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Ideas to Impact, through local implementing partners IRC Ghana and Water Health Solutions, launched the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana on World Toilet Day (November 18th). Deputy Minister, the Hon. Nii Lantey officially opened the challenge on behalf of the Government of Ghana at a World Toilet Day event in Jamestown, Accra. World Toilet Day seeks to provide awareness for the 2.4 billion people around the world that lack access to improved sanitation services and the problems that this can cause. This prize looks to find solutions to eliminate open defecation, reduce inequalities in sanitation in poor areas and increase access to basic hygiene and sanitation services, not just in the home but in public buildings such as schools and hospitals.

“This is important for Ghana because urban sanitation is the sole responsibility of local governments, but progress so far has been very slow. I personally hope municipalities will take this opportunity to ensure that sustainable sanitation services are available and affordable for everyone living in urban areas. says IRC Ghana Director and Team Leader of the Local Implementing Agent, Vida Duti. “We will work hard together with Government to make Ghana a cleaner and safer place, and make sanitation for all a reality”, she says.

The Sanitation Challenge for Ghana Prize looks to incentivise local Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) as research shows that governments play a much larger role in innovation and innovation implementation than is commonly thought. However MMDAs are encouraged to partner with NGOs, universities, private sector actors and social entrepreneurs.

“There will be technical and thematic workshops held in three different locations across Ghana to incentivise and support local government agencies with their submissions and the entry process. These workshops will be an opportunity for the MMDAs to discuss strategies peers, address questions and stimulate curiosity and competition,” says Veronica Di Bella, Prize Manager at IMC Worldwide. “This is one of the largest national efforts to improve sanitation in Ghana and I am excited to see what innovative sanitation strategies are presented and implemented throughout the duration of the prize programme”.

Ghana is often seen as a success story in sub-Saharan Africa, with steady economic growth and peaceful election processes. Ghana became one of the first countries in the region to come close to achieving a variety of the Millennium Development Goals including halving poverty, reducing hunger and improving access to drinking water. However despite this, a failure to address issues of sanitation has become an obstacle to continued growth and development. Despite its positive growth, Ghana's national sanitation coverage is only 15% while the regional average is double that at 30%.

Deadline for submission of stage 1 (the Duapa Prize) is 30th April 2016.

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