THE Jasikan District Assembly in the Volta Region last Wednesday walked away with £30,000, an equivalent of GH¢174,194.52 at a rate of GH¢5.8014 to £1, as winner of the first phase of the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana Award (SC4GH).
Named the Duapa Award, the first phase involved the submission of proposals aimed at effectively and efficiently managing liquid waste in the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs).
An initiative of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), supported by DFID, IMC Worldwide, an international development consultancy, IRC Ghana and Maple Consult among others, the award was launched last year on November 19, a day marked globally as World Toilet Day, as a component of the Ideas to Impact Global Initiative.
Its ultimate aim is to stimulate competition among MMDAs and to encourage inclusive partnership for the design and implementation of liquid waste management strategies.
The award recipients
In all, out of 139 prequalified MMDAs, 127 responded for the competition. However, by the deadline of April 30, 2016, only 48 MMDAs had submitted their strategies, which were screened and passed to the panel of international and local judges for detailed assessment and evaluation.
After the assessment, 20 MMDAs were shortlisted, out of which 17 won honorary awards and three won cash prizes. The second and third positions which attracted £25,000 and £20,000, as well as plaques, went to the Atiwa District Assembly in the Eastern Region and the Nanumba North District Assembly in the Northern Region, respectively.
All the honorary winners were also presented with plaques. They are the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo (KEEA) Municipal Assembly, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), the Cape Coast Municipal Assembly (CCMA), Kassena Nankana Municipal Assembly (KNMA), Savelugu-Nanton District Assembly, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) and the Awutu Senya East Municipal Assembly (ASEMA).
Others are the Sekondi/Takoradi District Assembly (STMA), Ahanta West District Assembly (AWDA), Adansi South District Assembly (ASDA), Pru District Assembly (PDA), Offinso North District Assembly (ONDA), La Nkwatanang Municipal Assembly (LANMA) and Mampong Municipal Assembly (MMA).
The rest are the Prestea Huni Valley District Assembly (PHVDA), Ejisu-Juabeng Municipal Assembly (EJMA) and the Kwahu East District Assembly (KEDA).
Dignified City Award
The award ceremony, which was on the theme: “Rewarding excellence in the design of liquid waste management strategy – A contest for MMDAs,” also saw the launch of the second and implementation phase of the SC4GH, named the Dignified City Award.
According to the IRC Country Director, Mrs Vida Duti, 15 of the winners in the first phase would be selected to compete in the second phase and the winner would be awarded with £1.2 million.
Performing the launch, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Alhaji Collins Dauda, said the novel award scheme had been instituted to help Ghana eliminate open defecation as well as increase access to basic and hygienic sanitation for all at home, in public buildings and work places.
He said it was also to improve faecal sludge and waste water management and progressively reduce the sanitation services gap between the rich and the poor.
“The expected end result from the award scheme will be to increase access to sustainable sanitation services for all households in urban areas in Ghana, with a particular focus on the poor,” Alhaji Dauda stated.
He reminded MMDAs that it was their statutory duty to deal with environmental concerns through the adoption of bye-laws which would address the planning, management and monitoring of waste.
“Every assembly must make a political commitment to make sanitation and hygiene a reality by allocating sufficient resources to public and school sanitation and set up a mechanism for monitoring and enforcing their bye-laws,” he stated.
Alhaji Dauda said it was for that reason that the MLGRD had employed 1,300 environmental health assistants to augment the staff of the assemblies.
He also indicated that under the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Sanitation and Water project, supported by the World Bank, it was estimated that 45,000 household and institutional toilets would be provided in all 11 MMDAs in GAMA to increase accessibility of low and middle income residents and schoolchildren to adequate latrines.
Project of Winners
Speaking on behalf of the Jasikan District Assembly, the District Environmental Health Officer, Mr Samuel Ahiaku, said the assembly planned on embarking on a GH¢6.6 million faecal treatment plant which would be fitted with digesters.
He also indicated that the 1,144 households without toilets in the district would be triggered through Community Led Total sanitation (CLTS) to build toilets with digesters for biogas.