The Pusiga District Assembly is working hard to put in place its first four-year medium-term development plan, which will help attract the needed funding to improve on the socio-economic development of the people in the newly created district.
Development partners, heads of department and assembly members have all been encouraged to support the process to succeed. The plan, which spans from 2014-2017, is also expected to spell out the potentials and opportunities available for investment in the district, as well as challenges facing the district in its quest to accelerate development.
So far, a number of structures have been put in place to facilitate the process. They include the inauguration of the district planning team, training of field officers for district data collection, validation of the district profile and data analysis for the community action and area council plans. The Pusiga District was carved out of the Bawku Municipality on June 28, 2012. Zuobiliga Dam
As part of efforts to improve on dry season farming, rural income and reduce the seasonal migration of the youth to the south for non-existent jobs, the assembly rehabilitated the Zuobiliga Dam which had been on the drawing board for some time now.
The dam enhances the economic activities of the people in communities in and around Pusiga.
Portions of the dam’s embankment was washed off during the 2012 rainy season, making it impossible for the beneficiaries of the dam to embark on their economic activities.
The Assembly Member for the Zuobiliga electoral area, Mr Joseph Akanaba, thanked the assembly and the government for rehabilitating the dam and hoped other dams that facilitated dry season farming in the Pusiga district would be rehabilitated. Rural electrification
During the first ordinary meeting of the district assembly, the Pusiga District Chief Executive, Mr Alhassan Abugbila, announced that the government was extending electricity to 10 communities in the district.
The communities are Deega-Sarabugu, Bitu, Dablugo, Gbewaa-Natinga, Kayinchingo, Latega, Mandago-College-Bengula and Nakom-Nkinikogo-Latega. The rest are Piakolo, Terago, Yariga and Zong-Natinga.
The DCE emphasised that the rural electrification programme was being done in phases and that other communities would also benefit from the facility. GETFUND projects
Mr Abugbila indicated that plans were far advanced for the procurement and distribution of 30,502 assorted furniture for schools in the district under the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund).
As a way of reducing the walking distance of children to school and eliminating schools under trees, some facilities have been earmarked for construction. They include the construction of three-unit classroom blocks each for the Gambudugu, Sugudi and Zuobuliga Primary Schools, rehabilitation of the Kulungugu Primary School and the construction of a six-unit classroom block for the Sanga Primary School.
According to the DCE, the assembly has begun a programme to sponsor teachers, nurses, midwives and health assistants to return to the Pusiga District to work after completion of their respective courses. He explained that when the assembly sponsored such trainees, they were bonded for a number of years to stay and work in the district. Health
The district faces challenges like inadequate midwives to conduct skilled and efficient deliveries, high staff attrition rate,low capacity of staff to analyse and use data to improve on service delivery and inadequate clinicians to manage health facilities in the district.
As a way of addressing such health challenges, the Pusiga District Public Health Emergency Management Committee was inaugurated in April. Furthermore, the assembly has begun sponsoring teachers, nurses, midwives and health assistants to improve on
healthcare delivery in the district. The DCE intimated that such personnel were bonded and required to return to the Pusiga District after completion of their courses to work for a number of years.
At Pusiga-Natinga, the assembly has provided a new maternity block to help reduce both maternal and infant mortality rates. The old maternity block was not spacious, thereby creating congestion. Additionally, the health personnel at post could not handle deliveries due to the lack of facilities like hospital beds.
According to a midwife, Madam Clementia Ngambire, the new block has enabled the health authorities to conduct three or more deliveries at a time. She noted that in the past, the authorities referred pregnant women to the Bawku Hospital which is about 17 kilometres from the Pusiga-Natinga community to deliver. Revenue
The assembly was able to mobilise about GH¢42,000 as against a projected target of GH¢74,000, representing 57 per cent as of March 31, 2014.
The DCE observed that revenue mobilisation was not “too good,” so a few recommendations were made to enhance it.
These include mounting of a revenue check point on the Kultamise road and sand winners executives being invited for discussion to encourage their members to pay revenue to the assembly. It was also recommended that a revenue collectors should be stationed on the Mandago-Bengula road.
An inventory of all assembly stalls and stores around the Widana area is to be taken to help rake in more revenue.
Additionally, demand notices are to be issued to all operating fuel stations in the district to pay their permit and operation fees for 2014 while members of the assembly deliberate on reviewing upward the fees and fines for 2014. Town planning
A number of issues have been brought to the attention of the executive committee of the assembly. They include the relocation of the Pusiga lorry park and the Kumasi station to ease congestion in the town.
Bridges are expected to be constructed at Dabia to link Narongo, Pialoko and Nakambo, Duakum and Tindan-Nating, as well as Mandago And Bengula.
Residents of Pusiga have also been advised to remove all unauthorised structures in the town to pave way for the construction of drains and other development projects. Town roads
The assembly is currently rehabilitating about 3.5 kilometres of roads in the town. The project includes the construction of drains to prevent flooding during the rainy season. Smuggling
As a way of checking the smuggling of fuel to neighbouring Togo and Burkina Faso, the executive committee’s attention has been drawn to the need to provide office and residential accommodation for the police at Pulmakom and Kulungugu.
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