The announcement of winners for the Duapa Awards was just the beginning of a keener competition, the Dignified City Award for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in Ghana.
The stage one finalists, 17 of the 21 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) who made it to the ultimate stage are poised for the Dignified City Award. This is the final stage of the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana aims to incentivise Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in Ghana to implement innovative solutions for city-wide integrated urban sanitation.
In June 2016, three districts were awarded a total of 75,000 GBP for coming top of the first stage of the competition by presenting the most appealing and most promising liquid waste management strategies. The first stage award triggered more excitement in the Challenge, as each of the three monetary winners has indicated their determination to clinch the ultimate prize for the next stage of the contest. The top stage one award winning districts all said these during separate interviews with the organizers in Kumasi.
“With full implementation of our strategy we will be able to have the ultimate award,” says Eric Ofori Attah, Planning Officer for the Nanumba North District. Nanumba North came third in the stage one of the Challenge and took home 20,000 GBP. After receiving and presenting the award to the District Authorities back in Bimbilla; and the high level of interest and support shown, Eric says he believes that with the new momentum among his colleagues at Nanumba North, they will win the next stage of the contest.
The second placed Atiwa District in the first stage of the contest has also hinted that they are targeting the ultimate in the next stage, the Dignified City Award. In preparation for the second stage of the competition, an Assistant Planning Officer, Hamidu Osman, 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 the implementation of their Liquid Waste Management strategies. Referring to the opportunity the stage one prize offered for the monetary award winning districts to participate in the WEDC conference, Osman said, “Our competitors and participants present were visibly impressed with our Liquid Waste Management strategy; and most of them followed up to at least see what we are actually doing in our district.” Osman said.
Samuel Agbeko Ahiaku, the Environmental Health Officer at the Jasikan District has also declared the intention of his district to win the next stage. The lead figure in making Jasikan the winning district of the first stage of the competition did not mince words: “We are confident of winning the second stage because the experience we have gathered in winning the first one is still alive.”
Samuel said Jasikan will work to keep the tempo to avoid the possibility of defeat at the ultimate stage. As the winners of the Duapa Award, “… we feel challenged because to who much is given much is expected. So we’re now being challenged more to ensure that we don’t sleep on our oars,” Samuel said.
The sanitation challenge, which was launched in November 2015 by the IRC, awarded the first stage winners in June 2016; and now the second and final stage, the Dignified City Award which runs up to November 2018 and focuses on the implementation of innovative approaches to urban sanitation.