Sachet drinking water in Ghana's Accra-Tema metropolitan area: Past, present, and future

Justin Stoler, John R. Weeks, Günther Fink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Population growth in West Africa has outpaced local efforts to expand potable water services, and private sector sale of packaged drinking water has filled an important gap in household water security. Consumption of drinking water packaged in plastic sachets has soared in West Africa over the last decade, but the long-term implications of these changing consumption patterns remain unclear and unstudied. This paper reviews recent shifts in drinking water, drawing upon data from the 2003 and 2008 Demographic and Health Surveys, and provides an overview of the history, economics, quality, and regulation of sachet water in Ghana's Accra-Tema Metropolitan Area. Given the pros and cons of sachet water, we suggest that a more holistic understanding of the drinking water landscape is necessary for municipal planning and sustainable drinking water provision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-240
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012


  • Africa
  • Drinking water
  • Ghana
  • Infrastructure
  • Poverty
  • Sachets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Development
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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