Accra, July 25, 2018, SC4Gh – Dr Nana Ato Arthur, the Head of Local Government Service stated that the 17 Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) participating in the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana (SC4Gh) risk losing out on the ultimate prize due to inability to deliver along the liquid waste value chain as per the agreed indicators and activities outlined in their strategies.
Dr Arthur stated, “It would be disheartening if at the end of the Challenge, no Assembly is awarded the ultimate prizes for the two categories due to non- performance or inability to fulfil all the conditions to win the ultimate prize.” This caution came up in the SC4Gh learning and practice workshop parallel side session organised for the chief executives and coordinating directors of the 17 MMDAs to have one-on-one encounter with the key members of the SC4Gh Advisory team – Head of Local Government Service and representatives of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and the SC4Gh team.
“MMDCEs should be able to lead and win the prize, hold their shoulders high and say that in my time, I won this prize and this is what I was able to use the prize money for in my Assembly” Dr. Arthur stated and indicated that the ultimate prize might be more than the common fund of most Assemblies for one full year, which should be enough motivation for the MMDAs to work hard and win the final prize.
The objective of this session was to stimulate the local government managers to demonstrate leadership in the implementation of their liquid waste management strategies outlined in the SC4Gh Initiative towards cleaner cities and also winning the 1.285 Million GBP Dignified City Award. This followed a review of submissions of progress reports on the implementation of the agreed liquid waste management (LWM) strategies by the 17 MMDAs involved in the SC4Gh contest, which required urgent follow-up with the leadership of the MMDAs to stimulate interest in exploring innovations and partnerships to inform speedy implementation of the LWM value chain results captured in the strategies.
The head of local government service with the support of the advisory team used the meeting to address leadership interest and other issues that could expedite or mar progress towards Ghana achieving the Dignified City Award on liquid waste sanitation and innovations.
Dr Arthur indicated that sanitation and innovation is one of the four agreed indicators in the performance contracts signed by MMDA chief Executives with the local government service, and that sanitation cuts across all the other indicators and therefore very critical to the development of the MMDAs.
He called on the chief executives and directors to show leadership by taking keen interest in the initiative and also develop innovative ways of financing the implementation of their strategies as the “Common Fund is no longer common – you free up financial resources for implementation of the SC4Gh activities,” Dr. Arthur stated and explained that demonstrating leadership and ownership entail participating in the SC4Gh activities, taking interest in reviewing, quality assuring and signing-off reports submitted for the SC4Gh initiative.
Dr. Arthur announced that his office is considering holding up the transfers of current staff in the 17 participating MMDAs until the project comes to an end in 2019, as a way of ensuring institutional memory and continuity. He entreated MMDAs leadership to see their participation in this competition as an opportunity to leave a legacy in their Assemblies. The head of service expressed his disappointment with the absence of some chief executives and coordinating directors.
In addressing some concerns raised by Assemblies on delays dealing with some ministries, Dr. Arthur directed that copies of all communication to Ministries should be copied to the Office of the Head of Local Government Service, MLGRD, EHSD-MSWR to enable necessary follow ups.
On their part the Fiscal Decentralisation Unit of the Ministry of Finance stated that the leadership of the MMDAs should ensure that activities for the SC4Gh are captured in their composite budgets to enable them access their funds through the GIFMIS system and that failure to do so means that those funds cannot be released for implementation of planned activities.
The chief executives and coordinating directors were visibly impressed with the session and indicated that the encouragement and interest shown by the national level institutions will spire them on to see what they can do differently when they get back to their respective districts. Indeed, it will be interesting to monitor the process going forward with each of the 17 MMDAs as to what will be done differently exploring innovations and partnerships in the implementation process towards the Dignified City Award in June 2019.
About the SC4Gh LPC
Sanitation Challenge for Ghana (SC4Gh) is an inducement prize initiative to stimulate competition among Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and to encourage inclusive partnership for the design and implementation of sustainable liquid waste management strategies. Seventeen (17) MMDAs are currently in the final stage, Dignified City Award of the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana (SC4Gh) contest implementing the liquid waste management (LWM) strategies to enable them bring transformational changes to urban sanitation service delivery in the focused project areas.