SESSIONAL ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE DCE, HON. BEN KWAKYE-ADEEFE DURING THE 1ST MEETING OF THE FOURTH SESSION OF THE AMANSIE WEST DISTRICT ASSEMBLY IN THE DISTRICT ASSEMBLY HALL AT MANSONKWANTA ON WEDNESDAY 29TH MARCH , 2006.
HON. PRESIDING MEMBER
HON. MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
HON. MEMBERS OF THE ASSEMBLY
HEADS OF DEPARTMENT/INSTITUTIONS
LADIES & GENTLEMEN
I sincerely wish to welcome you all to this very important meeting the first of the year 2006 which coincides with the eclipse of the sun and therefore making it a historic one. We thank God for giving us the opportunity to gather here this morning as a team to examine ourselves to see whether or not we are conscientiously pursuing the developmental agenda that we set ourselves Assembly Members.
But before I do so, let me take this opportunity to thank you for the support, understanding and co- operation I have enjoyed from you for the past five years. This has helped me a lot in the performance of my duties as DCE and you as Hon Assembly Members.
As you are in no doubt aware, we have almost completed our four-year tenure of office and the electorate can only remember us by the good job that we have done. On this note we have to ask ourselves whether we could attend all meetings; carry Government/Assembly policies/decisions to the electorate to be abreast with whatever is going on in the District and in the Country; whether we could mobilize the people to undertake communal labour and most importantly educate them to pay taxes and assist revenue collectors to collect these taxes. These are some of the responsibilities that we are enjoined by Act 462 to do as representatives of the people.
Unfortunately Hon. Presiding Member, the information at hand indicates that some of our Hon. Members are not living up to this task. This has created a large communication gap between the Assembly and the electorate. The electorate have therefore become ignorant and cannot appreciate the level of performance of the Assembly/Government. Consequently, they lambat the DCE and the Government any how, any time, any where.
Some members blame their non-performance on inadequate allowances and other incentives which is true. However, the real situation on the ground is that some Hon. Members are not on good terms with the opinion leaders in their electoral areas.
You know that the work of the Assemblyman, which is quite sacrificial, but an honorable one is very difficult. But once we have decided to do it there is no other option than to live up to the task so that at the end of the day we would be crowned with success. In any case, I know that we have not done badly at all over the past years. However, we still have a lot at hand.
Hon. Presiding Member, Hon. Member of Parliament, Hon. Assembly Members, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my statutory responsibility to inform Hon. Members about the latest developments that have taken place in the District including the status of development projects which we have begun to implement, and Executive Committee decisions, which were taken while you were on recess.
You would in the same vein be briefed on some issues from the Central Government Ministries and Departments. Consequently, I wish to crave your in,dulgence to read my address which will focus on the following areas under the three cardinal policies of the NPP government, namely; Human Resource Development, Private Sector Development and Good Governance.
Hon. Presiding Member, throughout the years particularly, under the NPP administration, one area that has witnessed massive injection of capital for infrastructural development is Education, apart from the District Assembly itself devoting a chunk of its Common Fund to the sector, other interventions into the District continue to give prime attention and support to Education for quality improvement in teaching and learning.
Within 5 years the Assembly has constructed 64 well furnished classroom blocks and teachers quarters with funds from DACF; HIPC; SIF; IGF; QUIPS etc. Work on about 8 others will start very soon to bring the number to 72.
Some of the schools are 6-unit classroom blocks with other facilities at Mpatasie, Atobrakrom, Asarekrom, Nyamebekyere, Esienkyiem, Kobriso, Ayiem, Muoho, Hiakosi, Odaho, Nsiana, and Samanhyiakrom. Others are 3-unit classroom blocks at Nkwanta, Gyeduako, Agroyesum, Abiram, Muoho Junction, Banko, Fahiakobo and several others.
At the moment 2-unit teachers bungalows consisting of 6 flats are being constructed under Education for all Fast Track Initiative (EFA FTI) at Groso. In fact we want the remote areas to be more attractive to any staff posted there.
Further to the above, cement, roofing sheets and nails have also been purchased, through the DACF and distributed principally to communities for the rehabilitation of educational infrastructure across the District. It is worthy of note that majority of the people have embraced this self-help spirit and principle of belongingness aimed at ensuring good care of the properties.
