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Sustainable Water Resources Management

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 2023–2036 | Cite as

The roles and attitudes of urbanites towards urban water insecurity. Case of the New Juaben Municipality, Ghana

  • Michael Osei AsibeyEmail author
  • Benjamin Dosu
  • Vivian Yeboah
Original Article
  • 16 Downloads

Abstract

The attitudes and roles of residents toward water stress are expected to be cost-effective means of improving efficiency and sustainability in water supply in urban communities. This paper seeks to examine the effectiveness of coping strategies and perceived roles of urban dwellers in addressing water stress in the New Juaben Municipality, Ghana, and to identify best practices for replication. Data were obtained from 380 household heads in ten urban communities and relevant institutions through direct interviews, observations and focus group discussions. The study showed a 59% deficit in water supply due to rapid urbanisation and increased demand, resulting in shortages and rationing. Households spent 12 min above the recommended 30 min by the World Health Organisation to access potable water including queuing and in required quantities. The dominant coping strategy, among six identified, was reducing water intake. Other emerging and fast growing strategies were the use of sachet water (0.5 L/sachet) and activities of private water tanker drivers, who supply water at costs relatively higher than that provided by formal suppliers. Households were not involved in management processes and remained uninformed about causes of frequent shortages. Nonetheless, households generally showed positive attitudes (willingness to pay additional charges, reporting leakages, and promoting safe use of facilities) toward addressing water shortages with significant variations among gender, age and economic status. The study concludes that sustainable provision will occur when attempts are made to understand, appreciate and integrate the roles, socio-cultural and economic conditions of urbanites to ensure all-inclusive efforts towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.

Keywords

Coping strategy Urbanisation Urban water planning Water security Water supply system Water stress 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Planning, College of Art and Built EnvironmentKwame Nkrumah University of Science and TechnologyKumasiGhana
  2. 2.Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts and ScienceUniversity of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada
  3. 3.Development Planning UnitUniversity College of LondonLondonUK

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