WISE is a project of the Millennium Excellence Foundation in partnership with World Vision Ghana to provide Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) facilities that will impact the lives of at least One Million people in Ghana within a 5-year timeframe.


Ghana achieved its Millennium Development Goal (MDG 7) target for water supply access and has made remarkable progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (MDG 6). Both the 2020 Joint Monitoring Platform and the 2018 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey reports show that over 80% of Ghanaians have access to an improved drinking water source. However, this leaves approximately one-fifth of the population without clean water, and the great majority of Ghana’s people do not have access to improved sanitation.

These persistent weaknesses in environmental sanitation, clean water access and continuing open defecation added to poor hygiene practices contribute to illness, particularly among Ghana’s children, who are exposed to WASH-related diseases including typhoid fever, cholera, diarrhea, intestinal parasites, and trachoma. Diarrhea continues to be the second greatest cause of under-5 mortality, and almost 90% of child deaths from diarrhea can be traced to unsafe water, poor sanitation, and inadequate hygiene. These deaths can be prevented – four million of the five million deaths from WASH-related diseases and malnutrition are preventable through WASH interventions. Washing hands with soap or even ash can reduce the incidence of diarrhea by 44%. Although demand generation for sanitation remains a key concern in WISE project areas, current public and private investment in the sector is insufficient to meet even existing demand among Ghanaians for clean water and improved sanitation services.

Diarrhea is a leading killer of children, accounting for approximately 8 percent of all deaths among children under age 5 worldwide (UNICEF 2017). This translates to over 1,400 young children dying each day, or about 525,000 children a year, despite the availability of a simple treatment solution. From 1998 to 2017, a total of 82,754 cholera cases have been recorded from epidemiological surveillance reports with 519 deaths (UNICEF and European Union Humanitarian Aid) with the worst outbreak in 2014.

As expected, pure economics as the key driver of private participation in the production of any goodwill eventually exclude the poor from its consumption since purchasing power will control the demand and supply leading to the widening of the rich-poor access differential. According to UNICEF, there is “limited private sector interest in rural basic sanitation since there is a perception that investments in rural sanitation businesses are not profitable. Improved sanitation technologies are quite expensive and there’s a lack of innovative financing mechanisms to support poor households to build latrines.”

According to the UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Program report in 2019, to meet the SDG target in this sector, current average world progress made must be quadrupled and for least developing countries, accelerated by as high as 25 times for some of the goals.

At the close of the 5-year project by the partners, WISE would have reached at least 1,000,000 more people with improved sanitation and hygiene and functioning sources of drinking water. By working with communities to bring households first-time access to safe water and improved sanitation and behavior change and instilling habitual hand washing, along with building the capability of the public and private sector enabling environment to support the sustainability of the improvements, WISE will help Ghana to realize its aspirations for catalytic “transformative impact” for the health and wellbeing of households and communities.


As already indicated, the project will be implemented in all 16 regions of Ghana over a period of 5 years. In the event the project is unable to attract the required funding to implement activities in all regions concurrently, the project will adopt a phased approach as described in table 2:


The project is expected to reach its aim of sustainable improvements in sanitation, hygiene, and water for at least 48 target districts in all 16 regions with the following outputs over 5 years.


  1. 60,000 improved household toilets
  2. 320 6-seater gender, disability and child-friendly institutional toilets in schools
  3. 320 4-seater gender, disability and child-friendly institutional toilets in health facilities
  4. 48 Nurturing Care Group promoting behavior change
  5. 48 schools implementing school health education activities with improved knowledge in sanitation
  6. A revolving fund for financing sustainable household toilets was established in all 16 regions


  1. 250 boreholes fitted with hand pumps or mechanized
  2. 330 solar-powered limited mechanized systems (4 – 6 Tap NSUPA Model)
  3. 250 solar-powered limited mechanized system (8 – 10 Tap Medium System)
  4. 1,250 household water connections

Hygiene interventions

  1. 3,200 permanent handwashing stations in schools and healthcare facilities
  2. 2,400 suitable handwashing stations at public places
  3. Hand hygiene for all initiatives implemented in all districts in collaboration with stakeholders
  4. Behavior change communication interventions implemented


Here, the project will support MMDAs to strengthen their institutional structures and systems for planning, implementation, monitoring & evaluation, and learning in order to promote ownership and the sustainability of WASH interventions.

Policy, advocacy, and social accountability

The project will also focus on getting the policy environment right and engaging MDA and MMDAs to influence policies and remove barriers against sustainable access to WASH services while ensuring increased accountability.


The entire project is estimated to cost about US$100 million budgeted at US$20 million per annum for the next 5 years.

Please join us and make a pledge to save and improve the lives of over 1 million children and their families in Ghana for the next 5 years.