Prestea Sanitation Improvement Project: From Waste to Recreation

Project Title
Prestea Sanitation Improvement Project: From Waste to Recreation
Project Summary
The 360 degree turn around project transforms a 1.2 hectare waste dump site that is located between Ave Maria and the mine shaft in Prestea in the western region of Ghana, into a recreational center for the people of Prestea and other surrounding communities. Yes the waste dump site which hitherto posed a major environmental health challenge to the people for which reason they shunned away from is currently being developed into a public place of recreation to offer rest, refreshment and wellness to the people. Another segment of the project is the sanitation improvement phase. In this second phase of the project, extensive sanitation engineering approaches including acquisition of equipment, proper landfill design & operations and sustainable waste management practices are being adopted to ensure an overall improvement in waste management of the town. Golden star Bogoso Prestea Limited is the principal financer of the phase one of the project with MSA, a partnering nonprofit organization contributing to real development works and mobilizing additional financing as well as youthful volunteers for the project. For the phase two of the project, MSA is providing fund raising support, mobilizing youthful volunteers, financial sustainability standards and advisory on effective waste management practices for the Prestea Urban Council (local government authority) and a coalition of community based groups who are also contributing to the project. MSA is convinced that there probably cannot be a more perfect depiction of sustainable environmental rehabilitation than this dramatic turnaround. For this reason, MSA is very proud to be associated with the project as one of the main development partners.
On 25th September 2015, the 193 members of the UN General Assembly espoused the 2030 development Agenda titled “Transforming our world: the 2030 agenda for sustainable Development.” The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for that matter are a new universal set of goals, targets and indicators that the UN member states, development partners and civil society groups will be expected to use to frame their development agendas and individual country policies over the next 15 years. It is against this background, that as part of our contributory efforts towards achieving these goals, MSA decided to partner GSBPL to undertake the “Prestea Sanitation Improvement Project; from Waste to Recreation”
Recognizing that the SDG’s can be useful for pursuing focused and coherent action in sustainable development, the partners of the project (MSA & GSBPL) carefully designed the project in a way that addresses and incorporate in a balanced way all three dimensions of sustainable development (environment, economics, society and their interlinkages)
The underlying goal of this formidable partnership basically, is to transform a hitherto health and environmental hazard into a recreation, health and environmental success story and by so doing improving on the socio economic wellbeing of the local people. By this single transformative project, we have contributed to actualizing SDG goals 1, 3, 6,8, 10,11,13,15 and 17.
Description of the Situation
The general sanitation management in Ghana is woeful and the Prestea community is not an exception. Inadequate waste collection vehicles, problem of land acquisition for public waste disposal, Inadequacy of law enforcement, improper planning and unwillingness of the people to incur higher cost are some of the constraints militating against good sanitation in Prestea. In this community, these factors have led to the development of illegal waste dump sites in several places. These have led to the continued spread of malaria breeding mosquitoes, water borne diseases such as bilharzia, schistosomiasis, guinea worm, yaws and high incidence of diarrhoea affecting mainly children. It is one of these illegal waste dumping sites that MSA is partnering GSBPL to improve significantly by converting it to a recreational facility. The project site, before commencement of the project was a complete nuisance to the community. The illegal small scale mining operators had previously created pits and deep holes around the site during their search for gold. These deep pits collected water on it and was literally an environmental hazard to the people of the community especially children. Some other unscrupulous people also discharged human fecal substances to the water that had collected on the site as a means of dislodging it. These unacceptable attitude and irresponsible behaviours from the majority of the people greatly contributed in making the place a major environmental and health hazard for the community.After the full implementation of the 360 degree turn around project, newsustainable measures of waste disposal will be in place. Additionally, the recreational facility will enhance the quality of community life by providing high valued leisure and recreational experience.

