In late 2016 Aguaconsult was commissioned to lead an organizational assessment of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) in Ghana together with legal and technical experts and working closely with Agency staff and other stakeholders, including the newly reformed Ministry for Sanitation and Water and the regulatory commission.
Over the last two decades, CWSA has become synonymous with the concept of community management as the principal approach to delivery of rural water services and has refined this through the Community Ownership and Management model which it has promoted nationally. With national economic growth and the changing nature of the rural areas in Ghana, expansion of large piped networks and small-town piped schemes, a model based on voluntary committees is no longer adequate to meet expectations and demands for a more professionalised and higher quality of service.
Based on the assessment of the current CWSA and on the operating environment, a number of different forward-looking scenarios were identified and refined. These scenarios need to be considered alongside the broader sector development planning to improve both access and to drive up service quality. Other sector actors will undoubtedly play a role in the future of rural water provision, but regardless of the future reform of CWSA, a number of vital functions in the value chain for rural water need to be strengthened; these include:
• Professionalizing the management of water supply schemes, especially for Small Towns and larger piped networks, moving away from purely voluntary approaches;
• Introducing and building strong regimes for asset management and maintenance;
• Providing better access to financing on affordable terms for both asset holders and operators to (re)-invest in schemes, along with the generation of surplus income from tariffs;
• Extending regulation to rural areas, with a particular focus on water quality.
The three scenarios that were developed and agreed upon for presentation to the CWSA Board and subsequently to the Ministry for Sanitation and Water for taking a final decision and triggering the organisational and legal changes necessary. For further information on this process please contact Harold Lockwood.