This market assessment evaluates the potential for decentralized market-based approaches to sustainable safe water service, focusing on the poor in rural communities and small towns in Ghana that are not supplied or connected by municipal schemes to safe water. Insights drawn from desktop analyses, field-based research, financial modeling, and engagement of water sector stakeholders are used to identify key barriers and propose solutions.
- A three-pronged strategy including convenient access, effective outreach, and incentives for health educators can improve consumer engagement with safe water.
- Limited Mechanization Systems, Modular Slow-Sand Filtration, and Membrane filtration are water system technologies that show significant potential to serve the poor.
- Appropriate approaches to local capacity challenges in Ghana include: building the capacity of Technical Institutes; introducing monetary incentives to Water and Sanitation Management Teams, operators, and vendors; and providing non-monetary incentives to Environmental Health Assistants to encourage them to provide support to water teams.
- Limited enforcement of tariff legislation and a ban on community contributions to water system capital expenses make cost recovery difficult. Enforcing affordable tariffs and eliminating overlap in government agencies' jurisdictions would improve the enabling environment.
- Communities with fewer than 1,000 people can be served while covering operating costs if per-capita consumption is strong, clustering approaches are used, and initial capital recovery is not required.
- Water financing, including microcredit and small enterprise financing, could be developed and deployed to catalyze safe water provision to the poor.