The 2019 The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) Award for Development has been conferred upon Vida Duti, in recognition of her remarkable work in striving for sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for the population of Ghana. Duti, who is Country Director of the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre in Ghana, will receive US$100,000 from OFID in recognition.
Duti leads a team of 12 in Ghana. The team’s priority is advocating for greater financial and political support for WASH, while also supporting national government policies, standards and guidelines. Its priority in its partner district, Asutifi North, is to support the roll out of a WASH ‘master plan.’ This plan aims to provide universal WASH services for the entire population of the Asutifi district by 2030. Currently, only around half of the district’s 62,816 people have access to adequate water facilities and just 15 percent to decent sanitation. The project’s coalition includes local government, World Vision, the Conrad N Hilton Foundation, Safe Water Network and non-profit organization Aquaya.
Duti attended a presentation ceremony at OFID’s headquarters during the 40th Annual Session of the organization’s Ministerial Council in Vienna. She said she was humbled to receive the award and that it would motivate and strengthen her resolve to work harder to improve the quality of life of people in the developing world.
“I dedicate this award to the people of Ghana and the Asutifi North district for whose quest I gained this recognition,” said Duti. “I wish to express my profound gratitude to the Chairman and Ministerial Council, the management and staff of OFID. I assure you of my resolve to work harder towards improving the quality of life for people in the developing world, especially Ghana.”
OFID Director-General Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “OFID recognizes the important role women play in the WASH sector, advancing solutions and encouraging behavioral change. Vida Duti’s engagement in this sector is exemplary and is helping to deliver access to safe, reliable and affordable water services to numerous people in Ghana.
“OFID hopes that bestowing this year’s Annual Award for Development to Mrs Duti will help accelerate action in sub-Saharan Africa, encourage the many women working in development, and highlight the important issues of safe water and hygiene.”
The OFID Annual Award for Development was introduced in 2006 to highlight the achievements of organizations and individuals in poverty reduction and sustainable development. Past winners include: Bangladesh-based BRAC, for its support of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh; the Foundation for Integral Development in Guatemala; Syrian refugee Doaa Al Zamel; the Children’s Cancer Hospital in Egypt; Kenya’s Kakenya Center for Excellence; Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan; Dr Mazen Al-Hajri, renowned ENT surgeon and philanthropist; Professor Muhammad Yunus; and Bartolina Sisa National Confederation of Peasant Indigenous Native Women of Bolivia.