Evaluating Access to Potable Water and Basic Sanitation in Ghana's Largest Urban Slum Community: Old Fadama, Accra

Monney, I., Buamah, R., Odai, S.N., Awuah, E., Nyenje, P.M.


Access to potable water and basic sanitation in urban poor communities remains a critical issue in the developing world. This paper examines access to potable water and basic sanitation in Ghana's largest urban slum and the level of commitment by stakeholders to improve the current conditions. It drew on an extensive field survey, interviews, focus group discussions and drinking water quality analyses. The study revealed that the community depend entirely on vended water for their daily water supply needs. Apart from being sold at exorbitant prices, the sources of drinking water is also contaminated with attendant health risks. Household toilets are non-existent in the community and thus residents rely exclusively on public latrines; KVIP and pan latrines which are also inadequate. This partly accounts for the practice of open defecation in the community with possible health effects such as diarrhea and cholera. Indiscriminate dumping of refuse, choked drains and pools of stagnant water are ubiquitous thereby posing health threats. There is a low level of commitment to improving access to water and sanitation in the community by major stakeholders in spite of the glaring health effects. The outcomes of this study will be useful to relevant stakeholders and authorities in developing suitable strategies for improving access to water and sanitation for urban poor communities.

Keywords: Accra, health, Old Fadama, sanitation, slum, water

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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