Understanding handpump sustainability: Determinants of rural water source functionality in the Greater Afram Plains region of Ghana

October 2015

Funded by the Hilton Foundation, the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina and Water and Sanitation for Africa assessed the functionality of 1,470 water wells in the Greater Afram Plains region of Ghana, 898 of which were constructed by World Vision.

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Safe drinking water is critical to human health and development. In rural sub-Saharan Africa, most improved water sources are boreholes with handpumps; studies suggest that up to one third of these handpumps are non-functional at any given time. This work presents findings from a secondary analysis of cross-sectional data from 1,470 water sources in 570 communities in the rural Greater Afram Plains (GAP) region of Ghana; one of the largest studies of its kind.

The study found that wells were significantly more likely to be functioning if the community had both a local water committee and fee collection system in place.