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Speech


SESSIONAL ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE DISTRICT CHIEF EXECUTIVE, TWIFO HEMANG LOWER DENKYIRA DISTRICT ASSEMBLY, TWIFO PRASO, HON. SAMUEL YAW AGYEIBI-KESSIE, AT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING HELD IN THE DISTRICT ASSEMBLY CONFERENCE ROOM ON THURSDAY, 20TH APRIL 2006

Hon. Presiding Member,
Hon. Deputy Central Regional Minister,
Hon. Members of Parliament,
Hon. Assembly Members,
Nananom,
Heads of Department,
Friends of the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen.


I am filled with great delight and honour to welcome our august and  Special Guest, Deputy Central Regional Minister, Hon. Nana Ato Arthur to this august House, and indeed all Hon. Members to our General Assembly after the Easter Festivities. I would also like to seize this opportunity to congratulate Hon. Nana Ato Arthur on hi  recent appointment by His Excellency, President J. A. Kufuor as the Acting Metropolitan Chief Executive of Cape Coast Municipal Assembly. My appeal to all of us is to inculcate the true spirit of Easter in us, which is one of PEACE, RECONCILIATION and SELF SACRIFICE in order to move our dear District and in effect, the Nation forward on the path of social-economic development.

I wish to also take this opportunity to express my gratitude to our Hon. Members of Parliament for making time to be in our midst to share their rich experiences from Parliament at the National Level with us at the District Level. As this is the First (1st) General Assembly Meeting in 2006, I would like to primarily brief you on some Development Programmes of this Assembly, even though some of you may be aware of them.

Hon. Presiding Member, in my last Sessional Address to this august House, I indicated that there would be a lot of Development Projects in this District this year. In this vein, I am happy to announce that, the International Development Associations (IDA) of the World Bank Small Town Water System was launched in the District on 21st February, 2006.

Two (2) other new projects were also launched, namely, the International Labour Organization (ILO) Child Monitoring System on 27th and 28th March, 2006 and the Rural Enterprise Project (REP) on 12th April 2006. I am happy to announce that our Hon. Deputy Central Regional Minister deputized for the Hon. Central Regional Minister who graciously accepted to be our Special Guest at the Launching Ceremony and to inaugurate the District Implementation Committee (DIC) of the Project.

Hon. Deputy Central Regional Minister, we are very grateful to you once more for the honour done us as a District. Additionally this District was selected among two (2) others in the Region where a World Bank Monitoring Team monitored the Community-Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP) - sponsored Area Councils Training Programme as well as Human Resource Development in general, and they were full of praise for our dear district. Another plus has been achieved here too.

Hon. Presiding Member, Hon. Deputy Central Regional Minister, Hon. Assembly Members, Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira District celebrated the Forty-Ninth (49) Independence Anniversary in grand style. A parade of school children and the General Public were organized in the various towns in the District, .including Twifo Praso, the District Capital. The attendance was very impressive!

Hon. Presiding Member, Hon. Deputy Central Regional Minister, this District was once again selected for the Central Regional Version of the People’s Assembly. The well-attended Ceremony was organized on 6th April, 2006 and the Hon. Members of this august House who were able to attend this function would testify to its success. A Ministerial Team led by the Hon. Central Regional Minister was in full attendance.

The occasion was used to bring this District Assembly closer to the doorsteps of the governed. They seized the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to the governance of this District and also asked nagging questions pertaining to development of our district and for that matter, Ghana.

Hon. Presiding Member, Hon. Deputy Central Regional Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, the German Development Services (DED) Development officer assigned to this District would soon be at post to assist in the development of this District. To this end, DED has issued a cheque in the sum of Thirty-Seven Million  Cedis (¢37,000,000.00) for the renovation of this Assembly’s residence earmarked for him.

Hon. Presiding Member, Hon. Deputy Central Regional Minister, under the Community-Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP), a Consultant is being procured by this Assembly to assist in the implementation of the First Batch of the Block Grant Projects consisting of Five (5) No. Three (3)-Unit Classroom Block and Ancillary Facilities, Two (2) No. KVIP and I No Health Centre.

