The third Sanitation Challenge for Ghana zonal workshop ended in Koforidua on November 30, 2015, on a high-spirited note with a call on eligible Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to respond to the Sanitation Challenge by committing and participating in the contest. The call was made by Rev. John Nkum, an Organisation Development expert, who chaired the opening session of the workshop.
“The Sanitation Challenge offers great opportunity for you to be creative in designing and implementing your urban liquid waste management strategies whilst reaching out for some seed money, as well as national and global attention that could eventually lead to upscaling the strategies, and the resultant clean cities that has eluded you for some time now” Stated Rev. John Nkum.
Rev. Nkum, who is also the External Learning Facilitator for IRC Ghana made the above observation in his feedback after the mock liquid waste strategy development session. He highlighted two content issues – strategic proposal development; and converting the strategy into a business plan – linking it to health, agriculture, environment and energy, etc. He advised the MMDAs to carefully develop their strategies taking into account their theories of change, the overarching objectives, and the long and short term goals considering social, economic and environmental impact. He also indicated the need for district level stakeholder analysis to identify key partners in the value chain; as well as the rate of return on investment.
The strategy development session focused on a mix of interactive plenary scenario presentation with guiding questions; and participants divided into 10 groups of about 20-25 participants per group. Each group had a mix of planner, environmental health officer, coordinating director, chief executive, among others. Some groups were privileged to have the few private sector participants. This was indeed a great opportunity for participants to demonstrate their creative abilities in developing mock sanitation strategies under the guidance of the workshop facilitators and resource persons. The groups were tasked to identify a problem or a need relating to liquid waste service as district assemblies, and outline what they will do differently regarding financing, innovations in un-severed communities, regulatory mechanisms, sustainability, and expected impact at the end.
After the highly interactive session, the strategies were displayed for a plenary feedback. Groups 1,3,5,7 and 9 highlighted the objectives of their strategies; and groups 2,4,6,8, and 10 focused on the main strategies. The group-spirit was very high and members were enthusiastic and seemed poised for real action after the workshop. Groups 7 and 4 were declared winners and dummy prizes presented to them.
The well-organised workshop was officially opened by the District Chief Executive of East Akim, and supported by Kweku Quansah of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (EHSD-MLGRD); Vida Duti, County Director of IRC Ghana; Veronica Di Bella of IMC Worldwide; and chaired by Rev. John Nkum. As part of the opening session, Kweku Quansah of EHSD-MLGRD gave a brief background of the urban sanitation situation and challenges; the reason for such an innovative intervention, stressing that about only 1% of the country has liquid waste treatment facilities.
The over 270 participants drawn from over 66 districts in the Greater Accra, Volta, Central and Eastern regions of Ghana included officials from the Regional Coordinating Councils, District Chief Executives, District Coordinating Directors, Planners, District Environmental Health Officers, the Private Sector, members of the media, etc.
The resource persons and facilitators of the third zonal workshop included Kweku Quansah of the EHSD-MLGRD; Kwame Asubonteng, Vida Duti and Abu Wumbei of IRC Ghana; Ben Arthur of WHS; Veronica Di Bella of IMC Worldwide; and Mawuena Dotse of MAPLE Consult. The southern zone workshop followed the successful national launch of the contest and two subsequent zonal workshops in the northern and middle zone for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and partners.
The Zonal Workshops
The Sanitation Challenge for Ghana zonal workshops followed the successful launch of the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana – a contest for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to reward excellence in urban liquid waste management, and aimed to provide orientation and support MMDAs to design liquid waste strategies to bring about significant changes to urban centres and towns.
The specific objective is to create awareness and stimulate interest of eligible MMDAs and beneficiaries in the Challenge Programme; orient MMDAs, potential investors and innovators about the prize design, operational and submission requirements; incentivize and motivate eligible MMDAs to commit and participate in the Challenge; and to create a platform for MMDAs to engage and share ideas and challenges.
The competition, which is part of ‘Ideas to Impact’ programme runs from November, 2015 to December, 2018 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 a Ghanaian consulting firm Water Health Solutions is the national implementing agent acting on behalf of IMC Worldwide.