Nanumba North District Assembly earned the third place in the first stage of the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana. The Liquid Waste Management strategy designed by the District Assembly is setting out an ambitious target of reaching the open defecation status in its capital city Bimbilla by 30th September 2017 and  increasing access to improved household sanitation services by 70% in 2018. The District wants to rapidly improve faecal sludge management systems and services delivery in Bimbilla to a world class status by December, 2024.

The Planning Officer for the Nanumba North District, Eric Ofori Atta, has described the Sanitation Challenge as real. “We’ve now realized that all that we have been hearing about the Sanitation Challenge in real,” Eric said this during an interview with the organizers of the contest.

Eric, who was the team leader for the design of the strategy, said authorities in the District, including the Regent of Bimbilla himself, were very happy with the outcome and their position in the contest even though they missed the ultimate target.

“We were not looking for any other but the first but we felt that a third place out of the 48 MMDAs was good enough an encouragement to do even better in the second stage of the competition… What even made it more interesting is that when Alhaji Mohammed Ibn Abass, the District Chief Executive presented the 20,000 GBP dummy cheque and the Duapa award plaque to the General Assembly Meeting, the Assembly members and all present were so excited,” Eric said.

For the personal role Eric played in developing the strategy, he said he felt that was the greatest thing he had done for his district. “I told one of my assistants that whatever we do we should be able to make it work; so far as you are part of it you should let it work.”

Though not yet confirmed, Eric said there was almost an unofficial consensus that the district was ready to fund the implementation of the strategy with a top-up to the cash prize money of 20,000 GBP to procure a cesspit emptier. He said the lack of this facility in the district compelled them to always hire one from the Yendi Municipal Assembly, a practice he described as unsustainable, unreliable and expensive.

I feel it has been the greatest thing I have done for my district

Eric said one of the impacts the award is bringing to the district is the awakening to the need to move away from the supply driven development attitude by initiating what they do, owning and implementing it themselves and seeking complementary support from partners and not the other way round.

He said the current focus was to diligently implement their strategy, which already has a plan, timelines and the people to make it work and target winning the next stage of the competition. “With full implementation of our strategy we will be able to have the ultimate award,” he said.

With a total prize purse of GBP 1.426 million, 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 prize was launched in November 2015 by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and sponsored by UK Department for International Development as part of the ‘Ideas to Impact’ programme through its Agent, IMC Worldwide represented by local Implementing Agent, IRC Ghana with the support of Maple Consult.

At the end of stage one of the competition 21 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) received various awards with three sharing the cash prize of 75,000 GBP. MMDAs are encouraged to use at least 70% of the prize proceeds for sustainable environmental management activities within their area, not limited to liquid waste.


Capital Bimbilla
Region Northern Region
Population  36,666
Award 3rd Winner Duapa Award (Plaque and 20,000GBP)
Objectives To achieve open defecation free status in Bimbilla by 30th September 2017
To increase access to improved household sanitation services by 70% in 2018
To rapidly improve faecal sludge management systems and services delivery in Bimbilla to a world class status by December, 2024
The Sanitation Challenge is real – Nanumba North

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