In addition to this, Hon. Presiding Member, (the Sixth (6th) European Union Micro Projects would be launched in the Central Region on 25th April, 2006. This would also assist in Infrastructural Development and Twifo-Hemang-Lower Denkyira District will also have her fair share. I am glad to inform you that (the District has been selected by the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing to be hooked to the National Housing Programme which provides affordable housing schemes. One Hundred (100) acre piece of land needs to be acquired by this Assembly for the purpose.

Hon. Presiding Member, Hon. Deputy Central Regional Minister, Nananom, under the Water and Sanitation Project in this District we have been selected together with Ajumako Enyan Essiam District for Total Sanitation and Monitoring, Operation and Maintenance (MOM) Pilot Projects. The Ten (10) Boreholes and Hand-dug wells selected as sub-projects for 2005 are being drilled /sunk.

Hon. Presiding Member. Hon. Deputy Central Regional Minister, may I use this unique opportunity to announce lo you that our Rural Electrification Project for the Twifo Atti Morkwa portion of this District is on course. 1 am happy to inform you that Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Abraham Dwuma Odoom has pledged Fifty (50) bags of cement to sixteen (16) communities.

The Assembly is going to supplement this so that the Project could
be completed on time. As 1 stand here and speak now, two (2) of the contractors  are on site. About a week ago, 1 was reliably informed that one of the contractors was also at Kwamoano and Ayebeahwe for the same purpose, and this was at the instance of Hon. Rev. Ben Donkor, Member of Parliament for Hemang-Lower Denkyira Constituency.

Hon. Presiding Member, Hon. Deputy Central Regional Minister, the following projects have been proposed for the consideration of the General House for execution in 2006. They will be co-financed from our allocation of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) and Special Project Interventions.

They are:
  1. Re-construction of market Complex at Twifo Praso.
  2. Expansion of Twifo Praso Lorry Park
  3. Construction of Two (2) No. Staff Quarters at Twifo Praso
  4. Construction of Nyenasi, Wamaso and Wawase Area Council Offices.
  5. Construction of Four (4) No. Ten (10)-Seater KVIP at Darmang, Ankaako, Mampoma and Frami.
  6. Rehabilitation of District Assembly Block.
  7. Beautification of the Capital City and other Traditional Capitals.
  8. Construction of sports stadium at Twifo Praso.
  9. Construction of District Police Head Quarters.
  10. Construction of office accommodation for District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme (THEMOLD).
  11. Construction of Hostel and playing field towards CAN 2008 at Jukwa Cultural Village.
  12. Construction of I No. staff quarters for Twifo Hemang Secondary Technical School.
Roads
Hon. Members, Nananom, Ladies and Gentlemen, the District Assembly in making every effort to improve upon the road network in the district.  Bremang - Soldierkorm (3.4km) is currently under construction and by the close of next week the contractor would start Kenkuase Jn - Kenkuase (5.5km). The contractors working on Twifo Praso - Dunkwa-On-0ffin road as well as Twifo Praso - Assin Foso road have been severely warned to expedite action so as to complete the roads on time.

The European Union (EU) financed STABEX and Cocoa roads are still under construction and it is believed that they will soon be completed. Examples of such roads include Nuamakrom-Kenkuase, Osen-Tweapease, Osenagya-Subriso. I am also delighted to announce to the General House that Jukwa Town Roads have been awarded on contract at a cost of Three Billion, Three-Hundred and Twenty-Six Million, Nine Hundred and Sixty-Two Thousand and Four Hundred Cedis (¢3,326,962,400.00) for tarring.

The District Assembly intends to construct a by-pass in Twifo Praso so that vehicles going to Cape Coast from Dunkwa-on-Offin would not pass through Twifo Praso commercial centre. This will also ease congestion at the centre of the Town.

