In Ghana, only 36% of the population has access to safe drinking water. In a country with more than 29 million inhabitants, the need for safe water for all is high. How does one go from communal water boreholes to water stations where people can tap high-quality water with a card? The answer is: through a public-private partnership.
More than 100,000 people in Ghana now have access to clean drinking water from a sustainable water supply. They can now tap water at one of the 31 water stations that Safe Water Network built between 2015 and 2019. A direct pipeline connects the water stations with homes and businesses. A public-private partnership made it possible to build the water stations and connections. Partners in this project are Mannen van Staal, Kingdom Water, and local District Assemblies.
More than just water
The new stations offer direct, reliable and convenient connections to water. This has resulted in an increase in customer demand and business revenues. Local businesses have been able to hire more staff and improve customer trust in their services. People pay with their mobiles and tap water with a prepaid card. This has allowed people access to safe water while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So much more than just water
The need for safe water was high, but the need for safe access to water was even higher. Abigail is a Labolabo resident. She experienced something terrible on the way to the communal borehole a kilometre from her house. Abigail shares her story with us, "5 years ago, I was 3 months pregnant when I slipped and fell on my way to fetch water. I lost my baby. The pain and trauma were unbearable. When Safe Water Network launched its water station in my town, I asked for a direct connection. I am so excited to have access to safe water delivered right to my doorstep!"
Covering the costs during the COVID-19 pandemic
Because of the pandemic, the government of Ghana made water free for 12 months. This meant millions of people had access to water for free. This generous idea also brought with it a challenge, as customer revenues fund station operations. Safe Water Networks decided to use the portfolio's maintenance fund to cover expenses. It also asked philanthropic partners to help cover the operation costs of nearly 100 water stations.
Do you also want to do business in a developing country through a public-private partnership? The Dutch government supports organisations that directly contribute to the availability of clean water, hygiene, sanitation and waste management.
This English-spoken video shows 3 examples of how to stimulate economic growth and strive for sustainable impact.
Safe Water Network's 2020 annual report tells the story of its impact in communities across, amongst others, Ghana. Read how a project can make a difference. Meet the people whose lives were changed by gaining access to safe water in Safe Water Networks's 2020 annual report.
The Ghana WASH window programme is closed, but you can get support through our other public-private programmes.