IESS through C-Care Initiative Honours Young Leaders in Climate Resilience Essay Competition

Top achievers from nine Senior High Schools in the Keta Municipality and Anloga District were recently honoured at an awards ceremony hosted by the Coastal Community Action for Resilience through Edutainment (C-CARE) Initiative of the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS).

The event was organised under the Coastal Community Resilience for Climate and Diarrhoea (C2R-CD) Project, spearheaded by Prof. Dzidzo Yirenya-Tawiah, the Project Investigator.

The C2R-CD project, a collaboration between the IESS, Aarhus University, Denmark, the Environmental Protection Agency, the People's Dialogue on Human Settlements and sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, aims to address climate and diarrhoea resilience in coastal communities.

The event celebrated the outstanding contributions of students to an essay competition on the theme, “How Can We Prevent Diarrhoea as Climate Change is Already Affecting Our One Earth?”. The essay competition was a key part of the C-CARE initiative to build the capacity of community youth under the theme “You Can Also Do It!”

Beauty Atiku of Abor Senior High School won the title of best essay writer. Portia Christine Torblu, also from Abor Senior High School, along with Abraham Lincoln Gamor and Harriet Mieledzi Amey from Anlo Senior High School, and Shepherd Sedem Afram, another student from Senior High School, emerged as the top five winners. Participating schools received citations of honour whereas the student participants received certificates, with the top five essays receiving additional prizes for their exemplary contributions.

The event was attended by representatives from the Local government service, the Keta and Anloga Municipal and District Assemblies respectively, participating senior high schools and academics.

Delivering brief remarks to open the ceremony, Dr. Ted Y. Annang, a Senior Research Fellow from the IESS and a researcher on the project, highlighted the project's goal of reshaping community attitudes and promoting lifestyle changes to combat diarrhoea and related diseases associated with climate change.

He emphasised the participatory approach in disseminating co-created knowledge and ensuring active community involvement. Ms. Cecilia Datsa and Mrs. Lois Eyram Adom, the project managers, provided insights into the C2R-CD project and C-CARE initiative objectives.

In a speech read by his representative, Mr. Emmanuel Gemegah, the Municipal Chief Executive for Keta, underscored the importance of the essay competition in promoting participatory solutions to challenges like flooding. Mr. Dominic Yao Dzanado, Director of Education for the Anloga District, called on stakeholders to engage in developing sustainable solutions and enumerated the importance of environmental conservation to mitigate climate change impacts.

The ceremony featured a stage drama by the Agbenyaviwo Drama Group, led by broadcast journalist Mr. Shine Nutefe, from Jubilee Radio, which highlighted health risks associated with diarrhoea in coastal communities, as a result of climate change.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Benjamin D. Ofori, a researcher and project work package lead stressed the urgency of addressing the climate crisis and called for collective action to build resilience.

Beauty Atiku delivered a vote of thanks on behalf of all winners, expressing gratitude to the Project and IESS team and advocating for the institutionalisation of the competition as an annual event to enhance literacy and community involvement in addressing local challenges.