HIV And AIDS
Hon. Presiding Member, Hon. Deputy Central Regional Minister, Hon. Assembly Members, the HIV/AIDS menace is raging on. The infection rate is on the ascendancy. Statistics available at St. Francis Xavier Hospital, Assin Foso, and Central Regional Hospital (INTERBETON), Cape Coast show that the infection rate is growing. The District campaign against new infection, care and support for People Living with HIV/AIDS are still being pursued.
 
Various collaborators are also leaving no stone unturned to reduce the menace to the barest minimum. Currently, World Vision Ghana has been organizing various workshops to sensitize beneficiaries on Behavioral Change as one of the major ways of reducing HIV/AIDS infection. They are also undertaking research on Knowledge Attitude, Practices and Behaviour Analysis of various categories of people in the district in relationship to HIV/AIDS.

Hon. Presiding Member, Nananom, Ladies and Gentlemen, the District Assembly provided the needed guidance to Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the preparation of proposals to access the MSHAP Fund.  The District AIDS Committee has selected qualified CBOs and NGOs in order to sign Contract Agreement with them on behalf of the Ghana AIDS Commission. Meanwhile, the District AIDS Committee (DAC) itself is submitting a proposal to access the MSHAP fund in order to augment the one percent (1%) DACF set aside for combating HIV/AIDS in the district.

District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme
Hon. Presiding Member, Hon. Assembly Members, Nananom, Ladies and Gentlemen, the District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme is on course. The Scheme has been able to issue out One Thousand, Seven Hundred and Sixty-Four (1,764) Identification (ID) Cards to its clients who are due for it. The District Assembly supported the Scheme with Six Million, Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand Cedis (¢6,570,000.00) to carry out its educational or publicity activities.

Some clients have started benefiting from the Scheme since November 2005, and as of now Twenty-Eight Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty-Six Thousand Cedis Pesewas (¢28,786,000.40) has been paid to the various accredited health facilities within the catchment area of the scheme namely: St Francis Xavier Hospital, Assin Foso, Central Regional Hospital, Cape Coast, NAT & SONS PHARMACY, Twifo Praso, Christ the King Medical Laboratory, Twifo Praso and Government Hospital, Twifo Praso.                                                               

The Scheme was privileged to be visited by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health. Miss Helen K. Dzikunu, a senior Programme Advisor from DANIDA Health Sector Support Office also visited the scheme. By December 31st 2005, the Scheme had registered Fifty-Six Thousand, One Hundred and Sixty-Nine (56,169) members and between January and March 2006 alone an additional Six Thousand, Eight Hundred and Seventy-Two (6,872) members also registered bringing the total to Sixty-Three Thousand and Forty-One (63,041).  

This is a clear manifestation of the popularity the scheme is enjoying. I would like to seize this opportunity to appeal to honourable members and everybody here to appeal to our relatives, friends and loved ones to register as soon as possible.

Telecommunications
Cellular Phone Network
Hon. Presiding Member, the District was connected to the SPACEFON / AREEBA Cellular phone network on Monday 23rd January, 2006. This was followed by TIGO (BUZZ) some seven weeks later. Ghana Telecom is also completing its works in Twifo Praso to establish its network in the District. This would give us both line phone and ONETOUCH Cellular phone network.

Finance
Hon. Presiding Member, today the supplementary Budget of the District Assembly would be presented to the House for deliberations and I would like to believe that Hon. Members would see that this Assembly is determined to develop the district the total Internally Generated Fund (IGF) Budget for the year is ¢2,191,734,104  with the first Quarter component of ¢547,533,526.

The District Assembly was able to collect ¢392,104,976.74 representing 71.5% out of which an expenditure of ¢385,172,216.70 was made, leaving a surplus of ¢6,932,760.04. The percentage (%) of the collection for the year is 17.9% instead of 25%. This implies that if we do not work hard to improve upon our revenue generation and collection, we cannot achieve our set target for the year. I therefore entreat all Hon. Assembly Members and Heads of Departments to put their shoulders to the wheel.

