By: Francis Npong
World Vision Ghana, in partnership with Global Communities, held the inaugural Baobab District WASH Awards. This award recognizes the District Assemblies that are successful in financing, implementing, and enforcing bylaws in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector. The Nadowli-Kaleo District Assembly, which emerged as the overall best performing district in the WASH sector, also topped the leadership and coordination category of the award. The Yendi Municipal and Bawku West District emerged as the 1st and 2nd runners-up, respectively. All participating district assemblies, including Mion, Gushiegu, Karaga, Zabzugu, and Yendi, also received water testing kits, laptops, and tablets.
The award was organised under the auspices of Enhancing WASH Activity (EN-WASH). The En-WASH Activity aims to facilitate access to and use of sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene services and products in target districts of Northern Ghana Bismark Norgbe, WASH coordinator for World Vision USA, explained that the award is designed to encourage and recognise MMDAs that demonstrate leadership and effectiveness in implementing WASH activities. This includes WASH policies and financing. “We hope that the awards will motivate other MMDAs to put up their best while committing resources to the implementation of WASH activities”. WASH, he said, was essential for quality child health, the environment, and life and healthy living. He urged the MMDAs to put emphasis on the implementation and enforcement of WASH-related by-laws and policies to improve the health and hygiene of their people.
The Coordinating Director of the Nadowli-Kaleo District Assembly, Safia Abdulai, who received the award on behalf of the assembly, thanked World Vision Ghana and its partner, Global Communities, for recognising their efforts. "This will motivate the assembly to do more", she said.
In a speech read on her behalf, the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Madam Freda Prempeh, said that Ghana still faces sanitation challenges. Despite the many good initiatives introduced by the government and development partners, Ghana is still faced with challenges, and much remains to be done to achieve sanitation and water for all.
"Improving access to WASH services is the surest way to improve health outcomes, increase productivity and socio-economic development, and promote the general well-being of citizens”, the minister said.
She mentioned some national policies such as the National Water Policy (NWP), Ghana WASH Sector Development Programme (GWASHSDP 2021-2030), Rainwater Harvesting Strategy (RWHS), National Drinking Water Quality Management Framework (NDWQMF), Environmental Sanitation Policy (ESP), Rural Sanitation Model and Strategy (RSMS), and Solid and Liquid Waste Management Strategies as some interventions put in place by the government to improve access to WASH services in Ghana. She thanked the organisers for the initiative and urged its sustainability to motivate other MMDAs to focus on delivering enhanced WASH services to people.