Seventeen Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies have pre-qualified to implement their Liquid Waste Management (LWM) strategies under the Dignified City Award of the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana (SC4Gh).

They are Ahanta West, Jasikan, Nanumba North, Kwahu East, Ofinso North, Prestea Huni Valley, Atiwa and Pru District Assemblies; Kassena Nankana, Savelugu Nantom, Awutu Senya East, Ejisu Juabeng and Effutu Municipal Assemblies, and Sekondi-Takoradi, Mampong, Kumasi, Accra Metropolitan Assemblies.

A prize purse of 1,285,000 pound sterling has been earmarked for various categories of awards to MMDAs which successfully implement their strategies.
Out of this amount 400,000 pound sterling will be won as first prize by the Metropolitan and Municipal Assembly category, whilst the District Assembly category will take 285,000 pound sterling as first prize.
A pot of 600,000 pound sterling will be distributed to other prize categories to be determined during the implementation process.

The Dignified City Award is a three-year award process spanning June 2016 to June 2019 and it is the second phase of the SC4Gh’s Duapa Award held in 2016.
It is under the auspices of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) with funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development; and implementation support from IRC, Maple Consult and IMC Worldwide.

Mr Kofi Adda, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, speaking at the launch of the Community Water and Sanitation-Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Prize for the Private sector and Non-state Actors, said access to improved sanitation in Ghana was around 14 per cent according to the latest statistics released by the Joint Monitoring Programme.
He said open defaecation is still high in Ghana, hovering around 19 per cent, adding, “these surely need to change for better, if we want to increase national productivity and economic growth”.

He noted that to put sanitation back on the agenda and encourage government to prioritise and invest in sanitation, the SC4GH was launched by the government as one of the biggest national efforts to stimulate competition among MMDAs to improve the sanitation situation and to reward excellence in urban liquid waste management.

That, he said, was important for the country because urban sanitation is the sole responsibility of the MMDAs and it was gratifying to note that the 17 MMDAs which met the minimum condition for stage two and vying for the ultimate award were teaming up with other stakeholder to implement locally owned solutions.

Mr Adda announced that the Ministry and its partners have succeeded in sourcing an additional amount of 225,000 dollars from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) through Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA).

He said the BMGF and CWSA prize aimed at rewarding successful private sector and non-state actors who were able to partner and provide investments, innovative business solutions and expertise to at least one of the 17 SC4Gh MMDAs to enable them achieve the full cycle implementation of their strategies.

Dr Nana Ato Arthur, Head of Local Government Service, urged the MMDAs to also pursue construction of institutional and public toilets, reduce open defaecation through Community Led Total Sanitation, promote hygiene, and enhance regulations, compliance of enforcement of bye-laws and acquire land for construction of liquid waste plant and refuse plants.

SC4GH was launched in 2015 to stimulate competition among MMDAs and to encourage inclusive partnership for the design and implementation of liquid waste management strategies for the urban poor.