The 13th edition of the National Level Learning Alliance Platform (NLLAP), a monthly multi-stakeholder WASH sector platform, hosted the WASHCost Ghana project on the theme, Life-Cycle Cost Approach (LCCA) in the WASH sector in Ghana. The WASHCost Project researches the life-cycle costs of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in rural, peri-urban areas and small towns in Ghana and 3 other countries- Burkina Faso, India, and Mozambique. The rationale is that WASH governance will improve at all levels, as stakeholders analyse the costs of adequate and sustainable services and put their knowledge to use.
Sharing the recent research findings with the wider sector stakeholders from the national and selected regions, Dr. Kwabena Nyarko, the Country Project Director and a Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), outlined the key messages in his presentation as follows:
i) that the annual costs are US$ 4 per capita per year for water point sources and US$ 10 to US$ 14 per capita per year for small towns water systems;
ii) that US$ 10,000 investments in water points are failing because of a US$ 500 breakdown in the handpump;
iii) That the lack operational and minor maintenance and capital maintenance for boreholes and piped schemes resulting in a significant level of non-functional systems (eg. In WASHCost surveys, 31% of handpumps were not working);
iv) that small towns water systems with prolonged breakdowns have cost in capital maintenance six times more than systems with consistent maintenance;
v) that direct support cost at the district levels are erratic with wide variations, which are predominantly donor project-based post-construction support funds as funds from government are inadequate;
vi) that the actual OpEx captured in this study cannot be considered ideal or even sufficient, as some routine cost elements are not being done and some systems suffered breakdowns for significant periods; and
vii) that the average cost of water per m3 delivered by the water point sources and the small towns water systems that worked continuously (functional) and those that suffered long breakdown (non functional) are USD 0.14, USD 0.79 and USD 1.51 respectively.