Water Systems in Ghana: A Case Study of Navrongo Municipal Area

Melvin-Guy Adonadaga, Abdul-Latif Umar Mohammed, Samuel Kojo Abanyie


Access to safe and clean drinking water is necessary for ensuring good health and the well-being of human societies by reducing the burden of water-related diseases associated with dependence on unsafe water sources. To this end, most communities are provided with boreholes or small community mechanised systems where a centralised water treatment plant is absent. However, issues relating to the sustainability of these systems has become a big challenge to most of these communities mainly due to poor management. This research assessed the operation and maintenance (O&M) schemes of these water facilities within the Navrongo Municipality of the Upper East Region of Ghana. Structured and semi-structured questionnaires were administered in twenty (20) beneficiary communities to elicit information regarding the involvement of the community members in the general process leading to the provision of the water facility and its management. In addition, the providers of these facilities were interviewed to assess their level of involvement in their maintenance. The survey revealed that community members contributed towards the provision of the facilities, with 68% of the contributions being in the form of labour. Although 90% of the respondents admitted to the existence of Water and Sanitation Management Teams (WSMTs), 81% of them felt that the team members lacked good management skills.  63% agreed to the need for an upward review of the tariffs in order to meet the cost of O&M. In addition to providing requisite skills and capacity in community mobilization, WSMTs should be incentivised to ensure effective tariff mobilisation.

Keywords: Water systems, small communities, sustainable management, operation and maintenance.

DOI: 10.7176/JEES/9-10-11

Publication date:October 31st 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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