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Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) collaborates with the municipality of Aarhus to improve access to urban water and develop a plan for climate adaptation and waste water management.

The city of Tema faces large water management challenges. High levels of drinking water are lost in the distribution system and a clear plan for climate adaptation and waste water handling is needed. To solve these challenges, the city of Tema and the Ghana Water Limited Company (GWCL) initiated a Strategic Sector Cooperation in 2019 with the Municipality of Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark, and Aarhus Vand, the water utility company of Aarhus. The overall objective is to achieve a well-functioning and sustainable system for provision of sufficient high quality water for Tema’s citizens and businesses, as well as reduced environmental pollution, due to improved collection and treatment of waste water.

To underpin the implementation of sustainable solutions that, over time, will enable the Municipality to increase local resource mobilization from the delivery of high quality suburban water services, the initial focus of the partnership will be on data driven decision making and the development of operational approaches and guidelines that will enable ongoing leakage detection and rehabilitation. At the same time, Danish and Ghanaian experts will collaborate to develop a climate adaptation and waste water master plan and will work to strengthen institutional capacities and skills.

The cooperation which will run for a period of three years: 2019-2022 and is being facilitated by Sector Counsellor Ole Pilgaard Stubdrup, at the Danish Embassy, Accra.


Water loss, also called non-revenue water

Non-Revenue Water (NRW) refers to water that does not generate any revenue for the water supplier, due to either technical or administrative loses. The average level of NRW in urban areas in Ghana is above 50%, despite a clear strategy to reduce the number.

As part of the strategic sector cooperation, Ghana and Denmark will work closely together to address this situation, drawing on Denmark’s more than 30 years of experience in the field, securing NRW levels at each utility in Denmark between 5-10%. Key elements in focus are regulation of water utilities, the development and application of high-end technologies and updated management approaches.


Waste water management

Tema is one of the few cities in Ghana having a central sewage system that originally was the backbone of its waste water management. Today, due to inadequate maintenance, the system is run down and not functioning. This has resulted in untreated sewage, including industrial sewage, being discharged into the ocean via drains and natural streams; an unsustainable situation for the city and its population.

After many decades of increasing environmental challenges from waste water, Denmark has, since late 1970s, created a strong regulatory framework, a long term waste water management plan and technologies that effectively manage the negative impacts of waste water on the environment and people; solutions and technologies that gradually have become more cost-effective and sustainable and now are shared with partner countries globally, including Ghana.


Ole Pilgaard Stubdrup
Sector Counsellor, Water and Smart Cities