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01-07-2008 | Issue 1/2008

Environmental Management 1/2008

Private Sector Participation in Urban Water and Sanitation Provision in Ghana: Experiences from the Tamale Metropolitan Area (TMA)

Journal:
Environmental Management > Issue 1/2008
Author:
Issaka Kanton Osumanu

Abstract

African governments, like most countries in the developing world, face daunting tasks in their attempts to provide effective and equitable water and sanitation services for their ever increasing urban populations. Consequently, the past few years have witnessed increased private sector participation in urban water and sanitation provision, as many African governments strive to improve access to water and sanitation services for their citizens in line with Millennium Development Goal 7 (MDG7). Since the early 1990s, the government of Ghana and many local authorities have entered into various forms of public-private partnerships in urban water and sanitation provision. This article examines the outcome of such partnerships using the Tamale Metropolitan Area (TMA) as a case study with the aim of providing policy guidelines for the way forward. The article argues that the public-private arrangement for water supply and sanitation infrastructure management in the Tamale Metropolis has done nothing that an invigorated public sector could not have possibly achieved. It concludes that there can be no sustainable improvement in water and sanitation provision without political commitment, stakeholder ownership, and strong support for community driven initiatives.

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