Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Christine Stauber

Second Advisor

Ellis Adams


Accra, the capital city of Ghana, is a growing metropolis with a population of 3.5 million, which is expected to double in size by 2030. Ghana has an abundance of water resources yet while 90% of the population has access to clean drinking water, one-third of the city’s residents lack access to piped water in their households due to rapid population growth, poverty and governance challenges. As a result, low-income residents pay up to ten times more for water from private vendors than those using piped water in their homes. Improvements in water governance in Ghana’s capital city Accra will set the stage for the provision of access to clean drinking water for all of Ghana’s citizens, improving the health of citizens, and with good health, growth in Ghana’s economy is certain to follow. To evaluate the evidence regarding water governance in Accra, a systematic review of the literature was performed. The search
focused on identification and analysis of articles related to water and governance in Accra from studies published between 2000-2019. Initially, the search identified a total of 373 articles for inclusion but, this was narrowed down to 17 articles for analysis based on reduction of duplicates and exclusion criteria. The study identified various themes related to water governance in Accra. Socio-economic status, family size and home or land ownership were determinants related to water access. In addition, community engagement was identified as important in the promotion of sustainable and equitable water policies but, studies found that often there was low participation from community members in meetings about water related issues in their communities. Despite Accra water governance challenges, Ghana Water Company Limited has made great progress exceeding its targeted objectives to increase access to piped water. However, community involvement must improve in Accra in order to improve water governance. Along with community involvement, stakeholders must become more committed to ensuring the voices of low-income communities are heard and that more time and money is invested into these communities to provide the infrastructure needed for residents to access piped water on the premises.


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