Despite an investment of roughly a half a billion US dollars in infrastructure development over the past 20 years from the government and its partners, many people in Ghana still lack affordable access to safe water. Although progress has been made, the majority of rural water systems fail prematurely: current estimates indicate that 29% of all rural and peri-urban hand pumps are broken, and an additional 49% are partially functioning.
Several factors contribute to the lack of safe water access in Ghana. Most people rely on surface water sources, which frequently contain life-threatening parasites and high microbial content. In some regions of the country, the water has significant water discoloration and contains dangerous minerals. During the dry season, many areas suffer from water scarcity.
Communities, particularly in rural areas, also lack basic training and capacity to maintain wells, hand pumps and other systems that well-intentioned organizations have provided. Lack of proper sanitation and hygiene frequently compounds contamination of existing water sources.