General News of Friday, 20 January 2017
The Ashaiman Municipal Assembly in the Greater Accra Region has approved a budget of GH¢22,198,447.20 to promote rapid development in the municipality this year.
The assembly has also set aside GH¢12,470,443.57 as its investment budget for the year. Out of this, it will commit about GH¢1,775,000 (14.3 per cent) to improve education to give children good foundation.
For this year, the assembly is also committing GH¢2,057,864.32 to tackle health issues in the municipality.
A Senior Development Planning Officer of the assembly, Hajia Khadijah Osman, disclosed this at a citizens’ engagement forum held in Ashaiman yesterday to connect residents of Ashaiman to their assembly.
The forum formed part of a number of activities under the “Enhancing grass-roots civic participation in governance using new digital tools” project which aims at using online and offline platforms to reverse the exclusion of citizens in the local governance process.
It was organised by Penplusbytes, a not-for-profit organisation, with support from the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), and was attended by representatives of civil society organisations (CSO) and the media.
Hajia Osman enumerated projects earmarked for the municipality this year to improve the lives of the people.
She said plans were underway to complete the first floor of the male and the female wards at the Ashaiman Polyclinic at an estimated cost of GH¢180,821.25.
Again, the assembly intends to build a 20-bed isolation ward at the same facility, estimated at GH¢800,000.
She added that a CHPS compound would be constructed at Tulaku, while a health post with a residential facility would be constructed at Ashaiman Tsui-Bleoo.
In the area of education, she said the assembly would construct a community library and a 12-unit classroom block at Tsui-Bleoo, adding that it had approved a budget for the supply of 360 mono-desks for a 12-unit classroom block, also at Tsui-Bleoo, among other initiatives.
She stated that the assembly had challenges, including inadequate funds, irregular flow of the District Assemblies Common Fund, poor attitude on the part of contractors and unavailability of land.
The Programmes Director at Penplusbytes, Mr Jerry Sam, said the citizens’ forum would provide an avenue for awareness creation among citizens on issues such as allocated budgets and development plans which would arm them with the requisite knowledge about the Ashaiman municipality for them to contribute meaningfully to the effective management of their resources for the benefit of all.
He expressed the hope that such engagement would help the assembly plan better to meet the exact needs of the people.
The Secretary of the Ashaiman-based Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor, a CSO, Mr Charles Zuttah, lauded the initiative, stressing that the people had been empowered to effectively participate in the local governance decision-making process and promote better public service delivery, especially in health and education.
The Ashaiman Community Development Officer, Ms Vera Allottey, said such engagements with residents helped to sensitise them to and informed them about development projects being embarked on with their taxes and levies.