With no access to piped water, residents of Accra meet their own water needs. Here’s how.

Self-supply in Accra (J. Groenwall/SIWI 2016)

re-blogged from SIWI: http://www.siwi.org/news/siwi-explores-complexities-of-groundwater-governance-in-peri-urban-accra-ghana/

Low accountability and complex governance landscape complicate understanding of reliance on groundwater in peri-urban Accra, Ghana, finds article by SIWI’s Dr. Jenny Grönwall.

Poor urban dwellers tend to be disadvantaged in terms of public service delivery, often relying instead on groundwater through self-supply, but their specific needs and opportunities—and own level of responsibility—are seldom on the agenda. The Greater Accra Region of Ghana and the country as a whole serve to illustrate many interconnected aspects of urbanization, inadequate service provision, peri-urban dwellers’ conditions, private actors’ involvement and user preferences for packaged water.

Based on interviews and a household survey covering 300 respondents, this case study aims to provide insights into the water-related practices and preferences of residents in the peri-urban, largely unplanned township of Dodowa on the Accra Plains in Ghana and to discuss implications of low accountability and a complex governance landscape on the understanding of reliance on groundwater.

Self-sufficient from wells and boreholes until a distribution network expansion, Dodowa residents today take a “combinator approach” to access water from different sources. The findings suggest that piped water supplies just over half the population, while the District Assembly and individuals add ever-more groundwater abstraction points. Sachet water completes the picture of a low-income area that is comparatively well off in terms of water access. However, with parallel bodies tasked with water provisioning and governance, the reliance on wells and boreholes among poor (peri-) urban users has for long been lost in aggregate statistics, making those accountable unresponsive to strategic planning requirements for groundwater as a resource, and to those using it.

Dr. Jenny Grönwall, Programme Manager, SIWI, forms part of the T-GroUP consortium led by UNESCO-IHE and funded by the research programme Unlocking the potential of groundwater for the poor in Sub-Saharan Africa (UPGro). The project focuses on parts of Kampala (Uganda), Arusha (Tanzania), and Accra (Ghana) as examples of growing mixed urban areas in Sub-Saharan Africa, including poor people in slums, who depend on groundwater.

Self-supply and accountability: to govern or not to govern groundwater for the (peri-) urban poor in Accra, Ghana. Available with Open Access from Environmental Earth Sciences, 75(16), 1-10.

The classic – Developing Groundwater – now available online – free of charge

The classic book and practical manual Developing Groundwater: A guide for rural water supply by Alan MacDonald, Jeff Davies, Roger Calow and John Chilton is now available online from the Practical Action website for free download.

 Published in 2005 it provides a user-friendly guide to the topic of groundwater development, bringing together the wide range of techniques required to develop groundwater for community water supplies. It provides information on effective techniques for siting wells and boreholes, assessing the sustainability of sources, constructing and testing the yield of boreholes and wells, and monitoring groundwater quality. The authors set the technical aspects of rural water supply firmly in their socio-economic context, so that readers can take proper account of community concerns as well as purely engineering questions. Packed with helpful illustrations this book is indispensable for all rural water supply project staff in developing countries.

Please let others know about it!

The British Geological Survey, UNICEF, WaterAid and Skat joined hands with Practical Action to get publication this into the public domain.

Happy reading – it is a good one.

 

Here is the link in full: http://www.developmentbookshelf.com/doi/book/10.3362/9781780441290

Synthesis of the Catalyst projects now available

catalyst_summary
UPGro Catalyst Projects – Synthesis: Click to go to download page

“Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor (UPGro), is a seven-year international research programme funded by the United Kingdom. It focuses on improving the evidence base around groundwater availability and management in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to enable developing countries and partners to use groundwater in a sustainable way in order to benefit the poor.

UPGro projects are interdisciplinary, linking the social and natural sciences to address this challenge. They will be delivered through collaborative partnerships between the world’s best researchers. The programme’s success will be measured by the extent that its research generates new knowledge which can be used to benefit the poor in a sustainable manner.

For everyone involved this is a really exciting opportunity to undertake great science and make a positive contribution to addressing SSA’s water crisis. The Catalyst Projects ran for one year and have established UPGro’s dynamic approach to research and impact. This report presents just some of the highlights so far and glimpses of what is to come. We hope that it inspires you to join us on this important journey.”

Professor Declan Conway, Grantham Institute on Climate Change & Environment, LSE
Chair of the Programme Executive Board of UPGro