DOI: 10.12924/cis2021.09010045 |Publication Date: 29 October 2021

Towards Financial Sustainability: Beneficiaries’ Perception and Performance of Community Water Supply Services in Ghana

Emmanuel Kwame Nti 1, * , Camillus Abawiera Wongnaa 2 , Nana Sampson E. Edusah 3 , Dadson Awunyo-Vitor 2 and Vasco Baffour Kyei 4
1 Department of Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness and Extension, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Private Mail Bag, University Post Office, Kumasi, Ghana & Department of Environment and Sustainability Sciences, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana
2 Department of Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness and Extension, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Private Mail Bag, University Post Office, Kumasi, Ghana
3 Bureau of Integrated Rural Development, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Private Mail Bag, University Post Office, Kumasi, Ghana
4 Department of Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness and Extension, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Private Mail Bag, University Post Office, Kumasi, Ghana & Akrokerri Small Town Water System, Community Water and Sanitation Agency–Ashanti Region
* Corresponding author
Abstract: Revenue mobilization is critical for community-managed water systems to overcome financial constraints and to achieve financial sustainability. Using data from beneficiaries of a community managed water supply system in Ghana, we employed descriptive statistics, chi-square, perception index and document review of the system’s financial reports to assess beneficiaries’ views and perception on revenue mobilization for operations and maintenance, system expansion as well as sustainability of the project. The results showed that revenue mobilization for sustainability of operations and maintenance is significantly influenced by water connection type and religion while marital status, age and income of beneficiaries determine sustainability of the project’s expansion. The findings further revealed a significant relationship between sustainability of replacement of the project’s accessories and water connection type as well as gender, marital status, age and income of beneficiaries. The average perception index of 3.2 showed that beneficiaries perceived revenue mobilization as very good for replacing the water system’s accessories. Revenue mobilization is able to support the water system’s expansion to help meet the increasing water demands. In addition, with an average perception index of 3.6, the beneficiaries’ perception was that revenue was enough to fund operations and maintenance. Furthermore, the document review of the system’s financial reports confirmed beneficiaries’ perception of sufficiency of revenue for operations and maintenance. Finally, we found weaknesses in revenue mobilization with over 40% of bills in arrears, mostly from private users. To build resilience to the financial crisis with enhanced innovations, the study recommends the institution of effective debt recovery strategies such as the provision of pre-paid metering for private users, adoption of a public standpipe pay-as-you-fetch system as well as the introduction of smart tap technology for public standpipes in community-managed water supply systems.

Keywords: community-managed; financial sustainability; operations and maintenance; revenue; water supply services

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2012 - 2021 by the authors; licensee Librello, Switzerland. This open access article was published under a Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).