Cost of delivering water services in rural areas and small towns in Ghana

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Dwumfour-Asare, Bismark
Nyarko, K. B
Appiah-Effah, E
Moriarty, P.
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IRC Symposium
This study used the life-cycle costs approach (LCCA) to quantify the cost of delivering water services in rural areas and small towns in Ghana. Data was collected on capital expenditure (CapEx), which is initial capital investment cost of the water systems, operations and minor maintenance expenditure (OpEx) and capital maintenance (major repairs and rehabilitation) expenditure (CapManEx) on seventy six (76) boreholes fitted with handpumps and 17 small town piped systems drawn from five out of the ten regions in Ghana. Data was also collected on direct support costs connected with planning and installing the system (ExDS) The magnitude and relative magnitude of the cost components are discussed for the boreholes fitted with handpumps (water point source – or WPS) and small town piped systems. The average annual cost (CapEx, OpEx, CapManEx, and ExDS) for delivering water services from small town piped water systems ranges from US$ 10 to 14 per capita per year while that for water point sources is about US$ 4 per capita per year. The study revealed that CapEx per capita for the piped water systems is twice that of the boreholes with handpumps when a design population of 300 is used. However, for piped schemes, the OpEx per capita increases by a factor of ten (10) and CapManEx by a factor of 100 compared to a borehole with a handpump. The cost of water per m3 delivered by the water point source ranges from US$ 0.01 to 0.14 whilst that for the small towns water systems ranges from USD 0.05 to USD 1.51. The study also revealed the lack of attention to operational and minor maintenance and capital maintenance for both the borehole with handpump and the piped schemes resulting in significant levels of non-functional systems. The study recommends that cost information on OpEx and CapManEx should be used in planning and implementation to ensure that water service delivery in rural areas and small towns in Ghana is sustainable.
Nyarko, K. B., Dwumfour-Asare, B., Appiah-Effah, E., & Moriarty, P. (2010, November). Cost of delivering water services in rural areas and small towns in Ghana. In IRC Symposium 2010: Pumps, Pipes and Promises (pp. 16-18).