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New approaches to community management

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:09 authored by Leonard T. Anafu
Rural communities in the Upper Regions of Ghana have acquired awareness about the linkage between diseases and water supply. They are therefore making demands through self assessment of real needs combining possible technical options, choice, service levels and price that is best to them. The Community Water Project (COWAP) is a CIDA/Ghana six year Project, which is to assist the Ghana Water and Sewerage Corporation (GWSC) to carry out its Rural Water Supply Programme in the Upper Regions, by adapting to the structures and approaches of the Government Strategic Investment Programme (SIP). The SIP calls for individual communities, using the “demanddriven” approach, to plan, own and manage their water and sanitation facilities, with the private sector providing goods and services and the Government facilitating the process. The main objective of the COWAP, however is to transfer the ownership and management of some 2700 centrally-maintained handpumps to village level operation and maintenance (VLOM) system. This involves the redevelopment of the boreholes and the replacement of all the VLOM handpumps (AFRIDEV and NIRA). A project such as the Community Water Project seems to be complex in nature, considering the fact that collective management of handpumps is a new experience for communities. It has been found that village level organizational difficulties normally arise through the problems of cash management, illiteracy, the relative autonomy of households and gender divisions. The Community Water Project since its inception in 1993 has been concerned with working out strategies that will enable communities appreciate the concept of community ownership, given the fact that the users have been living with the idea that the systems are government-owned for the past 20 years with their inputs only limited to payment of tariffs. This paper therefore compares the Strategic Investment Programme (SIP) with the Community Water Project (COWAP) strategies and outlines some of the steps and approaches which have been taken by COWAP to address the issues in order to ensure sustainability of the systems.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


ANAFU, L.T., 1996. New approaches to community management. IN: Pickford, J. et al. (eds). Reaching the unreached - Challenges for the 21st century: Proceedings of the 22nd WEDC International Conference, New Delhi, India, 9-13 September 1996, pp.82-84.


© WEDC, Loughborough University


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