Few months ago, I begun internship with the Adansi South District as an Assistant. Env. Health Officer under the National Service Secretariat.
After relocating to the district capital (the only urban centre in the district), I adapted quiet faster than I expected.
The district has more than 30 hard-to-reach rural villages located over 100 miles from the district capital. Additionally, it has about 20 towns surrounding the capital.
Occupation in the district is dominated by farming (cocoa, rice, maize & other vegetables). They can boast of was a forest reserve and other forest that are gradually being converted into farmlands.
Commencing work, my first 3 months were full of settling conflicts and disputes between landlords and tenants, livestock farmers and backyard farmers, and periodic inspection of public latrines and market squares. It was very stressful; sorting out issues with aged people in the local dialect is no joke – very stressful.
Following that experience and having had an overview of how the villagers perceived climate change and environmental stewardship, I dedicated my leisure time and weekends to voluntarily visit these villages to explain the science of climate change, as well as the impacts and solutions. Upon visiting some villages, I realized water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) was very poor for most villages as water scarcity is a daily challenge for most individuals – therefore, I included education on WASH as part of my periodic visits.
Later last year, there was an open contest for 130+ Metropolitan, Municipal & District Assemblys (MMDAs) in Ghana to participate in a Liquid Waste Management Strategic Plan (LWMSP) competition – organized and funded by DFID, IDEAS to Impact, IRC, WASH Health Solutions and other organizations. There was a total of 75,000 GBP to be awarded to MMDAs with the best 3 LWMSP and also an Honorary Award for the best 15 LWMSP.
Although I wasn’t a permanent staff and technically not my place to take up such tedious task, I developed a LWMSP for my District Assembly to enable them to contest in the Duapa Sanitation Challenge organized for MMDAs.
Few months after submitting the plan, we received an email invitation to attend the sanitation challenge award ceremony at the Accra International Conference Centre – where 15 MMDAs will be awarded out of 130+ assemblies which qualified for the award.
On 22nd June, I was pleased to attend the ceremony which was graced by the presence of many prominent government officials, including the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development. The best fifteen LWMSP were announced and my district was mentioned, we received an honorary prize for the LWMSP I developed.
Although my liquid waste management strategic plan couldn’t win the ultimate prize of 30,000 GBP, I am very happy that I won this honorary prize for the Adansi South District in my capacity as an intern.
I left a mark and I have proven the capacity of young professionals in the public sector. Hopefully, they will remember me when I am gone. 😊 🏆