The complexity of water and sanitation provision in peri-urban areas in developing countries: the example of Adenta, Ghana
Urbanisation and population growth are increasing the pressures on cities, resulting in people living without adequate provision of water and sanitation. This is particularly the case in peri-urban areas surrounding urban centres in the developing world, where expansion of infrastructure cannot keep pace with rapid urbanisation. The problem is accentuated by peri-urban areas falling between the different administrative divisions and legislative systems for urban and rural areas. In Adenta, Ghana, a mix of different solutions for water and sanitation provision is presently used. This article presents the current situation in Adenta, and the challenges and dynamics in service provision as seen by stakeholders representing assembly officers, assembly members and service providers. Further, it discusses several critical issues for a municipal administration, faced with rapid urbanisation and a population that in many areas is still under-served with respect to water and sanitation. Finally, an integrated and systemic multi-pronged approach to service delivery is outlined, aiming to resolve what should be the priority areas; how to increase service delivery; where to start; and who should take action. Additionally, the role of the interconnectedness of technical, social, financial and behavioural systems, as well as the need for appropriate timing, is highlighted.