Integrated water-health programme as basis for socioeconomic development of the Mpohor Wassa East District

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Provision of basic needs has been the concern of most governments in the developing world. In Ghana, the Local Government Law, PNDC Law 207, gives district assemblies more deliberative, legislative and executive powers to ensure development. The need for sectors to complement each other towards the realization of district development goals led to the various departments being decentralised. Integrated plans to ensure the fulfilment of basic needs is therefore envisaged. But in the Mpohor Wassa East District, as in many districts in Ghana, integrated programmes are far from being realised. There is, therefore, the need to find an entry point towards integration. Water, Sanitation and Health given their’ importance as basic needs and the strong relationship between them are seen as sectors that can be easily integrated in the district. In the study therefore, attempts are made to come out with these linkages and propose a strategy towards their effective integration. The study relied on wide range of data sources, both secondary through documents and primary sources through field surveys. The study came out with the fact that though provision of safe water can lead to a reduction of water-related diseases, the main problems are related to water handling. Therefore, water and Sanitation programmes which focus on personal arid environmental hygiene is proposed. The increasingly high cost of boreholes gives support for emphasis on hand-dug wells. The proposed programme - Community Water and Health Integrated Programme - has a three-tier structure embracing the district, Area Council and community level, involving sectors like Water, Health and Community development. This, it is hoped, would ensure a more practical integrated approach which could be broadened to embrace other departments to enhance the socio-economic development of Hpohor Wassa East District.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management, 1992