Hon. Presiding Member, the introduction of Capitation Grant into Basic Schools is one of the laudable and far-reaching policies of the NPP Government in achieving Universal Basic Education by the year 2015.
In so doing the government has released ¢1,401,627,000 billion between April 2005 and March 2006 for this important programme. Available records indicate that enrollment figures in basic schools have tremendously increased in recent times since, parents are no longer burdened to pay levy on culture, sports, maintenance and other related fees.
I wish to however, emphasize that the willingness and ability to pay PTA fees and any other related fees should be decided by parents themselves. No school head teacher/teachers should use fees as a conduit to dismiss or suspend a child from school. I wish therefore, to call on Hon. Assembly Members to assist in this direction so that Headteachers do the right thing.
National School Feeding Programme
Hon. Presiding Member, the NPP Government in its wisdom to make the New Educational Reform accessible and affordable to children of school-going age, has come out with a programme dubbed "GHANA SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAMME".
Under this programme, 5 primary schools have been selected within the District to benefit from it at the piloting stage. Thus, pupil of these beneficiary primary schools will be given free balanced nutritious meal once a day for a year. This programme will take off by the end of April 2006, and it will be replicated to cover all primary schools in the district in the near future.
Financial Assistance and Other Supports
In a bid to make education still more affordable especially to the poor, the Assembly has given financial assistance to needy and brilliant students and pupils at various levels.
- Senior Secondary Schools 35 (12 Boys; 23girls)
- Junior Secondary School 50 (20 Boys; 30 girls)
- Primary Schools 80 (30 boys; 50 girls)
A total amount of over ¢20m has so far been spent on these students/pupils. In a similar way, School Uniforms, Books, Pens, Pencils etc worth ¢111m have been distributed among 1,137 primary and JSS pupils - 680 girls and 455 boys.
Besides, 20,000 dual desks have been provided for all the Basic Schools; 24,000 pieces of Note 1 Exercise Books have also been procured for distribution among 55,176 JSS students as well as 1,030 students at Mansoman, Adubia and Esaase Senior Secondary Schools.
In fact, these second cycle schools are receiving much attention from the Assembly in various ways - infrastructure, scholarships, logistics etc and hope to continue. Information reaching the Assembly indicates that there has been a remarkable improvement in their examination results which is a testimony of how helpful our interventions have been. We thank the Headmasters, Tutors and other staff for their dedication and hard work.
Distance Learning Programme
Hon. Presiding Member, this programme is part of the President’s Special Initiative on English and Maths Education for JSS and SSS students, which is telecast on Television to supplement what is taught in the classroom. In support of this laudable programme, the Assembly has supplied 25 Sony T.V. Sets to 25 JSS with electricity to enable them benefit from the programme. The remaining 35 JSS will be considered later.
Performance of Amansie West District in the BECE
Hon. Presiding Member, Hon. Members, what has been done so far has yielded POSITIVE results. The Ashanti Regional Directorate of the Ghana Education Service (GES) has released the Basic Education Certificate Examination results league table on the performance of all the twenty one (21) Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the Ashanti. Region.
I am happy to inform you that Amansie West District placed 8th in 2005 out of 21 Districts. This is an improvement from 17th in 2002 to 16th in 2003 and from 15th in 2004 to 8th in 2005. I wish to congratulate the District Director of Education, Staff of GES and our dedicated Teachers for the good work done. It is our expectation that they will put in more efforts so that this year our position will come forward. The Assembly will continue to assist the GES to ensure effective teaching and learning in our schools. Hon. Members, we should also congratulate each other for the good work done for, we provided most of the ingredients.
Untrained Teachers Diploma in Basic Education (UTTDBE) Programme
Hon. President Member, Hon Members we are all aware that quality education depends not only on the provision of good infrastructure and learning materials like books. uniforms etc. as we have done for the past years, and will continue to do but also, and most importantly qualified trained teachers. Meeting the demand for Trained Teachers in our schools is a big problem in the country due to insufficient number as a result of certain factors. As a way of solving this problem, the Government has introduced the Untrained Teachers Diploma in Basic Education (UTTDBE) programme.
