Taking people to water instead of taking water to people: changes in Ghana's rural water sector

2018-02-12T15:09:27Z (GMT) by Nii Odai Laryea F. Mawuena Dotse
The paper highlights key issues emerging from a “conversion programme”, the Accompanying Measures Eastern Region (AMER) Project, during which over 150 hand-pumps previously centrally-managed and maintained by government (the 3000 Wells Project), were transferred to rural communities for ownership and management (COM). Implementation was carried out in the Eastern Region of Ghana between 1996 and 2001. To ease the burden on communities to make the transition “transfer-friendly”, communities could pay 50% of arrears owed over six months for the rest to be written off, local residents were trained for maintenance of facilities and there was free rehabilitation of the hand-pumps. Even though some challenges were encountered, there were interesting findings such as the long time it takes for COM to take root in rural communities towards sustainability, the need to make alternative arrangements for maintenance of facilities and the complex relationships between socio-cultural configurations and payment of arrears.