HIPC
All the 10 No. HIPC Projects awarded last year are in progress. In fact some contractors have even completed theirs e.g. 20-Seater Vault Chamber at Aboabo. The only project delaying unduly is the 10-Seater Vault Chamber at Somnyamekodur for which the Contractor has been warned by the Consultant. Twifo Praso Secondary School new site project is also on course. The contractors were paid recently and the progress of work is satisfactory; the Works Sub-committee has visited the site and would testify to this. Another HIPC Project is the up-grading of Twifo Praso Health Centre into a District Hospital. The first phase of the project has been completed and handed over to the District authorities. 

Rural Enterprise Project (Rep) II
The REP II was launched in the District on 12th April, 2006 to support the socio- economic development in the District. The Project represents part of Government Development Programme to Reduce Poverty in the rural areas. The project concept is to provide rural poor families with productive assets to enable them contribute towards accelerated National Economic Growth.

Project Services include training in employable skills for small business creation, apprenticeship training, technology transfers, and rural financial services among others. As a participating District, the Project has established a Business Advisory Centre in the District Assembly Block (Room 10). The business development and marketing service component of REP II will be implemented through the Business Advisory Centre (BAC). The BAC is a tripartite partnership between the project, the District Assembly and the National Board for small scale industries (NBSSI). The District will be allocated with a brand new 4x4 pick-up vehicle to facilitate its operations.

District Sub-Structures
Hon. Presiding Member, Hon. Members, Ladies and Gentlemen, the operationalization of the Area Councils is long over-due even though we attempted it some years back. With the support of Community-Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP), Four (4) Area Councils namely: Nyenasi, Wamaso, Wawase and Agona were trained last year. Fortunately for us Mampong was also added this year.  

Each of them would be receiving ¢150,000,000.000 each totalling ¢750,000,000.00 upon preparation and submission of Area Plans. To this end, I wish to seek your mandate to rent office accommodation for all the Area Councils and appoint one person for each Area Council for the time being. Meanwhile in the Supplementary Budget of the District there is a proposal to put up office accommodation for Wawase, Wamaso and Nyenasi Area Councils. Another batch of Three (3) would be considered in the next year’s budget.

Even though the District Assemblies Elections would be conducted this year, I believe a good number of the Area Councils members would be retained-German Development Services (Ded). The District has been supported and continue to receive support from DED, and German Embassy in conjunction with the Women in the Lord’s Vineyard (WITLOV). They supported our last year’s Farmers Day Celebration, organized workshop for Nananom, and supported Beekeeping training and equipment to some rural farmers at Ayaase.

In addition to this, they supported in the furnishing of the dais and the podium at the Assembly Hall. They are helping us to establish a Community-Based Radio Station in Twifo Praso which I announced to you at the People’s Assembly recently.  Today, they are here with German Embassy Attaché on culture to present sets of football jersey and football to the Twifo United Football Club.

Through them a German National Development Worker will soon be in the country with his family and stay with us in Twifo Praso to help in the development goals of the District. The renovation of his proposed residence is being borne by DED. From the above, I want to use this opportunity to express our profound appreciation to DED and to assure them that their support would be fully utilized.

Environmental Health And Sanitation
Mr. Chairman, Sanitation is a way of life. It is the quality of living that is expressed in a clean home; clean farm: clean business and industry; clean neighbourhood and a clean community. Being a way of life it must come from within the people. It is nourished by knowledge and grows as an obligation and as an ideal in human relations. The District Assembly is therefore desilting choked gutters.

The District Assembly has relocated refuse dumps in the major towns in the District e.g. Jukwa Market and the incinerator site along Twifo Praso – Nuamakrom road. The sanitary labourers clean the major towns whilst the Unit Committees through communal labour also clean the smaller towns and the villages.  The Environmental Unit in the various towns also educate the public on clean environment and enforce strict but tactful compliance of the environmental laws and regulations.

