WASHCost organises National LCCA Seminar and training workshop in Accra
Updated - Monday 10 December 2012
The WASHCost project Ghana has organised a national seminar and training on the Life Cycle Cost Approach (LCCA) for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) service delivery in Accra. The training forms part of activities marking the end of the WASHCost action research project. Participants were drawn from civil society organisations, governmental institutions and agencies and the private sector at the national level.
The national seminar and training on LCCA was under the theme: LCCA for sustainable costing for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) service delivery. It was aimed at building the capacities of sector players and stakeholders at the national level, on the concept of life cycle cost approach for improving the delivery of sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services.
ABOUT THE WASHCOST PROJECT
WASHCost is a five year (2008-2012) multi-country (Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Andhra Pradesh (India) initiative of IRC - International Water and Sanitation Centre.
WASHCost researched the life-cycle costs of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in rural and peri-urban areas to stimulate the use of cost in decision making. The rationale is that WASH governance will improve at all levels, as decision makers and stakeholders analyse the costs of sustainable, equitable and efficient services and put their knowledge to use.
In Ghana WASHCost is hosted by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and works in partnership with the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) and other sector institutions/stakeholders.
WASHCost believes that cost information is essential for proper planning, budgeting and implementation of sustainable WASH services. However, the systematic collection or use of this information in Ghana’s rural WASH sector was limited to the delivery of WASH infrastructure rather than WASH services. As a result some WASH infrastructure are not working and delivering the required WASH services.
To develop a true understanding of cost of delivering services it is essential to look not just at the initial capital investment cost of providing new boreholes or latrines, but also at all the other costs related to managing this hardware to deliver a service such as the cost of repairs, rehabilitation and replacement of key components of the infrastructure.
WASHCost has developed a framework for determining the cost of providing WASH services and comparing them against the services that users actually receive. This framework is called the Life Cycle Cost Approach (LCCA).
The Study in Ghana and findings
The WASHCost study in Ghana was carried out in 31 rural communities and 4 small towns in Volta (Ketu South), Ashanti (Bosomtwe) and Northern (East Gonja) districts where 1,373 household surveys were carried out to measure the WASH service levels and cost of providing the services. In addition, case studies were carried out in 17 small towns focusing on cost.
The study revealed that, with respect to water service delivery, water piped schemes are more expensive but delivers acceptable services to a higher percentage of the populations than water point systems (borehole with handpump).
The capital cost of the piped schemes per capita could go up to 2-5 times that of the water point systems. The recurrent cost per person of the piped schemes could go up to 10 times that of the water point systems. Piped water systems deliver acceptable services to 67% of the population whilst the water point systems deliver acceptable services to 34% of the population.
Facilitation of the training
Mrs. Catarina Fonseca, WASHCost Director Global, IRC International and Dr Kwabena B Nyarko facilitated the workshop. They took participants through a series of activities all aiming to draw home issues on sustainable service delivery. The facilitators drew the attention of participants to the need to adopt life cycle cost approach in their budgeting to ensure that facilities constructed last their life time.
Mrs Fonseca introduced participants to the LCCA concept and led discussions on the various cost components. Participants also engaged in exercises on costing for sustainable services.
At the end of the training, participants were urged to put the knowledge on LCCA acquired from the training to use by incorporating it the preparation WASH plans, and budgeting for the provision of WASH services.
Participants expressed appreciation for the opportunity offered them by WASHCost to learn about the LCCA. They expressed optimism that if all planning for WASH service delivery incorporates the LCCA, the rate of non-functionality and long down-time of water facilities will drastically reduce with improved service delivery.
Click for additional information on the life cycle cost approach
Victor Narteh Otum
November 03, 2012