“Before we reached home after the first stage award ceremony we had already received a lot of congratulatory messages from the district stakeholders, and even the Regional Coordinating Council. Our name was on local radio stations that Atiwa had won 25,000 GBP to implement sanitation activities.” This is how Hamidu Osman summarized the region wide excitement that greeted the announcement that the Atiwa District had clinched the 2nd position in the first round of the Duapa Awards of the Sanitation Challenge.
Osman, an Assistant Development Planning Officer, was a member of the team that developed the liquid waste management strategy for the Atiwa District to contest in the Sanitation Challenge, a strategy that has set out the ambition to increase access to safe sanitation from 15.1% to 75% by 2024 by promotion and construction of a number of facilities and the implement of a plan for Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS).
He said the excitement started when they were invited among six districts to go and defend their proposal until their name was mentioned among the top three.
“My DCE (District Chief Executive) was around, the Coordinating Director was around, my Environmental Health Officer was also around, and other officers from the Assembly. I think we were all impressed and we felt that we had done a good job for the Atiwa District Assembly.” Osman said in an interview with the organizers of the Sanitation Challenge a couple of weeks after the first round of the awards were presented.
Osman said the general impression created by the contest is that it is time for District Assembly workers and Planning Officers especially to start ‘thinking outside the box’ and reduce reliance on the District Development Fund, District Assemblies Common Fund among others and explore other funding sources to help push the development agenda of the Assemblies.
In preparation for the second stage of the competition, he said the district had started stakeholder consultations with beneficiary communities. He said they also intended approaching other development partners in and outside the district and mining companies operating in the district for further support in funding their development plan.
Osman was also glad for the opportunity to participate and make a presentation of the strategy at the 39th WEDC Conference held in Kumasi, where some participants expressed interest in their intended liquid waste management strategy. He said they accept the challenge posed by other competitors in the next stage and said Atiwa was fully prepared for it.
The prize for the contest aims to incentivize Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in Ghana to develop and implement innovative solutions for city-wide integrated urban sanitation. The Clean City urban sanitation challenge, which was launched in November 2015 by the IRC, consists of a series of prizes over a 3.5-year period. The prizes will be awarded in multiple stages in order to stimulate the development and implementation of innovative approaches to urban sanitation.
|Award||2nd winner (Duapa awards)|
|Objectives||Increase access to safe sanitation from 15.1% to 75% by 2024|
|promote and construct 150 household VIP latrines; three 8-Seater school KVIP latrines with hand washing facilities; three 20-seater public WC toilets; two composting public toilets; 10 dehydrating public toilets (composting toilet) and Implementation of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS);|