Project Objectives
• To institutionalize proper waste management practices in Prestea to wit SDG goal six.
• To boost efforts geared towards achieving SDG goal fifteen which among others; protects, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, halt and reverse land degradation byrehabilitating, protecting and promoting sustainable land use in the Prestea community.
• To Inspire a sense of community volunteerism and partnerships for development as MSA’s quota of contribution towards the actualization of SDG goal seventeen which aims at forging and strengthening strategic partnerships for development.
• Create a source of livelihood for people in the community as a way of fighting poverty.
• Ensure healthy lives and provide opportunities to promote wellbeing for all age groupings in the Prestea Huni-valley Districtas our contribution to the fulfilment of SDG goal three.
• To provide a source of entertainment and promote social cohesion for the people of Prestea through recreation as our contribution to fulfilling SDG goal eleven which strives towards making cities and human settlements safe, inclusive, and sustainable.
Project Duration
Two years
Designand Facilities

In the first phase of the project, Maintenance and Sustainability Africa partners with Golden Star Bogoso/Prestea Ltd (GSBPL) to carry out the conversion of the waste dumping site into a recreational center. The facility is designed to engage people in the community firstly and also even more importantly offer the people of the community an opportunity to improve upon their health through exciting recreational experiences. The park will contain facilities such as a gym/ fitness center, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts among others. The facility will also contain a cafeteria where various local and continental dishes shall be served. This is also to create an employment opportunity for locals especially women to empower them economically and also serve as a ready market for local farmers especially women. The project which covers a surface area of about 12,000 square meters will also include children’s playground to offer kids with opportunities to develop their potentials through recreation and physical exercise. There will also be a parking lot to ensure safety and protection of the property of the users of the facility. The project will also contain a public WI-FI system to offer access to the internet to community members to enable them interact with the international community on social media and to also widen their knowledge of the internet.
In the second phase of the project which is the sanitation improvement part of the project, state of the art sanitation equipment have been procured to enhance the disposal of waste from the collection points to the landfill. In the project design stage maintenance measures have been put in place to ensure longevity of the equipment.Proper landfill operations and sustainable waste management practices have been instituted in order to ensure a total improvement in waste collection and management of the Prestea town. A blueprint for financial sustainability of the project is currently being keenly considered to guarantee an overall project continuity and success.
Institutional Cooperation and Partnership
The project is being implemented with collaborative efforts of Golden StarBogoso Prestea Limited (GSBPL), Maintenance and Sustainability Africa, (MSA) and the Prestea Urban Council. GSBPL is the Principal financers of the project. They are also providing some technical support for the construction of the recreational facility. MSA on the other hand is the partnering nonprofit organization contributing to real development works and mobilizing additional financing for the project. Particularly MSA is executing the grassing and tree planting of the entire project being an NGOwith expertise in environmental sustainability. MSA has completed the final land preparation works and has started the grassing and tree planting exercise.For the phase two of the project, MSA is providing additional fund raising support, financial sustainability standards.We are also providing an advisory service on effective waste management practices for the Prestea Urban Council (local government authority) and a coalition of community based groups who are also contributing to the project by way of advocacy. When the project is completed, MSA will provide the maintenance services for the facility based on her three cardinal principles of maintenance: affordability, timeliness, and sustainability.

Health Benefits
According to reports from WHO sources, about 1.8 million People die every year from diarrheal diseases, 1.6 million from tuberculosisand 1.2 million from malaria. 90{baf3accc30e93a1cdb0ca4d2338f5007ee0966378ed61d085f355c4d57316c63} of these are children under 5 and most are in developing countries.Recent reports from the Disease Control Priorities Project indicates that about 90{baf3accc30e93a1cdb0ca4d2338f5007ee0966378ed61d085f355c4d57316c63} of the cases ofdiarrhea can be forestalled by adequate sanitation, hygiene and water supply. All of these diseasescontribute to cognitive impairment through associated malnutrition. With the project’s main objective of clearing the illegal garbage collection site, and restoringhygiene,itacts as a fundamental primary barrier to isolate fecal matter from the general environment. With these sanitation interventions, thesediseases will be mitigated by about 45{baf3accc30e93a1cdb0ca4d2338f5007ee0966378ed61d085f355c4d57316c63} in the locality

The project is a major environment recovery work. By rehabilitating the land, planting grass & trees, and instituting ecological restoration and maintenance measures, the project will helped to reverse environmental degradation. This will contribute to the regaining of natural habitat composition, structure and function such as carbon sequestration, water regulation and purification.

