Financial constraints compel Kwabre East Assembly to put freeze on new projects

The Kwabre East District Assembly in the Ashanti Region has put a freeze on new projects while work on already initiated ones have stalled due to central government delay in releasing funds to assemblies.

The assembly’s share of District Development and District Assembly Common Funds are in arrears for three quarters, and there is no money even for waste collection, exposing people to health hazards.

Residents in areas like Nana Appiah at Ahwiaa Oveseas and Anyinam,  Fawoade, Bampenase and   Kenyase , are confronted with heaps of uncleared refuse.

Infrastructural projects including schools and markets initiated by the assembly or local communities have become white elephants, as contractors chase authorities to pay them for work done.

A 6-unit classroom block for the Holy Quaran JHS at Aboaso, another block at Amaape and the Mamponteng Market Projects are examples of such stalled projects.

Assembly members say the situation has made them ineffective as it creates mistrust and insecurity between them and the electorate.

Chairman of the assembly’s Development Planning Sub-Committee Samed Akalilu, who represents Anyinam Zongo Electoral Area, tells Nhyira News the situation is worse than anticipated.

“We have a lot of refuse dumps that are mountainous. Mostly it is the Common Fund and IGF projects that affected. Because once the money is not coming, it’s not coming. A number of the contractors have even walked to the General Assembly meetings to complain. But there’s little even the Honourable DCE can do because the money is not coming”. Mr. Akalilu explained.

The situation is impacting negatively on the re-election bid of assembly members.

Mr. Akalilu is afraid some members could pay dearly for it if they seek re-election.

“You are an assembly member and you have a refuse dump and everybody thinks the assembly member is not doing well. For them (local people) what they want is that the work must be done”.

Assembly projects are not the only ones affected. The fate of many community initiatives, for which residents expect assembly support, hangs in the balance.

Community initiated toilet and school projects which requires two and four packets of roofing sheets to complete at  Asonomaso Nkwanta and Krobo respectively have all stalled.

The situation has often triggered a confrontation between the Assembly Member for Asonomaso Nkwanta and District Chief Executive, Adams Idissah, District Chief Executive for the area.

Presiding Member, George Oppong, is worried the assembly, as the local agency for development, is failing the people.

“We are saying the money has been released to the District Assembly for the improvement of lives of the people at the locality; and if we are the development agents and this is the way we are developing, only God knows what kind of development are we doing?  A worried Mr. Oppong quizzed.

Assembly members are also alarmed at statutory and reserve deductions on central government money.

For instance, out of 167, 539 Ghana cedis the assembly received as its share of the Common Fund for the first quarter of 2012, 108, 000 Ghana cedis were deducted at source.

That left the assembly with a paltry 59,700 Ghana cedis.

A whopping 72,000 Ghana cedis was deemed to have been deducted for fumigation and general sanitation improvement when the assembly has not undertaken such activities.

Mr. Oppong, who echoed the sentiments of his colleagues, described the deductions as illegal.

But District Chief Executive, Adams Iddissah declined comments.

Meanwhile, the assembly has reached an agreement with waste management company, Zoomlion, to clear piled-up refuse, under public-private partnership arrangement.

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