Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2015 Robert J Little
Known colloquially as “purewater”, sachet water has outcompeted all alternatives to Ghana’s unreliable government water infrastructure and serves as the cheap, portable, omnipresent solution for narrowing the safe water access gap. Each single-use sachet holds 500 ml of filtered potable water and is heat-sealed in a high-density polyethylene bag. Insufficient and often skeptical scholarship exists surrounding the state of sachet water in Ghana, and almost no research incorporates qualitative data into analysis and future recommendations. In the face of incomplete and decontextualized research on sachet water, this study aims to use qualitative data concerning Ghanaian viewpoints to showcase the recent positive developments in the lifecycle of sachet water. Data was gathered through semi-structured interviews with dozens of sachet water producers, regulatory parties, consumers from all over the country with diverse backgrounds, and members of the formal and informal waste management sectors over the summer months of 2013 and 2014. Although viewed as a problematic water alternative from a number of health and environmental viewpoints, this thesis demonstrates that sachet water is becoming more potable and better recycled. Results suggest that registered sachet water producers continue to raise water quality, private market waste management solutions are starting to curb the number of inappropriately discarded sachets, and Ghanaians generally are satisfied with sachet water’s role in increasing reliable potable water coverage.
Little, Robert J., "The State of Sachets: Ghana’s Private Sector Solution to a Public Infrastructure Problem" (2015). Pitzer Senior Theses. 62.