Characterizing water insecurity coping strategies among urban residents in Ghana

Authors: Meshack Achore*, Queens University, Elijah Bisung, Queens University
Topics: Water Resources and Hydrology, Human-Environment Geography, Africa
Keywords: Coping strategies, Water insecurity, Sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Virtual 27
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Although water insecurity is a prevalent issue globally, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has the highest number of people who lack access to basic water services. Like most SSA countries, about 40% of Ghanaian households do not have access to a safely managed drinking water source, compelling them to resort to a patchwork of mostly unsafe sources for their daily water needs. This paper examines local coping resources and strategies employed by households to deal with water insecurity, using a survey (n=1200) of men and women who are active water collectors within their households in Accra and Tamale. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to identify and categorize different types of coping strategies. The results show that rainwater harvesting and water storage are the dominant coping strategies. Multivariate regression analysis suggests that urban poor and women are more likely to adopt a coping strategy, compared to wealthy residents and men respectively. In addition to providing metrics to quantify water insecurity‚Äźrelated coping strategies, this study provides a useful framework for understanding the links between coping with water insecurity and a range of socio-ecological and economic outcomes.

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