A Ghanaian journalist and human rights campaigner has won a British award for his water and sanitation campaign. Raphael Ahenu received a 2009 SMK Campaigner Award in the international category on 17 September 2009.
Mr. Ahenu is campaigning for clean water and sanitation facilities to be provided to 100 communities, schools and hospitals in the Brong-Ahafo and Ashanti regions of Ghana by 2015. Through radio talk shows and other publicity methods he mobilises rural communities to demand their rights to such facilities. Mr. Ahenu plans to advocate at the local level and lobby central government so that water and sanitation facilities are provided to rural communities in both these regions.
The Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK) is a charity set up in 2005 to connect, inform and support campaigners. The winners of the annual SMK awards receive support, advise and training to further develop their campaigns.
Mr. Ahenu is CEO of African Media Aid (AFRIMA) based in Sunyani. He offcially launched his “Access to Clean Water and Sanitation” campaign on 25 September 2009 at Odumase in the Sunyani West District of the Brong-Ahafo Region. Ay the launch, he announced that from next year AFRIMA and Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF) would be presenting Sanitation and Hygiene Awards to recognise outstanding achievements in this area by organisations, individuals and communities in Ghana.
See a short interview with Raphael, speaking just after he received his award from humanitarian and former envoy for the Church of England Terry Waite.