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Ghana is part of:
Africa · Western Africa ·
Water Basins of Ghana:
Bia · Komoe · Tano · Volta ·
Facts & Figures edit
Capital Accra
Neighbouring Countries Burkina Faso, Cote d Ivoire, Togo
Total Area 239,460 km2
  - Water 8,520 km2 (3.56%) / 356 m2/ha
  - Land 230,940 km2
Coastline 539 km
Population 22,112,810 (93 inhab./km2)
HDIA 0.533 (2007)
Gini CoefficientA 40.8 (1995)
Nominal GDPB $17,720 million
GDP (PPP) Per CapitaB $1,500
Land UseC
  - Cultivated Land 61,800 km2 (26.76%)
     - Arable 40,507 km2 (17.54%)
     - Permanent Crops 21,293 km2 (9.22%)
     - Irrigated 310 km2
  - Non cultivated 372,826 km2 (73.24%)
Average Annual RainfallD 1187 mm
Renewable Water ResourcesE 53.2 km3
Water WithdrawalsF 0.982 km3/yr
  - For Agricultural Use 66%
  - For Domestic Use 24%
  - For Industrial Use 10%
  - Per Capita 49 m3
Population with safe access to
  - Improved Water Source 75%
     - Urban population 88%
     - Rural population 64%
  - Improved Sanitation 18%
     - Urban population 27%
     - Rural population 11%
References & Remarks
A UNDP Human Development Report
B CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia
C CIA World Factbook Country Profiles
D Aquastat - FAO's Information System on Water and Agriculture
E CIA World Factbook
F Earthtrends

> Articles | Projects & Case studies | Publications & Web resources | Who is who | Maps
> Sector Assessment | Sector Coordination | Donor Profile

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Country Profile: Climate, Geography, Socio-Economic Context

Country Profile: Water Bodies and Resources

Recognizing the value of a reliable and safe water supply to its economic growth and status within West Africa, Ghana has set national goals for access to improved drinking water and sanitation facilities that are more aggressive than its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In sanitation access, however, meeting even the 2015 MDG will be challenging. The government has developed and largely instituted the correct policies, reforms, institutional arrangements, and decentralization of service delivery; yet to meet the MDGs, Ghana must place serious emphasis on better financing strategies and continued strengthening of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) which serves the urban areas. GWCL’s historic operating and financial problems led to uneven coverage in the urban areas and continuity problems, with a disproportionately negative impact on the poor. Intensive government and donor efforts are focusing on GWCL’s reform with positive impact. While GWCL is responsible for sewerage, coverage is minimal and recent efforts have prioritized on-site improvements as an interim improvement measure.

Sanitation access lags behind water due to a lack of local capacity and funding. Past reform efforts have been targeted at water rather than sanitation, and the subsector now needs targeted assistance.

Ghana’s strong national WSS policies can be better leveraged by advocating increased resources to the sector and directly linking sector improvements with national budgeting. Given the low efficiencies in the sector, Ghana’s WSS sector is highly dependent on external financing from the World Bank, AfDB, and others. Government and WSS service providers need to continue working together toward efficient service and improved cost recovery in the sector, while expanding services to poor areas.

Country Profile: Legal and Institutional Environment

Key Agencies Ghana's Water Sector
Key Agencies Ghana's Water Sector

The institutional organization of Ghana’s WSS sector is well defined with few overlaps in sub-sector responsibilities. Ghana is one of only a few sub-Saharan African nations that have established an independent regulatory agency, the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC). Created in 1997, PURC oversees electricity, water, and telecommunications, and sets quality standards, approves water rates and monitors performance. The Ghana Water Resources Commission is the water resource regulator.

Water sector policies, both rural and urban, are set by the Water Directorate within the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing (MWRWH). Furthermore, the MWRWH oversees sector performance and prioritizes investments. The Water Sector Restructuring Secretariat, created in 1997 in the MWRWH, coordinates reforms, particularly related to private sector participation in the sector.

A National Water Policy (NWP) was launched in 2008 to help further clarify sector roles and priorities. The NWP covers water resources as well as urban and community water.

In the sanitation sub sector, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development shares responsibility for setting policy and prioritizing funding with MWRWH. The Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies provide sanitation services through a decentralized service delivery system with oversight and coordination from the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA).

The framework for drinking water services is more defined, but the evolution of sanitation services has lagged far behind. To meet the MDGs in 2015, the capacity to manage local WSS must be scaled-up, especially in sanitation. This is particularly important in rural areas where financial, managerial, and technical capacity is limited.

