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|Title: ||Sustainable water supply to the urban poor in Accra: from policy to reality|
|Authors: ||Nti, Kwame Obeng|
|Issue Date: ||18-Oct-2016|
|Abstract: ||Ghana, like other developing counties, is urbanizing rapidly. More than half of Ghana‘s population now lives in urban areas. The rapid rate of urbanization is hampering the capacity of the utility provider to supply water to its existing customers and extend services to new clients, especially to the urban poor. Available evidence indicates that in 2009 as many as 41% of urban dwellers in Ghana did not have access to water from the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) network. Moreover, water supply to areas served by the utility provider is mostly erratic and increasingly unreliable. Many urban dwellers therefore rely on water vendors for water at a cost higher than the official tariff of the utility provider. Water service to the urban poor thus presents challenges to policy makers, policy implementers and other stakeholders in the water sector.
In an attempt to address the challenges, various governments in Ghana have since the mid 1990s, implemented a string of reforms in the water sector with the view to improving urban water supply. These reforms led to the establishment of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) in 1999 as the sole urban water provider and the formulation of a National Water Policy in 2007. In spite of this, water supply to the urban poor is still a challenge. The study therefore sought to examine the extent to which the National Water Policy is addressing the water needs of the urban poor.
A mixed method research design was adopted for the study; thus both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies were used in data collection, data analysis, and presentation of the research results. The study was conducted using the case study approach and covered 247 households in three poor communities in the Greater Accra Region, 78 water vendors as well as policy makers, policy implementers and other key stakeholders in the urban water sector.
The findings of the study revealed, among others, that the urban poor have challenges with water supply as only 22.3% of the households are connected to the GWCL piped network. Majority of the households therefore depend on water vendors for their water needs and pay high poverty penalty for water. The presence of water vendors in the communities has shortened the distances to the water sources and has also reduced waiting time at the water point. The study however shows that water is not affordable. The study also found that
only three out of the five pro-poor urban water policy measures outlined in the National Water Policy have been implemented with limited success. Moreover, the implementation of the policy is encumbered with a number of challenges such as inadequate investment; over aged distribution lines; high level of unaccounted for water (UfW); and poor corporate governance. This study argues that effective policy implementation is contingent on the implementation of pro-poor water policies and strategies.
The study recommends that to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the National Water Policy to improve water supply to the urban poor on sustainable basis, there is the need for massive capital injection to rehabilitate the over aged distribution lines and extend water services to the urban poor. It is also necessary to break the monopoly of the GWCL; establish dedicated pro-poor units, encourage private sector participation in the urban water sector; and improve governance and accountability in the water sector.|
|Description: ||A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree in Doctor of Philosophy in Planning, 2015|
|Appears in Collections:||College of Architecture and Planning|
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