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Sachet water main source of drinking water in Ghana - Census Report

BY: Kweku Zurek
Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah
Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah

Sachet water is the main source of drinking water in Ghana, the latest census report has found.

The data contained in the 2021 Ghana Population and Housing Census - General Report Volume 3M; Water and Sanitation indicates that 37.4% of households use sachet water as their main source of drinking water followed by pipe-borne water which was used by 31.7% of households and borehole/tube which was used by 17.7% of households.

The census data also found that in urban areas the two main sources of drinking water was sachet water which was used by 51.5% of households and pipe-borne water which was used by 33.6% of households while in rural areas, borehole/tube well was used by 33.6% of households and pipe-borne water was used by 28.8% of households.

However, the report also found that the use of sachet water as the main source of drinking water was largely an urban phenomenon (51.5%). It is the most used source of drinking water in Greater Accra (70.7%) and the least in North East (1.8%), Upper East (2.2%) and Upper West (2.6%) regions.

"Sachet water a personal choice"

Reacting to the findings which were released by the Ghana Statistical Service on Thursday in Accra, the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah said drinking sachet and bottled water was a personal decision taken by most Ghanaians.

She added that pipe-borne water produced by the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) was one of the best sources of drinking water with pH levels higher than the World Health Organization standard which lies within the range 6.5–8.5

She also stated that 90% of sachet and bottled water was packaged from water produced by the GWCL.

"I pointed out at a meeting that we don't have any sachet water business in Nigeria, we can find out but it is true. I have driven through villages and hamlets (in Nigeria), they don't have it," Mrs Dapaah said.

"It is a decision taken by the individual to use sachet water because I will put it on record that Ghana Water produces one of the best sources of drinking water even the pH levels are at times higher than the WHO standards.

So, our source is very good but we have all come into this socio-cultural thing of bottled water and sachet water. Nigeria with its population has no sachet water, so this idea of sachet water dominating drinking water is a choice. I am not saying people should be forced as a policy to use tap water, it's a decision by the individuals and more so 90 per cent of the water used for this packaging is from Ghana Water Company Limited even for the bottling, a few of them use springs and wells et cetera but we as a nation through Ghana Water, we produce one of the best sources.