Ghana Water Access, Sanitation and Hygiene (GWASH)

Ensuring long-term sustainability of water and sanitation infrastructure interventions has long been a challenge in rural communities in Ghana. For years, significant investments in water and sanitation infrastructure have rarely translated to sustained access and use of services and achievement of improved health outcomes. Approximately 25 percent of water and sanitation infrastructure established in Ghana becomes non-operational after just five years, and a large percentage of the remaining facilities are either underutilized or diverted for other purposes.

Furthermore, organizations working in water, sanitation and hygiene are challenged by community initiative in addressing issues – rather than taking the initiative to address their own problems, many communities instead wait for a government agency or NGO to provide them with services.

The Ghana WASH Project worked to improve rural and peri-urban communities in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene by linking up with communities, local NGOs, government agencies, as well as international organizations working in the sector. Through a multi-level approach, the project worked to build the capacity of local communities and organizations, and not only improve water, sanitation and hygiene, but also empowered these actors to continue promoting development well after the project has reached completion.

Activity Description

Activity Description

The project provided water and sanitation facilities for communities and their schools, clinics and households. In constructing boreholes, hand-dug wells, small-town piping systems, and supporting the development of surface water kiosks, the project ensured potable water access for thousands of people.

The project also improved community sanitation through the construction of household latrines and institutional latrines for schools and clinics. Rainwater harvesting systems, most of them in kindergarten, primary and junior high schools, provided hundreds of thousands of liters of potable water and ensured young children have access to clean water for hand washing and hygiene.

The project’s major goal was to improve access to safe and adequate water supply and basic sanitation infrastructure for schools, clinics and households and promote complementary hygiene practices to maximize the health impact from this improved infrastructure.

Expected Outcomes

Expected Outcomes
  • Increased access to improved water and sanitation infrastructure for individual households, communities, schools, and clinics in the target areas.
  • Developed innovative modes of establishing new infrastructure.
  • Improved capacity of small grant recipients including official bodies to mobilize community members to actively participate in the improvement and maintenance of water and sanitation infrastructure.
  • Developed of behaviors that result in:
    • water and sanitation (WatSan) infrastructure that is well-utilized by target communities; and,
    • increased adoption of complementary hygiene behaviors that will reduce water-borne diseases.
  • Developed new partnerships with private sector and/or voluntary organizations committed to achieving the same results.

Actual Outcomes

Actual Outcomes
  • Reached 97,800 people through the construction of 162 boreholes, 38 hand dug wells, 2 water pipe systems, and 11 surface water kiosks.
  • 77 pumps were repaired in 64 communities and 40 boreholes were manually drilled in Assin North and South.
  • Manual drilling and borehole repairs benefited a total of 23,100 and 12,000 people, respectively.
  • Constructed a total of 5,480 household latrines.
  • The Small Grants Facility funded over 40 projects, including six software-only applications, totaling $325,000 in funding.
  • Trained a total of 94,831 individuals on behavior change and hygiene messages. GWASH also trained 21,153 students, exceeding the project target of 10,900 by 100 percent.
2009 - 2014
Award Number
Funding Level
Prime Implementing Partner
Population Focus