GHANA WATER PROJECT
Sustainable access to safe water is central to the achievement of better health and well-being. Although Ghana has made progress in improving safe water access, challenges of sustainability and safe water access remain. 2.1 million rural Ghanaians use unimproved water sources, an estimated 30%-50% of handpumps fail while 67% of households drink water that is contaminated with faecal matter (1). Consumption of dirty water causes waterborne diseases, which in turn can exasperate mortality rates and excessive health expenditure. Indeed, diarrhoea is Ghana’s fourth leading cause of death in children under five, responsible for 8% of child deaths (2).
In addition, UNICEF (2) suggests that poverty levels significantly affect access to water, with the poorest people over 20 times more likely to spend more than 30 minutes collecting water in Ghana than wealthier people. Inevitably, the rural poor are the hardest hit (3) and climate change further exasperates the inequity in access. On the contrary, adequate availability of safe water has a positive ripple effect on overall poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth as key economic activities depend on water resources, in particular agriculture and industries.
In 2017, the Government of Ghana announced the alignment of its WASH priorities with Agenda 2030 and the establishment of Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to achieve “sustainable water and basic sanitation for all by 2025” under the Water Sector Strategic Development Plan 2012-2025. Despite this, the Government of Ghana (GoG) spending on WASH declined from ~1 percent of the total GoG budget in 2017 (which was already inadequate) to ~0.4 percent in 2020. (4) demonstrating the country’s inability to deliver on its WASH promises.
In the face of these complex challenges, our work takes on a continued urgency. Project Maji’s operations in the country span over Volta, Upper East, Upper West, Savanna, Oti, Greater Accra, Eastern, Central, Bono East, Brong Ahafo, and Aspartic regions. Every day, we are helping communities and local government implement sustainable solutions that can withstand climate change and natural disasters. And we are connecting the hardest-to-reach and most marginalised communities with local authorities, to make sure smaller communities are not left behind on account of their size.
From a single waterpoint in 2015 to now operating 100+ sustainable safe water access points in the country, we are on the path of exponential growth in Ghana. Scroll down to view an interactive dashboard of our Ghanaian operations.
Ghana Water Facts
76% of households are at a risk of drinking water contaminated with faecal matter. (5)
29% healthcare facilities have limited or no water services available on premises. (6)
Only 1 household out of every 5 has water or other cleansing agents available at home. (7)
Ghanaian women bear majority of the water collection burden as they make up 64% of water carriers in the country. (8)
Our Response to water scarcity in Ghana
Our Ghana water project contributes directly to SDG 6.1, helping to achieve universal access to basic drinking water from an improved source with collection time under 30 minutes for a roundtrip. Click on the interactive map to see the GPS location of each kiosk we operate in Ghana.