Hon, Members, I am happy to say that the programme is in fulfillment of the implementation of the NPP Government Policy on Human Resource Development which is a key to the National Development. Under this programme pupil teachers will be given training in relevant subjects after which they will write exams and be awarded Diploma in Basic Education.
In our District the programme has started and about 360 participants took part at the Akrokerri Training College. These teachers, some of whom have taught for over 20 years in the District have applied for financial assistance through the District Education Directorate.
The Assembly, at the appropriate time, and in consultation with the relevant committees will consider their request and the amount to defray part of the course fees. Your approval is therefore needed since; they are all bound to stay in the District to teach after their courses. Therefore we should all co-operate to ensure its success.
Girl Child Education
Hon. Presiding Member, in order to ensure that there is gender parity in education especially for girls, the GES "Girls Education Unit" in collaboration with District Assembly has embarked on special programmes to emphasise the importance of girl child education which have been very successful. Besides, sponsorship packages to the girl child have also yielded positive results. I am happy to say that available records indicate that enrolment of girls in public schools in our District continue to increase greatly in recent years.
- At the primary school level it increased form 9,785 to 10,366 between 2004 and 2005.
- Girls enrollment in the JSS increased from 2,366 to 2,408 between 2004 and 2005.
- Similarly the enrollment of girls in the SSS is creased form 359 to 413 between 2004 and 2005.
- 4. And between 2004 and 2005 the BECE results for girls improved from 38% to 60.1%. Although this sharp increase in our quest for gender parity in our educational system, is quite good, still there is much room for improvement. The onus is therefore on us as Assembly Members to appeal to parents and guardians to send their girl child to school to break this yawning gap of inequality that has existed for many years.
Hon. Members, it is clear that our Government and Assembly have lived up to the task by according Education its rightful place in the district development agenda. Much money and energy have been spent on and attention given to Education because it is the panacea to build strong human resource base, badly needed for the accelerated development of this district and the country at large.
I wish to inform you that we shall continue to lay emphasis on this sector such that a grater percentage of our people would acquire at least the minimum education needed to contribute their quota to nation building.
Hon. Presiding Member, the future of General Sports in the district is very bright. With part of the Capitation Grants allocated to this area, a lot of achievements are being made, especially in the areas of athletics and football. You would be happy to hear that, at the 34th Annual Inter-District Under-15 Sports Festival held at Konongo in August 2005, Amansie West placed 3rd out of 18 districts.
The district again placed 1st in the 1,500 meter race through Master Atta Gyamfi. Moreover, the 2005 Regional best Long Distance Runner in the Basic Level was Master Francis Boakye who comes from the district. We congratulate the two heroes!
Hon. Presiding Member, in appreciation of the above achievements, the Assembly has donated 10 footballs to some school teams to train and improve upon their performance. It has also decided to purchase some running kits for the athletes.
Employment And Wealth Creation
Hon. Presiding Member, you will agree with me that the Private Sector Development Programme is one of the cardinal policies of the NPP Government which aims at assisting individuals or group of persons to be self-employed and create jobs and wealth for themselves and others to ensure economic growth and reduce poverty.
Hon. Members, I am glad to inform you that the Assembly is doing just that under the Rural Industrialization Prgramme which led to the establishment of the Amansie West Citronella Products Company Ltd. - a shareholding company by the Assembly and the Farmers, at the moment.
Hon. Members it will interest you to know that at long last, the citronella project has gained firm root in our District as more and more people have expressed their enthusiasm in the plant. Available records indicate that over 400 farmers have gone into citro growing with support from Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) and the Assembly totaling ¢132.
Management of the Company has been informed to increase the number to 1,000 by the end of the year. To facilitate production, the Assembly has purchased and donated a Mitsubishi Canter Truck estimated at 0240 million to the Project to convey the grass to the Plant Site for processing. In the same vein the Assembly has built new plant estimated at ¢64 million in addition to the old one.
Further to this, the Assembly has extended the supply of electricity to the plant site to facilitate operational activities and it is waiting for commissioning. Officials and Technical men from the Ministry of Trade and Industries have come to assess the performance of the project and have highly commended the Assembly and the farmers for the good work done.
