The results of this project indicate that the total cost of acquiring a functioning household water connection, on average, is approximately 12.9 months average GNI pc in Ghana, 5.3 months in India, 0.9 months in Philippines and 26.2 months in Uganda. These amounts, which include many of the suspected 'add-ons' charged over and above the official fee, are clearly unaffordable for the daily wage-earning poor.
This research sought to investigate what are the actual costs of obtaining a new water connection, both formal and informal costs, and considers ways in which these costs can be made more affordable for the poorest. The results of the research demonstrate the substantial and unpredictable nature of the costs involved in obtaining a new water connection, costs which are too risky as well as unaffordable as capital sums to the poorest. A mean cost from the four countries, metropolitan and secondary cities, of $295 to acquire a functioning piped water connection is not affordable for 'dollar a day' households. But it is service to those households which must be the mission as well as the vision for the public management of water supply. Customers need to be encouraged to enter the water shop which best fits their needs, circumstances and aspirations.
Center for Water Science, Cranfield University, 92 pp.