A WHO study has estimated that economic benefits from sanitation interventions are considerable. This include forgone medical costs, the cost of time loss at school& work and the time savings from closer access. It is estimated that benefits cost ratios range from 29 to 3. Aside this, the recreational facility and the sanitation management overhaul will create employment and skill development opportunities for community folks and give them a source oflivelihood.

Social wellbeing
While it is true that wellbeing has no precise definition, it is clear that the project will improve the feelings of dignity, safety, comfort and status of her beneficiaries. The recreational facility will help improve the rural experience by so doing cut down on rural-Urban migration.
Our Founding Story
Maintenance and Sustainability Africa (MSA) is a youth led organization formed to foster and push for the sustainable development of the continent. Formed in 2007, the organization was formerly known as the Non Allied Group Ghana. Our principal focus areas included electoral education & peace building and advancement of democracy through popular participation. Our previous works therefore centered on building the capacities of citizens to demand accountability, conducting electoral education & advocacy through political forums and peace campaigns.
Earlier 2014, after conducting some introspective studies of our works, we realized that although we were able to influence change of political leadership, we were not quite honestly, able to change the trend of retrogression. This inspired our organization to do broader studiesinto the African development problems, by so doing coming to the conclusion that the African development challenge, is mainly a maintenance and Sustainability challenge. This perfectly coincided with the setting up of the sustainable development Goals also known as “Global Goals”: the 2030 agenda for sustainable Development” by the UN General Assembly. Following these events we broadened our scope to fall in tandem with the SDGs and our name was changed to wit our transformation to foster development across Africa through creative and sustainable ways of handling current pressing issues such as climate change, environmental degradationand poverty. With the organization’s overarching goal to promote sustainable development in Africa, MSA has already began a pilot project geared towards developing a science base grazing and or pasture land which would solve a major social and environment problem in the agricultural sector.The module is currently being tested in the Bibiani district of Ghana where there are growing number of cattle producers and associate societal and community challenges. This when successfully completed shall be a strong basis for addressing a major social challenge of human-livestock conflicts that has bedeviled the sub sector.
We have started our advocacy on maintenance and sustainability by selling our model to both private and public development partners in Ghana. We strongly believe in environmental sustainability which we view as maintenance of the “earth” to support current and future development. Where the earth is not in proper shape, neither humans nor infrastructure development can survive. For us, the MSA-GSBPL partnership which seeks to convert the 1.2 hectare piece of garbage collection site into a recreational facility is a great feat because more of such partnerships means active support for the SDGs as well as our models. By so doing we instigate longevity for both public and private infrastructural projects through global maintenance and sustainability principles. African governments and the international committee got to come to the point of honest understanding that the continent can never bridge her infrastructure deficit by going back to reconstruct projects after their few years of existence. In other words, the infrastructure gap can never be closed if measures are not put in place to guarantee project longevity through sound maintenance approaches.
We want to champion a maintenance campaign on the continent so as to change our bad culture of maintenance. This is because, if the current rate of loss through improper maintenance should continue, then Africa should forget about adding more to development. In simpler terms, one of our core messages is that, If Africa cannot keep what she is offered by the international community and governments, then there is no point in receiving them. As a sustainability base NGO, our clarion call therefore to Africans and African Development partners has been to build capacities, systems and mechanisms that enable the continent not only to develop but also keep what she is offered.
MSA therefore presents a new approach to development that guarantees longevity and wellness to Africa’s infrastructure projects such as roads, hospitals, Educational facilities, Irrigation facilities, in an environmentally sustainable manner, through aligning ourselves with the SDGs.