The Urban Sub-sector

The urban sub-sector is primarily served by the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL). The GWCL was created as a government-owned, asset-holding operating company tasked to provide urban water services to 82 urban areas. GWCL has been plagued with financial and operational issues including overstaffing, low efficiencies, and a lack of commercial and managerial skills. In response, the government allowed a debt restructuring of GWCL, and in 2007 awarded a five year management contract to a joint venture between Rand Water (South Africa) and Vitens (Netherlands).

In the 1990s responsibility for sewerage was removed from GWCL and given to the municipalities under Local Government Act 462 and the adoption of the National Urban Environmental Sanitation Policy. Piped sewerage infrastructure however is very limited, even in the urban areas. Most houses have on-site sanitation, and septic tank systems are often characterized by failed soak pits. Accra has the sewerage network yet it only covers about 15 percent of the city and mainly areas in the central business district.

With its sector reorganization and reform and intense donor support, Ghana has been able to achieve remarkable levels of access to improved drinking water in its urban area (90 percent). Meeting the needs of unserved and underserved areas as well as growing peri-urban areas will be a considerable challenge to GWCL and its management contractor.

The Rural Sub-sector

The national policy to improve WSS services in the rural sub-sector is planned through the National Community Water Supply and Sanitation Program (NCWSSP). District assemblies (DAs) have been given control over all WSS services at the local level and are supported by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA). Despite good institutional arrangements and local control, several barriers to improving access to drinking water and sanitation facilities remain, primarily capacity. The devolution of control to DAs has only occurred in the last decade, and they lack technical, managerial, and financial capacity. In response, the CWSA provides technical support, but more importantly, it is facilitating private sector engagement to provide technical services directly to DAs.

Donor Involvement

Outside donor assistance has been extensive in Ghana. The major donors include: the World Bank, the European Union, the African Development Bank and the governments of Germany, Canada, Japan, France, and Denmark. In general, donor contributions are aligned to the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy via the NCWSSP’s Strategic Investment Program; however, better harmonization of aid coordination is required. Ghana is revising and standardizing its M&E framework, which should extend the progress made reaching the MDG targets.

Country Profile: Water Sector Coordination

See Sector coordination sub-page for detailed description

Country Profile: Trends in Water Use, Management and Sanitation

Country Profile: Challenges and Opportunities


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Projects and Case Studies

Projects in or about Ghana

(this is a list of the 15 most recently updated entries. To see all projects click here)

  1. Managing the Threat of Floating Aquatic Weeds and Restoring the Vegetation Cover of Lower Volta Basin to Conserve Biodiversity of the Volta River in the Torgome Traditional Area in The North Tongu District Of The Volta Regions ‎(2,001 views) . . WikiBot
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  3. Integrated Project on Aquatic Weeds Management for the Protection of International Waters and Sustainable Land management in the Lower Volta Basin Area of Tsetsekpo and Sayikope communities ‎(1,641 views) . . WikiBot
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  5. Golinga community integrated solar water supply, and sanitation management systems, Ghana ‎(2,606 views) . . WikiBot
  6. Developing Community Network For Sustainable Land Management And Poverty Reduction In The Gburumani – Dimabi Traditional Area Of The Tolon Kumbugu District ‎(2,475 views) . . WikiBot
  7. Community-based biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of Mamdowodindo and Nana Busua Wetlands/lagoons in the Ahanta West District, Ghana ‎(3,240 views) . . WikiBot
  8. Community-based Integrated Coastal Zone Management for enhanced agricultural biodiversity and improved rural livelihood in Amlakpo, Adodoajikope, Asigbekope and Kenya in the Dangbe East District ‎(3,072 views) . . WikiBot
  9. Abriem Community Integrated water supply and sanitation management systems, Ghana ‎(3,023 views) . . WikiBot

Case studies in or about Ghana

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5 most recently updated publications on Ghana
  1. Access to Water and Sanitation in Ghana for Persons with Disabilities: Findings of a KAP Survey ‎(1,394 views) . . Katy.norman

5 most popular publications on Ghana
  1. Access to Water and Sanitation in Ghana for Persons with Disabilities: Findings of a KAP Survey ‎(1,394 views) . . Katy.norman

See the complete list of WaterWiki documented publications on Ghana

Who is Who

People working in Ghana

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Organizations working in Ghana

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See also

External Resources

"Water Supply and Sanitation in Ghana" on Wikipedia



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