Hon. Members, the demand for the Citro oil is VERY HIGH both in the national and international markets due to its usefulness in making soaps, perfumes, medicines, antiseptics, repellants and disinfectants. Even the by-products, according to researchers are used as fertilizer and weedicide as well as mushroom farming and shoe polish when burnt.
This is another ’gold’ in the district! Let’s go for it and stop wasting our energy on illegal mining and lumbering activities which destroy our environment and maim our lives! I therefore seize this glorious opportunity to appeal to Hon. Assembly Members to educate our unemployed youth to resort to citro farming to improve their lots, so that the huge amount of monies sunk into the project will not go down the drain, since the plant will not produce under capacity.
Rural Enterprise Project (REP)
Hon. Presiding Member, I am happy to inform this august house that, REP is part of government’s development programme to reduce poverty and improve living conditions in the rural areas and especially increase the incomes of women and vulnerable groups through increased self and wage-employment. The REP is under the Ministry of Environment and Science and the main financiers of this project is Governs Ghana, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) Let me use this occasion to say that the project is operational and very soon its impact will be felt by all in our rural and community levels. Since the project seeks to offer employable skills to the unemployed youth and strengthen the existing skills acquired through short courses etc, those captured will be trained in the areas of bee keeping, snail rearing, grass cutter rearing, soap making etc. I therefore, wish that the unemployed youth would take advantage of this project and enjoy all the packages it offers.
Youth Employment Programme
Hon. Presiding Member, the District Assembly, in collaboration with the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment, is designing a programme to employ at least 500 people, mostly the youth by assisting them to go into animal rearing, crop and vegetable cultivation. Some will also be trained and employed as Local Nurses, Policing etc. This year, indeed, is the year for the youth and i entreat them to get on board when the programme begins.
Hon. Presiding Member, the road network in the district until 2001 was very very bad. All the roads were difficult to ply and some were even declared ’no go areas’. However, at the moment, there is a great deal of improvement due to massive road rehabilitation and reconstruction programme by the NPP Government.
Hon. Members, currently, the highway leading to the District Capital Manso Nkwanta and beyond is under construction as a first phase and when completed will be continued through Abore.
Gradually, work is steadily progressing as members would bear me out. The only issue which has saddled the work for some time now is the re-construction of the bridge on Nwene River near Manso Akropong by the Government. I am reliably informed by the Ashanti Regional Highway Engineer that it will be completed and open to the public by May this year.
As a result of the re-construction work on the Nwene River, drivers now use an alternative route from Antoakrom via Nsiana - Adukunama to Atwere. The pressure on this road has become too much. I wish to inform members that at an Emergency Executive Committee Meeting held on 22nd February, 2006, it was unanimously approved to look for another alternative road to ease vehicular pressure.
An abandoned road/path between Kwakokrom and Abodom was discovered and recommended for reshaping to be used by drivers who ply, Odaho, Ankam, Agroyesum, Adubia etc. The Area Feeder Roads Engineer has been instructed to reshape the road to make it motorable. Additionally, the Pakyi No. 2 - Antoakrom road is to be tarred. Work on it has started. Moseaso - Atwere road has been captured. Datano - Watreso - Obuasi Junction is also receiving attention.
Work on Manso Nkwanta township roads is progressing steadily as the contractor has completed drain works, and primer seal awaiting actual sealing of which work will soon start. When completed, it will fully facelift the town to the status of a District Capital.Again, work on Manso Nkwanta - Abore road is on-going and would be tarred by the end of this year.
Hon. Presiding Member, on Feeder Roads, work on Mem Junction - Agroyesum Road is earnestly progressing. It will soon be tarred. Ahwerewa - Antoakrom; Ahwerewa - Mpatuam; Dawusaso - Nkyeremia; Watreso - Aboaboso; Groso road and others are all receiving attention.
By the nature of our landscape, Feeder Roads quickly deteriorate, especially, with reshaping when rains follow suite. I wish to appeal to Hon. Members to kindly educate our people to exercise the maximum restraint when this happens. I also entreat Hon. Assembly Members as well as Unit Committee Members to organize their communities to clear the road sides of weeds to sustain the road after reshaping Perhaps the best solution is to purchase a grader in future when we have enough funds. Your approval is needed.
