Over 30 top officers of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Ghana’s public water management body participated in a stakeholder engagement meeting arranged by EfD Ghana. The aim was to share and discuss the initial findings of a study being conducted to better understand the issues hampering water distribution and access in Ghana, and the role of research in improving the performance of the water sector.
The meeting was facilitated by Professor Anthony Amoah, a senior research fellow of EfD Ghana, and was based on the study titled Water access billing issues and policy. The study’s objectives are to examine whether households have access to safe water for drinking, to analyze the billing issues of households, and to investigate the drivers of household water bill payment behavior.
The top management team members – including the GWCL managing director and his deputies, regional managers, Chief Finance Manager, and Chief Corporate Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation Manager – participated actively in the meeting and shared precious insights useful for boosting the social relevance and uptake potential of the study.
Good supplies but poor access
Presenting the findings, Anthony Amoah noted that Ghana has adequate freshwater resources to assure inclusive and equitable access to water. Yet, challenges related to infrastructural gaps (production and distribution limits, non-revenue water losses), behavioral shortcomings (pollution from mining, non-payment of bills), and population growth, among others, continue to limit inclusive access to water, and good drinking water in particular.
He presented figures from a recent household survey where 82% (of 1,646) people rely on packaged water (bottled and/or sachet) as their main source of drinking.
The presentation generated interesting discussions where the participants engaged in open discussions on how to overcome the challenges and move forward toward a sustainable water system.
Research unit will work with EfD Ghana
Ing. Dr. Clifford Braimah, GWCL Managing Director expressed excitement and appreciation for the research support. He shared the company's plans to establish a unit that would be solely responsible for research. The unit will be positioned to work directly with EfD Ghana and others research entities to foster effective decision-making and implementation by GWCL.
The hybrid meeting was held on December 7, 2022, at the conference of GWCL head officer, Ministries, Accra, with participants joining onsite and online.
Meeting with water sector stakeholders
EfD Ghana also organized a workshop with representatives from various private and public sector organizations engaged in the water sector. This follow-up meeting provided an avenue to garner the views of practitioners from various positions and geographical locations and extend the discussions, helping build on the gains of the first meeting.
Following the presentation by Anthony Amoah, participants were split into groups to discuss and report on assigned topics related to the study. They also responded to a Mentimeter survey, sharing real-time feedback on the presentation and discussions.
The workshop held on December 8, 2022, at the GIMPA executive conference center, drew participants from academia, and institutions including Community Water and Sanitation Agency, the Ministry of Environment Science and Technology and Innovation, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, and Ghana Water Company Ltd. The media also attended the workshop and reported on the conclusions.
Selected online reports are below.
This activity was developed under the EfD´s Water Observatories project. This research and policy engagement initiative focuses on water scarcity, equity, and affordability in the Global South, particularly in Costa Rica, Chile, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda.
By Vicentia Quartey