With two large reservoirs, Accra, the capital of Ghana, has abundant water resources, but clean potable water is reaching only about 60 percent of its residents. Some communities, especially those in poor areas, have not had access to water for decades.

Residents who are off the grid resort to illegal tapping of pipelines, and those who are connected stockpile supplies, creating shortages for people who live downstream while paying only a minimal fee despite their excessive consumption. Between these two problems, the local water company forfeits millions in much needed revenue.

To bridge the shortfall, the water sector has turned to foreign investors and donors to support the water system's expansion. Close to all capital investment comes from abroad.

The government says that 100 percent coverage is possible by 2025. With investment flowing and more than enough water, the goal seems within reach, but skewed priorities threaten progress.

Samuel Agyemang's picture
Samuel Agyemang is a broadcast reporter and anchor with Metro TV in Ghana. He also reports for the South-South News and Voice of America. He has reported on a wide range of development stories that...
Peter Sawyer's picture
Pulitzer Center alumni
Peter Sawyer was health projects director and now consults on health projects at the Pulitzer Center. He works to improve and extend the impact of the Center’s reporting on health by developing...
Steve Sapienza's picture
Pulitzer Center staff
Steve Sapienza is an award-winning news and documentary producer who has covered a wide range of human security stories in dozens of countries, including the HIV crisis in Haiti and the Dominican...

Murky Waters in Ghana