Hon. Members, even though a lot has been done on our roads by the NPP Government as compared to what we inherited, there is yet more to be done and I assure you of the government’s desire to develop our district. Let me at this juncture plead with you and those in your electoral areas to remain patient and loyal to the government especially those at the helm of affairs. Demonstration, insults and abuses on radio stations, in lorries, at funeral grounds, etc will not help. We need peace to work!.
Communication And Information Technology
Hon. Presiding Member, the Assembly is still liaising with the Ministry of Communications for the completion of the telephone facility at Manso Nkwanta. The delay is due to the acquisition of a modem and more powerful transmitter by the Ghana Telecom that will stand the test of time. Meanwhile, arrangement for TIGO network (formally BUZZ) are well underway. AREEBA Network is improving.
Still on Communication, the Ministry is putting up a Community Information Center at Manso Nkwanta which after completion will enable users to communicate in any form with others outside the district and the country.
Hon. Members, you will agree with me that the Amansie West District is now a household name in and outside the country because of our good works and how effective we have been able to sell the district through the print and electronic media and other publications like brochures, calendars etc.
Hon. Members, through the collaboration between the Assembly and MAKS Publications and Media Services, the Amansie West District, and all that it has, can be accessed on the internet at the www.ghanadistrists.com under the Ashanti Region Column. This is on a piloting stage and I wish Hon. Members will approve of it and allow management to negotiate on the terms of payment and its sustainability.
Hon. Presiding Member, under the programme, the extension of electricity to many communities in the district continues unabated. In January, 2001 when the NPP Government had the mandate to rule, only 5 communities in the district had access to electricity.
At the moment, thirty eight communities have been connected to the national grid. Work on the additional 10 including Dawusaso, Domi-Keniago, Adukunama, Kwankyiabo, Bonteso, Janinso, and others will be completed under the last phase of SHEP 3. Another 4 ; namely, Esienkyiem, Asamang, Ayiem and Edwenase are being assisted to be part of the on-going JICA Project in the Upper Denkyira District in the Central Region due to their nearness to some communities in that district which are beneficiaries.
Under the JICA Electrification Project the following towns have been completed.
1.Ankam 2. Akropong 3. Antoakrom 4. Abodom 5. Nsiana 6. Omanadwareye 7. Yawhemenekrom 8. Abodom-Domi 9.Mem 10 Mem-Domi
Hon. Members, it may interest you to know that as a result of this a lot of small scale industries like Dress-Making, Hair-Dressing, Communication and Business Centers, Welding, Sawmilling among others have been set up to create jobs and generate income to reduce poverty.
Hon. Members, Ladies and Gentlemen, in order to motivate communities to benefit from the Self-Help Electrification Programme, (SHEP) and JICA components of the programme, treated Teak Electricity Poles have been bought at the total cost of 350million under the District Assembly Common Found CDACFV Distribution is on- going and we would ensure that those who fall under the programme benefit.
I once again appeal to Hon. Members to educate all the communities which have nov been hooked on to the programme to exercise patience as their turn will soon come since the SHEP IV Phase 1 has just started and a lot of communities would be considered and assisted. Hon. Members, let me assure you that we shall overcome the "darkness" in Amansie West some day!
Infrastructure and Disease Control Programme
Hon. Presiding Member, with the firm conviction that a healthy population is a precursor to high productivity, we have always placed emphasis on Preventive Health Care and vigorously collaborated with the Health Authorities to realize this goal. In this direction, we will not only be completing the Walkway of the Buruli Ulcer Ward at Agroyesum with the DACF but also put up a number of health facilities.
For instance, 4 Enhanced Rural Clinics with attached Nurses’ Quarters are being put up at Aboaboso, Akyerekyerekrom, Mpraniase and Keniago under the HPC Fund at a total cost of ¢1,013 billion. The completion of these facilities will help improve the health delivery system in the district.
Hon. Members it is the ambition of the Assembly to provide a health facility with nurses’ quarters within every ten kilometers by 2010. In addition to this, an amount of ¢15million has been released to the District Health Administration for eradication of Polio. Besides, ¢30million has been set aside to support Health Personnel, Trainees and Programmes.
On HIV/AIDS, a handsome amount of money has been spent on community sensitization through workshops to create awareness so as to reverse the growing rate of the pandemic in our communities. We have similarly been sponsoring a number of individuals from our communities to attend such workshops in Kumasi, Accra and other places, all of which are aimed at better equipping us to face the scourge squarely.
