Context & Challenges

Over 90% of the population in the Lawra-Nandom Districts of the Upper West Region of Ghana is rural and highly dependent on agriculture. While organizations and donors have put significant effort into improving water infrastructure, unserved communities still rely on raw surface water from streams, rivers, ponds and impounded reservoirs for their total water needs. These surface sources are mostly polluted and carry waterborne and water related diseases such as diarrhea and bilharzia (schistosomiasis), among others. In many communities, ground water is abstracted from hand dug wells, which are mostly unprotected and prone to contamination from both human activities and surface water intrusions. Given that livelihoods in this arid region depend predominately on agriculture, sufficient and reliable access to water, especially during the dry season, which lasts from October to May, is critical.


West Africa Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WA-WASH) Program

Location: Upper West Region

Dates: 2014-2015

Clients [to date]: 975 people receiving access to improved water supply

Funder: USAID through the GLOWS consortium with FIU

Implementers: Winrock International


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Support integrated water services that involve the local government authorities, private sector and communities, using cost-effective and appropriate local solutions.

Provide reliable access to water services that sustainably meet domestic and productive water needs, improve health by providing access to safe drinking water and promoting improved hygiene, and increase incomes through diversified livelihoods. New and rehabilitated wells using a variety of technologies are put in place by Winrock-trained manual drillers and pump manufacturers. Food security is enhanced through locally appropriate strategies that support and sustain incomes, focusing on moringa, cassava and other crops such as cowpeas and groundnuts. These activities place a strong emphasis on the participation of women. Hygiene education and awareness with a focus on low-cost handwashing stations.




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  • Infrastructure investments include manually drilled boreholes, upgrading existing traditional wells and/or construction of new hand dug wells
  • Technical and business training for manual drillers and manufacturers on practical and affordable water technologies, supported by local supply chains
  • Establishment and training of water point management committees in the operation and maintenance of infrastructure, including promoting women’s participation and leadership to ensure sustainable services



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  • Greater and more reliable volumes of domestic water available for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene
  • Hygiene behavior change training focused on handwashing to reduce water-related disease
  • Low-cost hygiene and sanitation technologies are promoted, including handwashing stations



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  • Increased access to water for productive uses increases income, food security and resilience
  • Low-cost hand dug wells (rehabilitated or newly constructed) and rope pumps are promoted, which increase agricultural productivity of small gardens and provide a year-round source of income
  • The provision of technical training, improved seed and plant varieties, agricultural extension services and marketing and value-chain development for moringa, cassava, cowpeas, and groundnuts increases agricultural production
  • Technical and business support for women’s moringa cooperatives that produce a growing range of value added products such as soap, shampoo, moringa/shea butter, moringa leaf powder, and dried seeds for consumption



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  • Environmental mitigation and monitoring plan (EMMP) observed in the construction of new boreholes to ensure that they are not placed in an area at risk of contamination
  • Communities trained on the protection and maintenance of their water source
  • The use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers is prohibited around potable water points
  • Farmers/market gardeners trained on alternate pest control and soil fertility management methods


What We’ve Learned

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