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Ghana Must Address Non-Revenue Water Problem – Report

A new report on access to clean drinking water and sustainable water management in Ghana has found that the proportion of non-revenue water in the country is more than twice the international level of 20 percent and the benchmark of 33 percent for the low-income country peer group.

Non-revenue water, according to the German Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK Ghana), which conducted the survey with support from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear, is water that is lost before reaching the consumer.

The 52-page report titled: “Access To Clean Drinking Water & Sustainable Water Management In Ghana” and released recently in Accra, depicted the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) as inefficient as far as managing the distribution of water and controlling rising levels of non-revenue water was concerned.

It analysed trends in water production, sale and non-revenue water in the country from 2008 to 2012.

It observed that “the average bill collection ration for the period is also lower than the benchmark of 96 percent and 99.2 percent for low and middle-income country peer group.”

There are two explanations for the high level revenue loss, according to the report: the first is the ageing and poorly maintained distribution infrastructure, and the second is a high level of theft from the distribution network, sometimes for the purposes of secondary retailing to sachet water producers.

“Unstable electricity, encroachment, illegal small-scale mining activities (galamsey), delays in payment of compensation, rationing and its effects on equipment and mounting customer indebtedness are all factors that affect the efficiency of GWCL’s operations, resulting in the suboptimal delivery of urban water services,” the report said.

It also said that about 38 percent of the population in rural communities and small towns are yet to be served with potable water supplies.

It revealed that although communities are responsible for the operation and maintenance of water facilities in the rural and small towns water sub-sector, responsibility for water quality monitoring, as well as major rehabilitation and replacement of infrastructure remains to be clarified.

It’s estimated that between 12 percent and 20 percent of water facilities in rural communities and small towns are either non-functional or functioning below the expected standards at any given time.



It, therefore, called on the Government of Ghana to address the non-revenue water problem to ensure maximum collection of revenue from generated and distributed water.

The report said although Government of Ghana is committed to improving water service delivery in peri-urban areas and low-income communities, more work needs to be done to properly define peri-urban areas, establish current water supply levels and supply options and chart a strategy for providing water services to these areas.



Due to the above-mentioned challenges facing Ghana’s water delivery sector, AHK Ghana, with support from the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservative and Nuclear Safety, will organize a workshop on Tuesday, 13th November 2018.

The workshop is expected to assemble industry experts from both Ghana and Germany to deliberate on measures to be adopted to solve the challenges facing the water sector in the country.

A strategic paper, which will identify the solutions and next steps for building sustainable water management and drinking water supply practices in Ghana, is expected to be developed at the Accra workshop.

AHK Ghana is part of the network of bilateral chambers, delegations and representatives of German business abroad, consults and represents German companies that want to develop and expand their business activities in Ghana.


Source: Daily Guide


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