The 4th community-led total sanitation (CLTS) annual stock taking forum (STF) agreed to explore learning from the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana initiative as one of the existing innovative sanitation financing mechanisms. This was one of the key decision points in the forum communique shared at the end of the 4-day event.
This was informed by an insightful presentation at the Day-3 side event of the forum on theme, sharing experience on inclusive partnerships for urban sanitation service delivery in MMDAs. The presentation highlighted the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana initiative, the partnership building process towards the Duapa Award and the response so far.
The presentation by Abubakari Wumbei of IRC focused on the review of the contest implementation process with particular reference to inclusive partnership building process with the MMDAs, the potential partners and the media among others. Mr. Wumbei stated that achieving sustainable access to adequate and equitable sanitation and ending open defecation were some of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals; and that meeting these targets require creative partnerships, innovation and responsive financing mechanisms. The team elaborated further through power point and live website demonstration, that the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana (SG4Gh) seeks to promote such ideals, and that the competition was to incentivise MMDAs to improve the delivery of sanitation services through partnerships. The participants were also taken through the registration process and the MMDAs given the opportunity to share their experiences and challenges to date.
The reflection session focused on experience sharing on inclusive partnerships for sanitation delivery in MMDAs. This session engaged partners and collaborators, including representatives of MMDAs, NGO/CSOs and the Private Sector as lead discussants to further explore and refine common experiences and solutions. Issues on clarification on the MMDA categories, support and motivation for MMDAs, quality of submissions, criteria for judging and sustainability of the initiative were raised during the interaction session and were effectively handled by the team from IRC and the MLGRD. The MMDAs were then urged to complete and submit their plans before the deadline of April 30.
Wrapping up the discussion at the session, Vida Duti of IRC, the local implementing partner lead stated that the scheme was the creation of IMC Worldwide as part of the ideas to impact programme, launched by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development with financial support from DFID. She stated, "We are still at the idea stage and it is to promote innovative approaches to facilitate the implementation of ground breaking ways of catalysing inclusive partnership for planning, mobilizing finance and developing well thought through urban sanitation strategies with great potential to create lasting impacts”.
The side event, which was convened by EHSD/MLGRD, IRC/WHS and Maple Consult inspired the over 30 participants from 22 organisations - local government authorities, NGOs, development and private sector partners. The local authorities in particular indicated their willingness to put more pressure on their respective MMDAs to meet the deadline. “We thought it was too late, but after this session we realised we can still make it with a little more effort” stated the District Environmental Health Officer of Nkwanta. It will indeed be interesting to see how this level of interest generated will inspire real action in collaborative partnerships building towards the completion and submission of the various urban liquid waste management strategies as the deadline looms. - Abubakari Wumbei