Upper West RICCS to Make Wa the Cleanest City in Ghana
By: Philip Tengzu
The Upper West Regional Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation (RICCS), in collaboration with the Wa Municipal Assembly, has initiated moves to make Wa the cleanest and model city in Ghana by 2020.
The initiative had become necessary in order to ensure that the Upper West Region became one of the regions in the country which was favorable to both foreign and local investors as well as tourists visiting the country.
The Upper West Region was one of the regions in Ghana with rich tourist attractions including the Birifoh Baah in the Lawra Municipal, Wulling Mashroom Rocks in the Jirapa Municipal, Gollu Defence Wall in the Sissala West District and the Wehiau Hippo Sanctuary in the Wa West District among others which if developed could serve as source of income for the region and the nation at large.
The committee had therefore been holding discussions with stakeholders in the municipality including the Upper West Regional Minster, Ghana Education Service as well as traditional leaders such as the Over Lord of the Wala Traditional Area to chart a favourable path for achieving this target.
In an interview with the Upper West Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the Regional Environmental Health and Sanitation Department, Inusah Agamberi, in Wa he explained that the Wa Municipal Assembly had also been tasked to set up a task force on sanitation to ensure that the initiative was successful.
Other strategies employed included media sensitization, collaboration with the law enforcement agencies and interaction with religious as well as tribal leaders in the Municipality.
Mr. Inusah also explained that RICCS had initiated holistic approach to improve sanitation in institutions such as schools as part of measure towards making Wa the cleanest city in the country.
He also noted that the Wa Municipal Assembly was in the verge of presenting bye-laws on sanitation to the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to be gazetted and added that sanitation offenders would be sanctioned according to law to serve as deterrent to others.
The RICCS, with financial support from the UNICEF, had been implementing the Community Led Total Sanitation, CLTS concept to ensure that every household in the region owned a toilet.
It was, however, worth noting that matters related to sanitation are capital intensive and thus required the maximum financial commitment of the government and other stakeholders to achieve meaningful results.
Wa Municipal was at the bottom of the Regional Open Defecation Free (ODF) league table with four out of 86 communities in the Municipality being ODF while Nandom District was leading with all 80 communities in the district being ODF followed by Lawra Municipal with 60 out of 94 communities being ODF.
Other are: Wa West third with 130 out of 227, Lambussie, 33 out of 58, Daffiama-Bussie-Issah, 62 out of 105, Sissala West, 26 out of 55, Nadowli Kaleo, 74 out of 1141, Wa East, 39 out of 138, Sissala East Municipal, five out of 59 and Jirapa Municipal, nine out of 116 communities being ODF.