And as part of our collaboration with the Ghana Aids Commission, a Training Workshop had been organized for the people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWAS) in our District at Agroyesum. In view of the magnitude of the disease and its defiance to any known scientific feat today, all honourable members must lend the greatest support to any endeavor that aims at confronting this deadly disease.
Medical Services in the district have been very encouraging except that there has not been a replacement for Dr. Samuel Etuaful of the St Martins Hospital at Agroyesum who left the country for further studies six months ago. This has of late, affected the health delivery system in the district, especially to the Buruli Ulcer patients who are mostly from other district, region and countries. An "urgent request has been made to the Health Minister for assistance.
National Health Insurance Scheme
Hon. Presiding Member, talking about health issues brings to the fore, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Indeed, it is refreshing to note that the state, at which the Health Insurance Scheme in our District has got to, is very commendable. As most of you are aware, the scheme was launched on 24th of June 2005.
Through hard work on the part of Management, the scheme entered into claims management state on the 1st of September 2005. Records indicate that, as at now (JUNE 2006) 112820 people have been registered and 25,358 people have paid a total amount of ¢1,406,208,000 as their premium. An amount of ¢264,335,444.00 have been paid to 4,506 beneficiaries as claims after treatment at the various health facilities.
The average health care cost per person is ¢63,576.79. Moreover, 11,300 ID Cards have been issued to beneficiaries. This is highly commendable. Hon. Members, I will at this juncture implore you to join me to thank the entire staff of the Scheme and Board Members for the good work done.
In order to facilitate the activities of the scheme in our District, the Assembly has out ¢20million to rehabilitate its Toyota Land Cruiser vehicle to be used by the scheme. With the vehicle, Hon Members, the whole staff now move to communities; register the people; take their pictures and issue them their ID Cards on the same day.
This is a remarkable innovation made in Amansie West! Further to this, the Assembly is constructing an ultra modem office accommodation for the scheme, at the cost of ¢480 million. Work has reached roofing level.
Hon. Presiding Member, I wish to seize this opportunity once more, to appeal to Honorable Members to conscientize and disseminate information to those who have not registered to do so since the benefit of the scheme is second to none. Agriculture
Hon. Presiding Member, Agriculture is very important and therefore indispensable to both the individual and our District’s economy. This is because over 70% of our population has their total livelihood dependent on farming of all kinds. The attention to this sector by both government and our Assembly is therefore understandable. It is for this reason that much emphasis is now being placed on Agro Processing activities, hence the District embracing various initiatives towards this goal. Not too long, the Sika Starch Company under which this District falls has taken off. You should encourage our farmers in your electoral areas to take advantage of this by cultivating the AFISIAFI Cassava and other types which have high starch content. The Agric Extension Officers will give you the necessary assistance needed for the acquisition of planting materials and cultivation.
Cocoa Diseases and Pests Control Project
Hon. Presiding Member, it is the policy of the NPP Government to continue to offer support to cocoa farmers throughout the country to ensure high yields. One of these supports, is the Mass Cocoa Spraying Exercise. Let me say that the exercise has so far lived up to our expectation.
The cocoa farming population has embraced the CODAPEC very enthusiastically and communities are scrambling daily for a greater number of spraying gangs. Information reaching my office, however, indicates that there are some gang supervisors and sprayers in some of our communities who sell these chemicals and pocket the monies for their selfish interests. These people should not be spared at all if they are caught. I therefore wish to appeal to Hon. Members, Cocoa Farmers and the general public to lend your support to the exercise so that we can achieve the desired objective.
Cocoa High-Tech Programme
Hon. Presiding Member, there is no denying of the fact that, the Cocoa Hi-Tech Programme has proved very useful in increasing yield of beneficiary farmers for the past few years. Available records indicate that in 2004, the District received 18,000 bags of fertilizer under the programme for distribution to farmers. In 2005, only 9,000 bags of fertilizers were received by the District. The dramatic fall of bags of fertilizer received by the District was due to the poor nature of the Cocoa Hi-Tech loan recovery process, since most of the beneficiary farmers felt it was a gift from the government to them. Let me use this opportunity to passionately appeal to our beneficiary farmers to pay back the loan on time, so that the project can be sustained.
