GIZ, in partnership with the Government of Ghana, has developed and launched a mobile App known as the “CleanApp Ghana” to help address the teething sanitation challenges in the country.
The App, which is designed to use Citizen-Generated Data (CGD) to facilitate solutions for the nation’s sanitation situation, was developed by CERSGIS, an IT firm, with GIZ providing the financial and technical support in collaboration with the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources.
In light of Ghana’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Data Roadmap, a number of projects have emerged to address missing data required for official statistics. One such pilot project is being convened by the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) and Ghana Statistical Service (GSS); this project aims to tackle data gaps in the generation, removal and disposal of solid waste at a sub-regional level.
This project, being implemented in the Ga East Municipality and two others; Ho and Techiman, aims to leverage technology and innovation to collect Citizen-Generated Data on waste to be used for effective waste management at the local level in these three urban pilot districts.
The project will support the monitoring of revised Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, indicator 11.6.1, “Proportion of municipal solid waste collected and managed in controlled facilities out of total municipal solid waste generated, by cities”.
Additionally, the project will also provide linkages to the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) core district indicators, proportion of population with access to improved sanitation services.
At an event on Wednesday, 11th November, 2020, at Abokobi, to launch the “CleanApp Ghana” App for the commencement of the pilot phase of the project in the Ga East Municipality, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Hon. Janet Tulasi Mensah, noted that sanitation has been on her heart since her assumption into office, and, together with her team of officers, rolled out several programmes to aid in sanitizing the Municipality.
The speech, delivered on her behalf by the Municipal Coordinating Director (MCD), Mr. Matthew Tay, stated that the App will complement efforts in realizing the vision of the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to make “Accra the Cleanest City in Africa”.
”The launching of this App is a crucial and bold step towards better solid waste management in the municipality and thereby helping in the realization of the President’s vision of “Accra the Cleanest City in Africa”.
She observed the significance of the project in facilitating the attainment of the sanitation-related SDGs and allow for greater participation of citizens in data gathering to help in swiftly addressing sanitation nuisances in the municipality.
“This project is also in fulfilment of the Goal Six (6) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aims to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. This project, as its name signifies, will allow feedback and data collection from the citizenry in connection with solid waste management. This date will also inform decision-making in interventions in sanitation”, she said.
Hon. Janet Tulasi Mensah appealed to the citizenry to see to the urgent need to use the App and contribute towards achieving the “Clean Ghana” agenda.
“Everyone has a role to play in improving waste management so let us play our part. I therefore encourage all citizens in the Ga East Municipality to download the App and use it to find solution to the sanitation situation in your communities”. She said.
The Hon. MCE expressed gratitude to the stakeholders, especially GIZ, Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources and Ghana Statistical Service, and commended the District-level Technical Team (DTT), for their respective roles and efforts in making the project a reality.
On her part, the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, in a speech read on her behalf, stated that she was elated when the call was extended to her Ministry for collaboration on ways to effectively enhance waste management.
“When the call was extended to the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources from Ghana Statistical Service and GIZ to collaborate using Citizen-Generated Data to collect data on solid waste for effective waste management and pilot the project at Ga East, Ho and Techiman, the Ministry considered it as a laudable idea that would further enhance service delivery in the management of our solid waste”, she disclosed.
She was appreciative of the efforts of the Ga East team, for their support, cooperation and enthusiasm in cleaning up Ga East Municipality.
The representative of the GIZ, in charge of Agenda 2030, Isabel Rhode, said the collaborative efforts between them and the governmental institutions; the Ghana Statistical Service and Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, as well as the local authorities, were crucial in improving efforts to strengthen national statistical system to be responsive to national data needs and drive policy and programming.
She observed that there was a critical need to address the data gap on gender equality and sanitation in achieving the President’s vision and the UN-SDG Agenda 2030 in this respect.
“How can we improve gender equality if we don’t have enough data on the living realities of women and men? How can we support the President of Ghana in realizing his promise of making “Accra the Cleanest City in Africa”? Effective policies and interventions depend, to a large extent, on the quality and availability of data”, she espoused.
“Therefore, it is crucial to bridge the many data gaps we are still facing. Let’s not forget that it is easy to ignore people when they are statistically invisible. Therefore, GIZ is partnering with a variety of Governmental and non-Governmental actors to strengthen the data-ecosystem to make sure that no one will be left behind as the 2030 Agenda stipulates”, she stated further.
The rep also underscored the significance of the Citizen-Generated Data approach to addressing data gap on waste generation for effective waste management.
“This Citizen-Generated Data project of Ghana Statistical Service implemented together with many other stakeholders is yet another significant achievement to provide better data for better decisions”, she remarked.
She continued, “With this project, Ghana Statistical Service is for the first time exploring non-traditional citizen-generated data sources to collect information on waste management and gender-based violence. This data will complement surveys and censuses conducted in the country and strengthen people-driven statistics and community engagement”.
The Deputy Government Statistician, Mrs. Araba Forson, said her outfit was pleased to collaborate with the Ministry and stakeholders at both the national and local levels to work together and develop the project.
She emphasized the significance of the Citizen-Generated Data project in helping to generate reliable data for national and local development planning.
“Data has taken centre stage of the global development discourse and for very good reasons, the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, leaves no doubt that data are central to helping society make real and meaningful progress”, she said.
Mrs. Araba Forson acknowledged the importance of the project to the work of the Ghana Statistical Service, saying it will enhance their operations and strategies used in generating data.
“We are excited that this effort will add to GSS resolve and efforts to strengthen the national statistical system to be responsive to national data needs to drive policy and programming. We look forward to document all learnings from this collaborations and share results with everyone so that the communities will see what their efforts have yielded.
The Deputy Government Statistician encouraged the general public to become ambassadors of citizen- generated data and also help in promoting the App so that many citizens can be aware of it and patronize it and be part of the solution to clean up Ghana.
The “CleanApp Ghana” App can be accessed by downloading and installing it from Play Store on an android phone or you can dial the short code: *902*68#, follow the operational instructions and report on any sanitation nuisance in your community within the Ga East Municipality.
The Presiding Member (PM), Hon. Jesse Nii Noi Anum, Assembly and Unit Committee Members, representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector Chiefs and Opinion Leaders, Muslim Leaders, Religious Leaders, Market Women and Environmental Health Officers were among the participants.
By. Derrick Baafi Accra