ACCRA, 19 November 2015 – Today on World Toilet Day, the Government of Ghana proudly announces the launch of the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana, a contest for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to reward excellence in urban liquid waste management. The competition, one of the biggest national efforts to improve the sanitation situation is designed to radically change Ghana’s sanitation night mare over the coming years.
Deputy Minister (Hon. Nii Lantey) Launches Sanitation Challenge for Ghana on behalf of GoG
The Sanitation Challenge, which is part of the Ideas to Impact Programme, invites big cities, municipalities and districts with a population of more than 15,000 habitants to compete with strategies to improve urban sanitation. The solutions should eliminate open defecation, reduce the sanitation gap between the rich and the poor, and increase access to basic and hygienic sanitation for all – not only at home, but also in public buildings such as schools and hospitals.
The competition will run for over three years under the auspices of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development with funding from the UK Department for International Development. IRC Ghana in partnership with Ghanaian consulting firm Water Health Solutions is the national implementing agent acting on behalf of IMC Worldwide.
Global Goals and prioritizing sanitation
Ghana’s sanitation challenge comes just after the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015 in New York. Sanitation is one of the goals that is most off track, and Ghana is one of the worst performing countries in the region. Despite a booming economy, Ghana’s national sanitation coverage stands at 15%, while the average in the region is close to 30%. The main problem is that sanitation has been structurally underfunded and has received little political prioritization.
To put sanitation back on the agenda and encourage local politicians to prioritize and invest in sanitation, IRC Ghana will work hard to make the challenge a big success. “We are delighted to work as the implementing agent of the Ghana Sanitation Challenge and we are looking forward to a great start,” says IRC Ghana Director and Team Leader of the Local Implementing Agent, Vida Duti.
“This is important for Ghana because urban sanitation is the sole responsibility of local governments, but progress so far has been very slow. I personally hope municipalities will take this opportunity to ensure that sustainable sanitation services are available and affordable for everyone living in urban areas. We will work hard together with Government to make Ghana a cleaner and safer place, and make sanitation for all a reality”, she says.
Following the successful launch today, the first round of the competition is open to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in Ghana. The closing date for submission of the liquid waste management strategy entries is 30 April 2016. The Stage 1 – Duapa Awards Ceremony and the launch of Stage 2 (Dignified City Prize) will take place in June 2016.
Technical and thematic workshops to support the entry process will be organised for MMDAs and partners in 3 zones across the country from November 24-30, 2015.