Food and Agricultural Budgetary Supported (FABS) Loans
Hon. Presiding Member, still to buttress the importance of Agriculture to our economy, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), in collaboration with the District Assembly and the Amansie West Rural Bank, has introduced the FABS Loan, a World Bank Loan facility. Under this, an amount of ¢206 million has been disbursed to 14 co- operative Farmers Based Organisations (FBO’s) in the District. This is meant to assist the FBO’s to increase production.
Hon. Members, the Bird Flu scare is all over the country. Thank God no trace has been identified in the district. I wish to inform the Hon. Members that the necessary precautions have been made should the unexpected happen.
Security And Judicial System
Hon. Presiding Member, it is gratifying to know that the District has enjoyed some amount of peace and stability for some time now. The hitherto volatile chieftaincy disputes in some communities in the District have subsided considerably.
I wish to use this opportunity to thank our security personnel for their continuous commitment and dedication to duty. Their vigilance, tactfulness and display of professionalism has brought about the peace that we all are enjoying now.
The Assembly will continue to support them to give off their best. I am therefore happy to inform you that works on the District Police Headquarters and the renovation of the Barracks have been completed and well furnished. The projects will be commissioned by the Police Service on 6th April, 2006. The court building which helps in the settlement of disputes has also been reconstructed. This year the official residents of the District Police Commander will be renovated and two additional Police Stations will be built at Datano and Domi-Keniago. When completed, security will be beefed up and the police officers will feel more comfortable working in the district. I pray that with this infrastructure the District will be elevated to a Divisional status in future.
I also thank the Traditional Authorities, opinion leaders and all those who have contributed in diverse ways in ensuring relative peace and tranquility in the District. I is my fervent hope that we would continue to work together to improve the genera security situation in the District
Let me however remind ourselves that the District is still battling with other criminal activities like illegal chain sawing, wee smoking, illegal mining etc. These are all criminal activities, which if not nibbed in the bud will create insecurity situation in the District. Concrete proposals to deal with these activities are therefore welcome from the floor of the house.
Selection Of Bonsaaso As Millennium Village Of Ghana
Hon. Presiding Member, Hon. Members, the concept of Millennium Village is one of the quick impacts identified by the United Nations. The Millennium Village Project is intended to assist and empower African Villages to lift themselves out of their poverty trap and achieve all the Millennium Development Goals in 15 years.
The goals were adopted five (5) years ago by 189 Heads of State and Governments who decided to eradicate poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality; reduce child mortality; improve Maternal Health; Combat HIV/AIDS; Malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and formulate a global partnership for development. In selecting a Millennium Village in Ghana, a team from the UN Millennium Taskforce on Hunger came to Ghana and toured a number of Villages in the Central, Western and Ashanti Region. I wish to officially inform Hon. Members that Bonsaaso in our District has been selected as the Millennium Village of Ghana. The selection of Amansie West District is not by chance. It is because the Assembly has, over the years, shown commitment in implementing successfully special government policies and programmes like, the Cocoa Spraying Exercise and Hi-Tech Programme; SIF; QUIPS Programme; PSI Cassava Project and recently the Health Insurance Scheme and several others.
Hon. Members, we deserve commendation! The project is to benefit not only Bonsaaso but a number of clustered villages in those areas. In the first phase it will cover; Bonsaaso; Manukrom - Taabosere; Yawkasa – Kwadwo Nsiahkrom; Brikyakrom - Jumakro; Dunhura - Nkrumakrom; Nyamebekyere - Hiampenika; Groso; Aboaboso; Akyerekverekrom: and ADenimedi.
Hon. Assembly Members, the project has already taken off with the appointment of a Millennium Village Co-ordinator and a Co-ordinator in charge of Cluster Villages. The Assembly has provided them with residential accommodation and offices at Manso Nkwanta. In each of the 10 communities listed above, about 7 committees will be formed. These will be in-charge of Education, Health, Water and Sanitation, Agriculture and Environment, Roads and Transport, Energy and Infrastructure.
