Community Expectations of Funsi Small Town Water Syestem in the Upper West Region of Ghana

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To help address water problems in Ghana, Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) was created in 1994 under the framework of the Ghana decentralization policy and became autonomous in 1998. In communities with fewer than 50,000 inhabitants, water supply systems are owned and managed by the respective community on a demand-driven basis, and 5% of the project cost is paid by the beneficiary community. Therefore, the rural communities and small towns form gender-balanced voluntary groups which are represented by elected water and sanitation boards, including one or two village-based caretakers who received special training in repair and maintenance. (CWSA, 2008). Under the Community Water and Sanitation Programme (CWSP), Funsi is benefiting from a Small Town Water System (STWS) currently under construction to be completed by the end of April 2010. Due to their poverty, the community could not pay the 5% mandatory community contribution, so the World Bank and the Government of Ghana accepted to sponsor the project by paying 100% of the project cost. Funsi is the district capital of the Wa East District, the only district capital in Ghana without electricity. Considering the problems and the poverty situation in the district coupled with the absence of electricity in the district capital, the success and maintenance of the project is uncertain. It is this uncertainty that necessitated this research; to enquire about the expectations of the people regarding the STWS. The study assessed the expectations during the construction and after the construction, and the procedures for management and sustenance of the STWS. The study adopted a qualitative research approach and applied quantitative methods in analyzing the data collected. Thus the researcher use purposive sampling to select the sampling size. Both primary and secondary data were used. Both primary and secondary data were used. Interview guides and structured questionnaire were designed to guide the interview process for the primary data collection. Secondary data was obtained from the Wa East District Assembly, the CWSA and the consultant of the project. Photographs of relevant sites were captured and displayed for vivid presentation, clarity and appreciation. Purposive sampling and simple random sampling were used to select the sample population of 80 respondents. The outcome of the study showed that there are high anxiety and expectations from the communities about the STWP despite the absence of electricity. A standby generator will temporarily be used while the people wait on the electricity. Mechanisms have been put in place to ensure the success and sustenance of the STWS. The mechanisms including the setting up of a Water Management Board, coming out with a policy to raise revenue through the sale of water known as ‘pay as you fetch policy’, fund raising strategies, setting up rules and regulation to govern the operation of the system. As part of the measures put in place to sustain the STWS, the Management Board came out with a resolution to enroll all the bore holes to the ‘pay as you fetch’ policy, and to disallow private connections for the first two years after the take-off of the project. The study identified some challenges that could cripple the success and sustenance of the project. These include some socio cultural practices and beliefs such as burying of corpses in and around houses, the absence of a banking facility, the absence of electricity, high unskilled labor and poor planning by the DA. Based on these issues, policy guidelines, and appropriate recommendations have been proposed. It was identified that the negligence of the DA is a contributory factor to the failure of most STWS in the past, there fore it is recommended that the DA should pay adequate attention to the operation of the water system; the management, and the technical aspects. The DA should identify a schedule officer to the project who will be in charge of monitoring, reporting, and identifying training needs of staff and management of the Board. Secondly provision should be made under the National Cultural Policy to allow the Cultural Institution of Ghana to come out with and give authority to the National Council of Chiefs to constantly revise cultural practices and give advice to eliminate or discourage those who hold on to such practice
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Award of a Degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management.