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Water and Sanitation Agency study reveals startling findings; only 31% of water facilities in the northern region functioning



A base line study conducted by Ghana’s Community Water Sanitation Agency in the 25 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) in the northern region has indicated that 1,421 hand-pump water facilities representing 31 percent are not functioning.

The nonfunctional hand-pumps are supposed to be providing water to an estimated population of 426,300 people in the region.

The 2014 water service monitoring findings in the region revealed that only 29 percent are functioning properly. Only six percent of hand pumps provide basic services to the people, while 63 percent are said to be in substandard level.

In the West African sub region, about 30 percent of hand pumps are not functioning, the findings said.

Those functioning hover around 29 percent. Only six 6 percent measured up to standard and can provide basic services to the people, while 63 percent provide substandard level services.

The study also found out that, almost all the 26 districts in the region operating pipes have no bank accounts to manage proceeds accrued from their operations.

Presenting the findings at a regional forum on the state of rural water services in the northern region, Mr Godwin Kotoka explained to stakeholders that because there is no agency in the assemblies to monitor the operation of the water facilities, the provision of water to communities is adversely affected.

According to Mr Kotoka, the performance of service providers such as Water and Sanitation Management Teams (WSMTs-SC) for small towns is generally low, especially in the availability of bank accounts and the keeping of financial records.

The availability of bank accounts and the keeping of financial records, Mr. Kotoka, observed would have helped manage proceeds accrued from sale of water in the communities.

In the broader picture, Mr Kotoka said, in the West African sub region, about 30 per cent of hand pumps are not functioning. This, he attributed largely to the absence of financial records and bank accounts.

However, some stakeholders present at the forum said communities operating hand pumps hardly make money because they don’t sell the water and so there is no money to be sent to the bank.

But the study, Mr Kotoka said, found out that there is no agency to monitor the operation of the facilities at the various MMDAs.

He suggested to communities with such water facilities to professionalize the management of hand pumps to at least ensure that they accrue something for the maintenance of the facilities.



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