Accra's Poverty Trap: Analysing Water Provision in Urban Ghana

Type Journal Article - Journal of Social Science for Policy Implications
Title Accra's Poverty Trap: Analysing Water Provision in Urban Ghana
Volume 2
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 69-89
The urban landscape of Ghana, like most developing countries, is characterised by a mix of areas without water supply, and those with erratic and unreliable supply. These inadequacies are felt disproportionally in low-income communities, where their needs are often hidden in the aggregate statistics of the wider urban context. Using transect walks, in-depth interviews and GIS mapping technique, this paper analyzes the water supply challenges faced by Korle Gonno, an indigenous community in Accra. The paper argues that the shortcomings in the formal water supply system combined with the unique characteristics of poor communities has resulted in a complementary informal and needs-driven practices, which partly takes account of the forms of access that are otherwise neglected such as clandestine connections, and purchases from water kiosks and small-scale vendors. The paper calls for a 'service co-production' model which looks beyond the accessibility of water to include other pervasive issues such as quality, affordability, reliability, equitability and acceptability. It concludes that understanding the implication of these dynamics is key for poverty alleviation.

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