Vida Duti, Country Director of the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre in Ghana, has officially received the 2019 OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) Annual Award.
The prestigious accolade was given in recognition for 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 $100,000 from OFID in recognition.
IRC is an international think-and-do tank that works with governments, NGOs, entrepreneurs and people around the world to find long-term solutions to the global crisis in water, sanitation and hygiene services.
Formerly known as the International Reference Center on Community Water Supply, IRC was established in 1968.
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.
Duti, who is the latest individual to be feted under this banner, 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.
The 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% 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,” she continued.
“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,” commented OFID Director-General Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa.
“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,” Dr Alkhalifa concluded.