Water sector requires increased investments — study

BY: Jessica Acheampong
Nana Afriyie, Project Manager, Competence Centre for Energy and Investments, AHK Ghana, launching the report
Nana Afriyie, Project Manager, Competence Centre for Energy and Investments, AHK Ghana, launching the report

A study on access to clean drinking water and sustainable water management in Ghana has recommended that the government places priority on adequately funding the sector.

Conducted by the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK Ghana), with support from the German Federal Ministry for

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Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the study identified that in tackling the challenges in the sector, there was the need to ensure that financing was effective to achieve shared growth.

“The water sector will require increased financial investment from the government of Ghana and other non-traditional sources of financing, including the private sector sources to ensure sustainable financing of the sector,” the report said.  

It subsequently recommended to the government to ensure that there was a better linkage between sector targets and funding allocations.


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“To ensure that finance is effectively turned into services, there is the need to increase domestic allocations and disbursements to sector institutions and ensure prompt utilisation of funds,” it said.

The report also added that the government must provide greater visibility for sanitation by further defining and disaggregating sanitation budget lines.

Shortfalls in investment
According to the report, there was a significant shortfall in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector investment to meet national and international commitments which hitherto had been funded with grants and concessional loans.

Budgets and resources are insufficient to show tangible impacts on the ground.

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Over the last eight years, less than 50 per cent of allocated sector funds have been disbursed.

Sustainability is also threatened by unrealistic tariffs, negative attitudes towards payment, inadequate post-construction finance and lack of focus on demand and pro-poor issues.

Challenges

As in many Sub-Saharan African countries, drinking water supply and sanitation are major challenges in Ghana.

The most pressing issues are irregular supply of drinking water, large water loss on the way to the consumer, low water pressure and very limited access to sewage systems.

Non-revenue water

The study highlighted that the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) records revealed extremely high losses on account of non-revenue water, reckoned to average 50 per cent.

The proportion of non-revenue water, that is water lost before reaching the consumer, is more than twice the international best practice level of 20 per cent and even the benchmark of 33 per cent for the low-income country peer group.

The Project Manager, Competence Centre for Energy and Investments, AHK Ghana, Nana Afriyie, while launching the report, said the study was also aimed at creating a snapshot of the water sector in Ghana, giving an overview of the current situation, the trends and conditions on site and to inform industry stakeholders of the opportunities available to them in the water and waste sector in Ghana. — GB