WASTE MANAGEMENTt

Solid Waste And Liquid Waste Disposal
 Solid Waste Disposal
Hon. Members, Ladies and Gentlemen, Crude solid waste dumps in the District have been cleaned by the District Assembly.  Most of the dumps were located along the roads. The final disposal site which was in a mess has been put in order. In order to raise the level of environmental sanitation in the District, communal labour is being revived. The District Assembly has decided to purchase sanitary tools for the various Area Councils to help achieve that purpose. Five (5) platforms for the solid waste skips have been constructed at Twifo Praso. Others will be constructed within the principal towns in the District.

Liquid Waste Disposal
Hon. Presiding Member, Public latrines which were overflowing with septic effluent has been dislodged by the District Assembly. The Assembly has also put a mechanism in place to privatize all public toilets in our principal town for effective management & maintenance.

Food Hygeine
Hon. Presiding Member, Nananom, Hon. Assembly Members, to ensure the safety of food consumers, vigorous laboratory examination of food vendors and the enforcement of food hygiene regulations are being pursued. Also, the meat shop which was in   deplorable state has been rehabilitated by the District Assembly.
Creation of awareness among food vendors on the need to ensure the delivery of wholesome food is on-going. Mr. Chairman, Inspection of guest houses, dwelling and eating premises is being intensified, to ensure that residents conform to sanitation standards.

Stray Animals
Hon. Members, stray animals which pose a threat to farming and a recipe for communal conflict is under control. Many stray animals have been impounded by the environmental Health Unit and their owners fined by the District Assembly, whilst others were also auctioned to the general public.

School Health
Hon. Members, Ladies and Gentlemen, Environmental Hygiene Education in the various schools will be revived to raise the knowledge level of school children on how to keep their surroundings clean always. The children would act as agents for change.

Market Sanitation                                      
Clearing of solid waste from the market is done on daily basis by the sanitary labourers. Additionally, public places and the major streets in the District are always kept clean by the District Assembly sanitary labourers. Furthermore, overgrowth weeds at the government bungalows and public places in the district are always taken care of by the scavenging labourers. The main setback with respect to the Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit of the District is lack of adequate sanitary labourers to work with, coupled with inadequacy of sanitary equipment and disinfectants.

Water Supply
Hon. Presiding Member, Hon. Members, Ladies and Gentlemen, the sources of water supply in the District are: pipe -borne water, bore holes, hand dug wells, rain water streams/rivers. Bore holes in the communities are managed by the communities. Some of the wells have been provided with aprons, parapet walls and fitting covers to ensure the wholesomeness of the water contained in them. The communities which use streams, ponds and rivers as their source of water supply have been given environmental hygiene education to boil such water before usage.

Health
Hon. Members, the District is committed to the health care delivery in the district. In view of this, we are putting .up new infrastructures at Nuamakrom / Afosua  (CBRDP), Nsutam (EU) and Jukwa - Krobo (SIF). The District Assembly has also released funds for the completion of Kayireku CHPS Compounds, proposed KV1P for Frami and Hemang Health Centres and in collaboration with World Vision Ghana, sunk a hand dug well at Frami Health Centre. The District is currently sponsoring Five (5) Health Aides at Ankanful Nursing Training College.

The first phase of upgrading of the Twifo Praso Health Centre into a District Hospital status under HIPC Funding was completed and inaugurated on Tuesday 14th March 2006. I am greatly delighted to announce that, constructional work on much-awaited second (2nd) phase Expansion of the District Hospital Project will commence in September this year, 2006.

I am once again delighted to announce to you that, the Prestige Financial Group of Canada - a group of wealthy Ghanaian-born Canadians, who are financiers of Medical Facilities has indicated its intention to Rehabilitate and upgrade six (6) Hospitals in Ghana.  Fortunately, Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira District has been selected to be beneficiary of this package. As a result of this latest development, the Metropolitan / District Chief Executives of the beneficiary Districts were invited to Konongo - Ashanti on Saturday 25th February 2006 for a briefing session.

