World Water Day: NETCOWAS Salutes Community-Managed Piped Water Services In Ghana

The National President of the Network of Community Water Services (NETCOWAS), Okotwasa Nana Owusu Sarpong I, Mpobihene Otumfour Brempong, and the entire executives salute the hundreds of rural communities and small towns in Ghana who have been working hard in managing their piped water systems and providing continuous access to safe and affordable drinking water supply for their people.

Most of these communities have been managing their piped water systems since the 1990s, and have made investments in extensions, expansions, and major replacements from their own resources/water revenues.

All these piped water services are selling water and using the water revenues to finance operation and maintenance (O&M) expenditures. 

Community-managed piped water services constitute an important water service provider group representing about 80% of all water service providers in Ghana’s rural water sub-sector.

This is a significant contribution by community-managed piped water services to Ghana’s water supply coverage.

In line with the global theme for this year’s World Water Day Celebration which is to ‘accelerate change’, NETCOWAS makes a commitment to work with its members to improve the sustainability of rural and small towns piped water services through the adoption of business principles in the management of the water services, ensuring improved efficiency in service delivery, and the promotion of learning and performance/peer review. 

While NETCOWAS commends the government and district Assemblies for their support to rural and small towns piped water supply in Ghana.

It wishes to draw attention to some challenges facing community-managed piped water supply as follows:

1.       Aging rural and small towns piped water supply infrastructure which need urgent capital injection for rehabilitation and expansion.

2.       Over-reliance on the national grid, and hence, the need to transition to solar power to help reduce high energy costs, and also contribute to reduction in carbon emissions for climate gains.

3.       Low access to prepaid water meters.