A STAR-Ghana funded project, dubbed: “Citizens Empowerment Against Corruption (CEMAC)” has held durbars in nine communities in the Upper East Region to arm the residents with information on good governance and service delivery in the public sector.
The durbars were meant to create a platform for citizens to better understand their rights and obligations as well as helping the citizenry to understand government’s flagship social intervention programmes and to demand accountability and feedback from duty bearers from state institutions.
The project is being implemented in three districts in the Upper East Region, namely, Bongo, Talensi and Kasena Nankana West.
Over 3,000 people from the beneficiary communities participated in the community fora and interactions, with representatives from the various state agencies available to respond to their concerns.
The fora provided some of the citizenry the first time opportunity and platform to voice their concerns and for actors to provide feedback and concrete plans to address them.
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The CEMAC project is being implemented by Civil Society Organisations Movement Against Corruption (CMAC).
CMAC is a consortium made up of the Association of Church Development Project (ACDEP), Presby-Health North, RISE-Ghana and the Upper East Regional Chapter of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA-UER).
The Executive Director of RISE-Ghana, Mr Awal Ahmed Kariama explained that the project is empowering citizens and duty bearers to approach service delivery as a human rights entitlement and also act individually and collectively to prevent and end corruption in the delivery of public services especially social interventions meant to cushion the poor.
“If we pay attention and nip corruption in the bud, the general poverty and inequality witnessed in this parts of the country will be a thing of the past,” he said, adding “It takes all actors to end these.”
He said “We can’t attain the Sustainable Development goals (SDGs) target as well as universal health coverage, zero hunger, improve maternal health without tackling corruption in public service delivery.”
According to Mr Awal, the project is creating a critical mass of citizens to stop corruption in the three implementing districts of the project.
He commended STAR-Ghana for the initiative, saying the initiative would go a long way to deepen the knowledge of the residents in the beneficiary communities to demand accountability from duty bearers.
He added that ACDEP is leading all the implementing CSOs in the beneficiary districts.
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