Hon. Presiding Member, Hon. Members, we shall take the fullest advantage of this God-sent Programme to develop the much-needed facilities at our District Hospital. The recent panic about Avian Flu has been a great concern to the district health providers.   Community-Based surveillance volunteer system has been strengthened to detect suspected Avian Flu for early response. Similarly, there is an Avian Flu Task Force in the district. The Guinea worm infestation has been brought under control.   Four (4) communities recently freed from the Guinea worm are under close surveillance; they are Osenagya, Onwanso, Aboso and Kayireku. No confirmation cases have been seen since 2003 making the District Guinea worm free.                        

Hon. Presiding Member, the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) is the cornerstone for the Primary Health Care strategy. However EPI activities in the District have been challenging due to several factors such as difficult socio- economic environment, inadequate logistics, and inaccessibility. This has reduced the performance to 62% with a drop rate of 15%. The District is beneficiary of Global Fund for Malaria Control activities.

And to reduce the incidence of Malaria in the District Ghana Health Service in collaboration with the District Assembly have organized Sixteen (16) community’s durbars, trained Sixty (60) Community- Based Agents on Home-Based Care, insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) and distributed 1100 Insecticide Treated Bed nets to pregnant women and children under five years at a cost of Twenty Thousand Cedis (¢20,000.00) (between January - March 2006).

The District Health stakeholders also received training on the use of Antesunate Amodaquine. The Health Service and the World Vision Ghana also dewormed   17,221 children of school going age under their school health programme. Hon. Presiding Member, out of 1,368 pregnant women who registered at Antenatal Clinics in the district (January - March 2006) 274 were adolescents. This has a serious implication on our human (youth) resources development which as an Assembly we need to reflect upon. It also indicates that the youth indulge in unprotected sex which can lead to HIV infestation.

Agriculture
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, agriculture activities in the district are still making a great impact on our district micro-economy and that of the Nation at large. The District Agricultural Development Unit (DADU) has submitted a proposal on the production of Ginger in the District to the Senior Minister in Accra.  The project aims at assisting 540 local farmers organized into 50 groups for a processing plant in Accra owned by one Mr. Eric Bosteen, an English Entrepreneur who has offered to buy all ginger to be produced in the district. The total cost of the project is estimated at ¢1,870,000,000.00 (¢1,870 billion). The Farmers will contribute ¢510,000,000 (¢510 million), whilst the remaining ¢1,360,000,000.00 (¢1,360 billion) is the assistance being sought under the proposal.

Hon. Presiding Member, Hon. Members, as earlier on indicated, most of our farm produce are sold in their raw state. Those that we are able to process like the palm oil also are usually not patronized by the consumers. This compels a lot of farmers / millers to sell them at cheap prices or on credit to traders from Techiman (B/A) and Kumasi. I therefore appeal to all Hon. Members to seize the opportunity being offered by the introduction of Rural Enterprise Project (REP), in our District to improve their lot.

The District Assembly in collaboration with DADU will continue to create an enabling environment for the growth of Agriculture in the District. Those who have visited the Agriculture Information Centre at the Old Council would see a lot of things such as agro-chemicals, cutlasses, fertilizers, textile and hybrid seeds at subsidized prices. Government’s determination to improve upon the cocoa industry is still on course. The cocoa mass spraying exercise will be continued this year with improved strategies. Everybody here is therefore entreated to support the programme so that Ghana regains her enviable position as the leading producer of cocoa in the world.

Hon. Presiding Member, Nananom, Ladies and Gentlemen, finally, I would like to entreat everybody here to work very hard towards the development of the District. Even though we have tried our best, there is still more room for improvement. I wish to take this opportunity to introduce to you our new District Finance Officer in the person of Mr. Albert Aidoo who has replaced Mr. R. K. Anokye who is at post at Assin North District Assembly, Assin Fosu.

Thank you.
And May God Bless You all!!



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