The Jasikan District is ready to fight to the end and even improve on their marks to make sure their 1st position is still assured in the second stage of the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana. The District Environmental Health Officer (DEHO), Samuel Agbeko Ahiaku, revealed this intention to the organizers of the Sanitation Challenge a couple of weeks after leading the district to clinch the ultimate prize in the first stage.
Jasikan District won the first prize of the Duapa awards with a strategy that intends to ensure that 70% of houses gain access to improved sanitation facilities by December 2018 and that wants to ensure a cesspit emptier and a sanitarily engineered liquid waste treatment plant is available for use before end of December 2018.
Samuel said ‘to be the first in the competition, if you don’t keep the tempo you can be last in the final… we feel challenged because to who much is given much is expected. So I am now being challenged more to ensure that we don’t sleep on our oars.’
“We are confident of winning the second stage because the experience we have gathered in winning the first one is still there.” The DEHO said.
Recounting the euphoria that greeted the announcement that Jasikan had won the first prize in the first stage of the competition, Samuel said it was a marvel and also a challenge when they heard that out of all the districts in Ghana Jasikan was among the six selected to come and defend their proposal.
He said since they developed the proposal themselves without resorting to consultants, they never felt jittery after being invited to go and defend it to enter into the top three districts for the final of the first stage.
“… I felt humbled and also grateful to the Almighty God and also to all my able bodied colleagues who helped me in his work especially the traditional authorities who were always behind us and they even followed us to the defense day and to the award day…” This, according to Samuel, was after it was announced that Jasikan was the best in the first stage and was also to be rewarded with 30,000 GBP for that achievement.
Samuel said he was further humbled by the opportunity to present how they won the award to a large global audience from four continents during the 39th WEDC Conference in Ghana.
Samuel said the district will use the prize of 30,000 GBP (a little more than 150,000 Ghana cedis) as seed money for the proposed project which is estimated to cost six million Ghana cedis. He said the district will use the prize to leverage more funds from potential partners to help implement the project.
He said they do not want to think that they alone can do the whole job and that is why they keep on announcing that any interest group or any investment group should come forward for discussions of possible partnership deals.
“We don’t have time at all we have less than one year to finish this job… and the money is a boost for us to start the work” He added.
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||1st winner (Duapa award)|
|Project cost||GHS 6.67m|
|Objectives||To ensure 70% of houses gain access to improved sanitation facilities by December 2018|
|To ensure a cesspit emptier and a sanitarily engineered liquid waste treatment plant is available before end of December 2018|