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.
Pulitzer Center Update
A collaborative investigation into the water sector in Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Liberia in...January 4, 2012