Evaluation of community ownership and management of point sources of water supply in Bolgatanga and Bawku East Districts in the Upper East Region of Ghana
The Government of Ghana launched the National Community Water and Sanitation Programme (NCWSP) in 1994 to allow rural water supply and sanitation services to come under Community Ownership and Management (COM). Since then, most facilities previously owned and managed by the Public Sector have been handed over to the beneficiaries for ownership and management and new projects being implemented in the sector are based on this policy. This research evaluated Community Ownership and Management of point sources of water supply in 80 communities randomly selected from two districts - Bolgatanga and Bawku East districts - in the Upper East Region. The scope of the evaluation was limited to examination of sustainability of the facilities under the following headings: • Reliability of the Facilities • The Level of Human Capacity Development to support COM • The Existing Local Institutional Capacity to Support COM • Cost Recovery. Data was collected by interviewing or holding focus group discussions with various stakeholders - the beneficiary communities (or their representatives), the private sector operators (Spare Parts Dealers and Area Mechanics), the Local Government representatives (the District Water and Sanitation Team or DWSTs) and the regional officials of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency, (the facilitators of the sector). The research found out that: • reliability of all facilities in both districts were at least 90%; however hand pump spare parts were not available most of the time; • there was enough human capacity development in the beneficiary communities that can make the facilities sustainable; • All relevant institutions are in place locally and have been given the necessary training to be able to perform their functions. The only exception are the DWSTs who are on secondment to the District Assemblies and whose turnover is so high that it has negated all capacity building efforts; • The communities paid part of the initial cost and are paying for O&M but none has saved towards capital replacement. Therefore, cost recovery is only partial. These findings led the research to the conclusion that the programme will be sustainable in the two districts only if spare parts are made more available and the District Assemblies employ permanent staff solely for serving as DWSTs and give them enough logistics to operate. It is recommended that District Assemblies employ permanent staff to form DWSTs so that they can offer the necessary post project support services to the communities. It is the view of the author that without this support from DWSTs, the present level of capacity within the communities might decline. Efforts should also be made to identify shopkeepers within remote rural communities to stock hand pump spare parts so as to make the parts more accessible to remote areas.
A Dissertation Submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, in partial fulfilment of the Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation, 2001