Customary water resources governance in the Faase community of Ghana

Yvonne D. A. Adjakloe

The relevance of customary water governance system which served many communities well over centuries has reduced drastically. This is due to the introduction of the statutory system of governance. For some communities, this means scraping the indigenous customary practices that formed part of their daily activities. For many years, the Faase community in the Ga West Municipality of Ghana, practised customary water resources governance though this is currently at risk of being scraped off by the statutory system of water governance. It is, therefore, imperative to examine the structures and mechanisms that sustained the customary system of water governance within this community to improve an evolving integrated water management system. This paper explores the structures and institutions involved in customary water resources governance and assesses how this system provided sustainable water resources governance in the community. In-Depth Interviews (IDIs) were conducted involving five traditional authorities who were purposively selected. In addition, a total of four Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), made up forty-three community members were conducted. The data gathered were transcribed, coded and themed for discussion. It was found that customary water governance gave the Faase community its main identity and it remained effective because of the structures and mechanisms put in place by their traditional system. It is recommended that the Minister of Works and Housing design policies that can protect these indigenous systems of water governance by integrating some of its structures and mechanisms in water resources governance in Ghana.