Assessment of institutional arrangements for solid waste management in Kumasi

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In Ghana, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) reported in 1999 that only 40% of the nation’s urban residents were served by a solid waste collection service and less than 30% by an acceptable household toilet facility. In response to this deplorable state of environmental sanitation, the Environmental Sanitation Policy (ESP) was prepared in the same year to define a systematic approach and institutional framework within which to tackle the nation’s sanitation problem. Five years after the adoption of the ESP, there is the need to verify whether the recommended institutional change has been implemented and whether it has made any impact on service efficiency. Thus the main question sought to be answered by this research relates to what changes have taken place in the institutional arrangements for SWM in Kumasi as a result of the adoption of the ESF and how institutional change has affected service efficiency. After interaction with the various institutions involved in SWM in Kumasi through the use of questionnaires and interviews, it was found out that the implementation of the Policy has led to improvement in service coverage and cost recovery. Service coverage has increased from about 50% to an annual average of 87.4 % since the inception of the Policy. Also, between 2001 and 2003, the amount recovered by private operators through house-to-house collection services increased from 26.5% to 46.3% of the WMD’s total expenditure. In 2004, cost recovery stood at 68.7% of the projected expenditure of the department. While acknowledging the impact of the Policy on service efficiency, it is recommended that further institutional reforms are made to limit the influence of politicians on the activities of the Waste Management Department (WMD) and private operators, in order to sustain and improve upon the gains made so far. Besides, there is the need to intensify public health education and sanitation service promotion to whip up community support for private sector participation, which is the key to cost recovery and improved service coverage.
A thesis submitted to The Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a Master of Science Degree in Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation, 2005