Quarterly Update Jan-March 2011: KUMASI, GHANA

  • The procurement process for a new water supply system to serve the 8,500 strong community of Kotei is underway. A key meeting with the utility AVRL was held with community representatives which is a first step towards recognising a consumer voice of the poor and a more open attitude by the utility towards consulting with low-income unserved consumers on service expansion. Specific examples of community feedback on plans include input into locations of kiosks, issues of land rights for new infrastructure and making designs more accessible for women and children.
  • A contractor has been selected to construct a new public toilet block for use by the community. The toilet block will test a community management model whereby a committee enters into a contract with the authorities for operation and maintenance, agreeing to certain service levels with incentives and penalties. Following a visit by Ashoka Fellow David Kuria, other lines of business are being explored to support the running of the facility. Community members have therefore been involved in the design, making them more universally accessible, and integrating handwashing and menstrual hygiene management considerations.
  • ACF has enabled a consultant to provide operational support to AVRL to identify sustainable, affordable and financially viable methods of improving the water supply available to communities in the low-income informal areas of Ghanaian towns and cities. The aim is to get these firmly in the utility’s business plans going forward, requiring support from GWCL, the regulator (PURC) and the Government to be successfully implemented.
  • An advocacy media event was held in Kumasi and included a visit to the project locations. Coverage was featured in local and national newspapers, websites, radio stations, and 2 national TV stations.
  • WSUP has been actively redressing the balance of women’s participation in its work with community committees. The importance of women’s views was highlighted in design workshops, decision making forums and community clean-up exercises.

About Andy Narracott

Urban water and sanitation professional. Programme Coordinator for the USAID African Cities for the Future Programme.
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