Community Water and Sanitation Project
Hon. Presiding Member, the past few years under the CWSP 2 saw the completion of 175 boreholes in the District fitted with pumps and 21 out of this number have been earmarked for mechanization. In a similar vein, 15 KVIPs for 15 schools and 1,336 Household Latrines had been constructed. I wish to use this opportunity to inform this August house that the Household Latrine Project is still on course and about 600 Householders have requested for subsidies as at now.
Hon. Presiding Member, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the above-mentioned project was launched in this Assembly Hall on 17th November 2005, and the Government of Ghana and Germany, through KFW are providing funds for the Project. There has been vigorous capacity training for Partner Organizations (PO’s), Technical Assistants and beneficiary communities selected. In addition. Latrine Artisans have been selected and are waiting for training on 29th of April, 2006. Under this project, the District is expected to enjoy a good number of Boreholes, Institutional and Household Latrines which will be decided by the project. Since the project is demand driven, I wish to advise that Hon. Members to assist communities to fill the application forms and appeal to them to pay their counter part fund very promptly so that they can enjoy more of the facilities the project offers.
Community Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP)
Hon. Presiding Member, the Village Infrastructure Programme (VIP) has been passive in the District since 2002. Under the programme, schools, markets, private goods etc had been provided in most of our communities. It is, however refreshing to note that VIP has been replaced with community Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP) and the Assembly has submitted a list of prioritized projects for funding. There has been a sensitization workshop for all the 12 Area Councils in the District. I wish to inform you that 3 Area Councils have been selected by the project as pilot ones. These are; Watreso, Keriiago and Datano. The reason being that, these Area Councils are the least developed in terms of infrastructure among others in the District.
The unique nature of the CBRDP, unlike other Projects is that the project will see to renovating/rehabilitating dilapidated school structures and roads and assist farmers to secure loans through banks. The project has awarded the road from Dwumakro- Brikyakrom and Nyamebekyere on contract at the cost of about ¢1.2 billion to Messers Vector Links and I am happy to say that very soon work will commence.
Social Investment Fund (SIF)
The first phase of the programme provides the district with 11 projects - 10 Schools and 1 Clinic which are been used. Arrangements are well underway for the district to be part of the second phase. 11. Performance Of Revenue And Expenditure For 2005. Hon. Presiding Member, last year the District Assembly performed poorly in the area of mobilization of its local Revenue. This unfortunate phenomenon placed a limitation on our Expenditure during the year. I present to you a brief analysis of revenue and expenditure form 1st January - 31st December 2005 for your information and possible comments.
Internally Generated Revenue
Budgeted in ¢: 1,461,350,000.00
Actual in ¢: 452,571,187.00
Percentage achieved: 31%
Budgeted in ¢: 10,714,950,000.00
Actual in ¢: 9,246,625,805.00
Percentage achieved: 86%
I must state that the problem of mobilizing enough local revenue for our numerous projects/programmes remains unresolved. It is time we all put our heads together to draw more workable plans to mobilize more revenue. Meanwhile, management has decided to go round with Hon. Members to do the collection. Hon. Members are also entreated to submit data on each community to help the Finance department to do effective work.
Development Projections For Year 2006
Hon. Presiding Member, for this year, we expect to receive about (¢6 billion) as our share of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund (DACF) to be used to continue on- going projects and to start others. You have observed that in attributing projects to sources of funding, those strictly under the DACF appeared to be very few. This is because the greater percentage is used as Counter Part Fund for special programmes like CBRDP, RWSP, REP etc. The only sources which are self-sustaining are HIPC and GET FUND. The trend will continue this year, but part of it will be used to construct and rehabilitate some school structures as you would have noticed in the development budget already given you.
Hon. Presiding Member, Hon. Member of Parliament, Hon. Assembly Members, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the year 2005, had been full ofups and downs in terms of our attempts to develop the District to an appreciable level. It is true that as a district we have not performed badly at all. This has been possible as a result of your hard work, dedication and commitment to duty. It is in the light of this that, I humbly request Hon. Assembly Members to continue to serve your communities and to sacrifice a little bit of your time to assist collectors and area council staff to mobilize more local revenue to undertake more projects. I wish to take this opportunity to thank you sincerely for the kind co-operation the staff of the Assembly and I have enjoyed from you up to this time. May you have fruitful discussions and May the Almighty God grant us his travelling mercies back to our various homes.
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