The Upper West Regional Inter-Coordinating Committee on Sanitation (RICCS) and UNICEF Ghana has held a consultative meeting on Results-Based Financing (RBF) on sanitation; an effort to achieve Open Defecation Free (ODF) in the Region.
The Results-Based Financing concept is an instrument that links financing to pre-determined results, with payment made only upon verification that the agreed-upon results have actually been delivered.
Mr Amidu Issahaku Chinnia, the Deputy Regional Minister, told stakeholders working in the sanitation sector that the RCC would continue to support with its oversight role to uphold the dictates of social norms to ensure that people lived in a hygienic environment.
Making Ghana ODF, he said, remained topmost priority of President Akufo-Addo’s administration and so it is up to officials at the RCC to making Upper West an ODF area.
UNICEF in partnership with the Government rolled out the RBF concept last year with the commencement of expression of interest which was followed with evaluation exercises to assess the capacity of interested Municipal and District Assemblies (MDA) to implement it.
Mr Chinnia said a report on the RBF evaluation indicates that only seven out of the 11 MDAs that applied, qualified to implement the concept based on past track records and their ability to deliver.
“I have been well briefed on the availability of funds of all the seven Municipal District Assemblies that qualified to undertake the implementation through the support of UNICEF based on its partnership with Government,” he said.
Mr Chinnia said some performing districts that have already submitted communities for verification and the RICCS led by the Environmental Health and Sanitation Department have conducted verification in these communities.
The Nadowli-Kaleo District was praised for achieving nine out of 10 communities ODF, representing 90 per cent submitted for RICCS verification.
The Minister appealed to non-RBF districts to hasten in working and submitting a list of communities for verification by the independent team.
Mr Paul Avorkah, a Technical Director at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, urged Environmental Officers to coordinate with UNICEF and government by working with communities to ensure that the region achieved ODF.
He said waiting on government to supervise the work of Environmental Officers could create some “bottlenecks” and thereby, making it difficult for the region to achieve its ODF target by 2021.
Mr Avorkah urged Environmental Health Science Practitioners and stakeholders on sanitation to “face the bull by the horns” by working tirelessly to attain ODF for the healthy living of the people.
Mr Adamu Dasaana, a former District Chief Executive (DCE) for Wa West, called on traditional authorities to take opportunities of community durbars and social gatherings to sensitise residents on the health benefits of ODF.
He said pictures, posters and stickers should be made available at vantage points and funeral grounds to inculcate in people the habit of ODF practices.