Some residents of communities in the Akuapem South Municipality of Eastern Region have expressed concerns about the Municipal Assembly’s delay in responding to their calls to addressing community challenges.
According to the residents, even though the Akuapem South Municipal Assembly is doing its best to provide needed amenities and other development facilities to them, they are sometimes made to go through some stressful times all in bid to get the Assembly authorities to swiftly respond to their pressing issues.
Speaking to Ghanaweb after a training workshop organised for some 75 community development monitors under Ghana’s Strengthening Accountability Mechanism (GSAM) project at Aburi, the residents expressed that they could traverse the Municipal Assembly many times mostly without success in having their issues resolved.
“Whenever we have a challenge in our locality, we call each other to see how best to solve it. After this we bring our appeal to authorities but sometimes, they delay. The way we expect our grievances to be addressed on time, it usually does not happen as expected. Sometimes responses come early as expected though.
“Another key challenge is that usually, our youth engage in some vices. We try to solve it but when we get stuck and bring it before the assembly authorities, they relax. This makes the social vices keep on rising in our communities,” Nana Yaw Duodu, Amankrado of Yaw Duodu community expressed.
An Assembly Member at Dumpong, another community in the Akuapem South Municipality, Amos Addo, also complained that several calls on the Assembly to complete an age-old uncompleted health facility and a school block in his community had fallen on death ears.
“I am from Dumpong. We have a Community-based Health Provider Serves (CHPS) compound that is uncompleted. And very close to the CHPS compound, is an uncompleted school building. We have informed authorities and called on them severally, but there is still no response. We still expect that that assistance will come earnestly.
“The JHS pupils are using same block with the primary pupils. It is not helpful. We expect that all is worked on the JHS block to make life easy for the pupils. The location of the CHPS compound is strategic and will serve a lot more nearby communities and it will be so helpful if it is completed soon.
“We call on authorities to fulfil their promise of completing the CHPS compound this year and to come to the aid of Dumpong so that development can progress. With that, the nearby villages will have their peace of mind so that when a pregnant woman or someone is sick we would not need to carry him/her to a far distance for healthcare.”
Nana Opare Agyekum, also a resident of Yaw Duodu, expressed that “We don’t have water here. Last they came to dig a borehole but the Assembly has not fixed the pump to let us have access to water. Now our CHPS compound is incomplete and the roofing sheets fixed have worn out. The cement they brought to plaster the facility have all gone bad.”
According to him, he together with other community members informed the Assemblyman who in turn led them to the District Chief Executive (DCE), Frank Aidoo, “but still no assistance has come yet. So we pray that the authorities will come to our aide.”
When Ghanaweb approached the Akuapem South Municipal Planning Officer, James Atambila Abugre, to react to the residents’ assertions, he expressed a divergent view:
“If anybody has said that we don’t always act swiftly, then maybe he or she does not always report to the right person or the right source. If you have a challenge you come to the assembly here and report to the MCE or to the Client Service unit or to say the Engineer or to me as the Planning Officer, we will act and we have always been doing that so I would encourage that they should always come to the right place and give out the information or concerns and we will act.
“As an assembly, for us we are here to serve the municipality or the community so whatever the challenges a community will face, it is the duty of the local authority, that is to say, the assembly, to fix it. We are not everywhere all the time so as and when there is an issue at any place, and we are called upon it is our duty to go and then rectify whatever challenge they have.
“We have been doing that very well. Over the years if we are putting up a structure or any development in any community, we go with the contractor and then hold a community durbar, introduced the contractor to the community and the community to the contractor. So the contractor will work hand-in-hand with the community members. So when that is done, it is expected that if there is any challenge, if the contractor is not using say the right material to do the construction or is not doing the work according to specification, we expect the community to draw the attention of the assembly and when our attention is drawn to any issue like that we act swiftly.”
Meanwhile, the Youth and Women Empowerment (YWE), a civil society organisation, has been taking these 75 community members from the various communities through a training workshop on community development monitoring.
According to Peter Akumatey Tetteh, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer on the GSAM project, at the end of the training, the community members would be equipped to serve as development monitors who will do monitoring of capital projects in their respective communities.
As a special part of the training workshop, the community members were taken through the various channels that their grievances can be heard and offered with swift responses by the Assembly to address their issues.
The training workshop was supported by USAID.
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