Following the success of its innovative smart tech clean water pilot in Abomosu, Grundfos Ghana Water Initiative (GWI) announced that it is developing 12 additional sites in collaboration with the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) to give over 100,000 people across rural Ghana access to clean water by the end of 2023.
The Ghana Water Initiative (GWI), a project by SafeWater, a strategic business unit within Grundfos, aims to reach one million people in underserved communities in Ghana with clean water by 2026, providing drinking water that is both safe and easily accessible, from a reliable source that is sustainable and efficiently run.
In 2019, GWI installed seven centrally located, solar-powered, digital AQTaps (water ATMs) to serve the first pilot community in Abomosu village, located in Atiwa West District, Eastern region of Ghana, in partnership with the Community Water and Sanitation Agency and the Atiwa West District Assembly. The innovative, ‘smart water’ ATMs by Grundfos allow the user to manage their usage, and access treated, potable water using a pre-paid card, topped up via mobile money, from a source that is reliable and accessible 24/7, all year round.
Today, safe running water is available throughout the community, pumped from a 90m borehole 1.5km from the village to a 120m³ water tank. Over 8,000 local residents now have reliable access to clean water for the first time, including 262 smart household water connections going directly into residents’ homes.
Anise Sacranie, SafeWater’s Senior Partnership Development Manager commented: “We have demonstrated that this model is successful, so working closely with the CWSA, the next step is to take the model to scale, encouraging private sector engagement and entrepreneurship to establish financially sustainable, high-quality water services to underserved communities across Ghana.
We are about to finalise our next project (in Otoase) which is a completely new build and are on track to have a total of 13 projects running by the end of next year, including Abomosu, giving over 100,000 people access to clean drinking water within the next 18 months.”
Xorlali Yao-Kuma Kpodo, Grundfos Ghana Water Initiative’s Engagement Manager said, “Over 8 million people in Ghana still do not have access to safe, drinkable water because the current water supply in many areas is inefficient and untreated and therefore unsafe to drink when it flows. Since the start of the Abomosu pilot initiative 2 years ago, the feedback from local residents has been overwhelmingly positive so we are excited to be moving to the next phase, providing clean water to more underserved rural areas.”
GWI’s approach to improving water access is to refurbish existing CWSA systems or establish new infrastructure where no system exists, providing water to both households, public standpipes and refillable water dispensers. The Abomosu project involved upgrading an existing system that had fallen into disrepair, requiring two new boreholes, piping, and treatment system, as well as the Grundfos AQ Taps (water ATMs). GWI staff work with local teams to maintain the new system and are developing a vocational curriculum for water system operations and maintenance to ensure skills are transferred to local staff for ongoing maintenance of the project in the future.