On Wednesday 24 July 2019, we announced the winners of the Dignified City Award, the second and last stage of the UK Aid-funded Sanitation Challenge for Ghana (SC4G), at a ceremony at the Marriott Hotel in Accra, Ghana.
Launched in 2015, SC4G aimed to stimulate competition among Ghana’s MMDAs and encourage them to develop and implement innovative liquid waste management strategies to improve urban sanitation.
Nine Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) were awarded a total prize purse of £1,285,000 for excellence in the implementation of liquid waste management strategies. They were also awarded for exploring partnerships with the private sector to attract their expertise and investments in sanitation service delivery in the target areas.
These local governments went through a competitive process, which started with over 127 MMDAs registering to participate in the SC4G first stage, which rewarded those that designed the best liquid waste management strategies. Of the 48 that submitted their strategies at the end of stage one in 2016, 21 were awarded honorary prizes and three won a total of £75,000. All 21 MMDA were invited to express their interest to participate in stage two, which rewarded implementation. Seventeen of them met the minimum conditions and were considered for stage two, which ended in March 2019. Fifteen MMDAs submitted their final implementation reports. These were screened and passed to an independent agent for verification and then to a panel of international and local experts for online and live judging, to determine the winners.
‘Achievement of the Clean Ghana Agenda requires a rigorous multi-faceted approach which employs innovative approaches and initiatives. The Sanitation Challenge programme was launched to motivate and trigger competition amongst the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to develop innovative sanitation initiatives. The Ministry appreciates the passion with which the Assemblies responded. This yielded innovative ideas and progress on this effort - I entreat all awardees to utilise this award, especially the cash component, wholly to improve sanitation in your respective Assemblies.’
- Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Ghana’s Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, the host of the event.
The final award event brought together government ministries, departments and agencies, competing MMDAs, private sector partners and non-state actors, development partners, traditional leaders, sector practitioners, the media and members of parliament. The award ceremony aimed to recognise successful MMDAs and private sector partners and non-state actors who participated in the challenge and urge them to continue implementation beyond the event. It also aimed to showcase their achievements in the management of urban liquid waste using innovative technologies, partnerships and financing models.
Dignified City Award winners
Metropolitan and Municipal Assembly category
Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly – 1st winner, £400,000 for their innovative partnership with the private sector partner, Aquaculture, their skilled and knowledgeable staff, strong support and leadership commitment from the Mayor, and outstanding commitment to all the parts of the sanitation value chain.
Effutu Municipal Assembly – 2nd winner, £225,000 for their innovative partnership with the private sector and other parts of the Government of Ghana institutions, including the local prison service who is using biogas. They demonstrated a highly committed management team.
Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly – 3rd winner, £125,000 for their innovative public engagement and commitment.
District Assembly Category
Nanumba North District Assembly – 1st winner, £285,000, for bi-partisanship leadership commitment from both past and present chief executives and innovative private partnership, especially sanitation for peace.
Kwahu East District Assembly – 2nd winner, £150,000, for innovative commitment to the sanitation value chain and strong leadership commitment from chief as the presiding member.
Kassena Nankana Municipal Assembly, MMA Special Prize, £25,000, for their dedicated leadership commitment.
Savelugu Municipal Assembly – MMA Special Prize, £25,000 for great demonstration of disability inclusion.
Offinso North District Assembly – DA Special Prize, £25,000 for strong financial commitment.
Prestea Huni Valley Municipal Assembly – DA Special Prize, £25,000 for strong community engagement.
Four honorary prizes were also awarded, two in each category, for initiatives that distinguished themselves for excellence across leadership, sustainability, technology, inclusion and governance. The winners of the honorary prizes are Ahanta West Municipal Assembly, Jasikan District Assembly, Mampong Municipal Assembly, Atiwa East District Assembly, Accra Metropolitan Assembly and Pru East District Assembly. They received recognition plaques and certificate of appreciation for being finalists.
‘Winning the ultimate prize of £400,000 for implementing innovative sanitation interventions has really humbled us and challenges us to sustain the efforts invested so far. Indeed, the competition has compelled us to think outside the box in designing and implementing sanitation interventions. Through the challenge, we've come to the realisation that achieving SDG 6 calls for strong collaboration between the MMDAs, private partners and the traditional and religious leaders in our communities. We've also come to realise that strong political leadership is required to bring the needed change in sanitation.
- Osei Assibey Antwi, Metropolitan Chief Executive of Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, first winner for the Metropolitan and Municipal category.
Private Sector and Non-State Actor Prize
During the ceremony last week, we also awarded the Private Sector and Non-State Actor Prize, which was launched in 2017 as part of SC4G to boost commitment from the private sector and non-state actors in stage two of the competition.
The total cash prize of US$ 225,000, provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in collaboration with Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), was awarded to six private sector partners that worked with the 17 SC4G participants to implement their liquid waste management strategies to benefit poor communities and influence local policies and programmes. Specifically, they provided investments, innovative business solutions and expertise to MMDAs and allowed them to achieve the full cycle implementation of their strategies.
Out of over 60 registered private sector and non-state actors, 14 successfully submitted their final implementation reports detailing their intervention. These were screened and passed to an independent agent to verify the reports and, subsequently, to a panel of international and local judges to determine the winners.
The winners of the Private Sector and Non-State Actor Prize are split across first, second and third. Three special prizes have also awarded to initiatives that distinguished themselves for excellence across innovation, partnership and community participation. Honorary prizes were given to all finalists for their efforts towards supporting implementation of local governments urban liquid waste management strategies.
TRiMark Aquaculture Centre – 1st winner, US$ 100,000, for their innovative partnership with Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly.
Clean Team Ghana Limited – 2nd winner, US$ 60,000, for the low-cost innovative cartridge toilets they created in partnership with Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly.
Nanumba North Youth Parliament – 3rd winner, US$ 35,000, for outstanding community engagement with both the Nanumba North Assembly and the wider community.
Live Right Ghana – Special prize, US$ 10,000, for creating a locally-made innovative reusable sanitary pad, and undertaking community training with Nanumba North District Assembly.
Afram Plains Development Organisation, Special prize, US$ 10,000, for designing and running a WASH interschool quiz and developing a low-cost circular latrine with Nanumba North District Assembly.
Training, Research and Networking for Development (TREND), Special prize, US$ 10,000, for their innovative capacity building and data collection, in partnership with Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly.
The other finalists are Adjei Kum Construction Works, Global Communities, Grow Advancement Ghana Foundation, Nyame Tumi So Enterprise, Rural & Urban Sanitation International Ghana Limited, Sap & Sap Ltd, SBP BIO GAS and Volta Waste Limited. Each received recognition plaques and certificate of appreciation for being a finalist.
‘The mention of our name as first winners came with excitement, especially because we knew the screening process was very fair and transparent and we believed in our effort in rolling out our business model since 2010, when the idea was initiated. We believed we had really prepared ourselves for this prize. Even without knowing about the prize, our passion for implementing the idea/innovation were poised to achieve our goals. We appreciate the recognition of our effort and hope the prize funds which we aim to invest in upscaling to other potential wastewater treatment plant will be a worthwhile initiative.’
- Mark Yeboah-Agyepong, the founder and centre director of TriMark Aquaculture Centre, first winner of the Private Sector Prize.