The Member of Parliament (MP) for Wassa-East Mr Adjei Mensah has called on the government to expedite action on the one million dollar fund to each District in the country to fast-track development especially in rural communities.
He said much needed to be done to improve on the livelihoods of rural dwellers and hoped the fund would alleviate the plight of the poor in rural Ghana.
Mr Adjei Mensah gave the reminder at a town hall meeting at Daboase in the Western Region.
The meeting which formed part of the 2018 town hall meetings by the government, was organised by the Ministry of Information in conjunction with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development
The town hall meeting is a platform to ensure accountability and transparency by explaining government’s policies, flagship programmes and projects to the people.
Mr Mensah said he would team up with the DCE to fast-track the socio-economic development of the area and it was prudent to put politics aside and come together to initiate strategic measures to move the area forward.
The District Chief Executive for Wassa-East, Mr,Wilson Arthur said the evidence-based meeting was meant to deepen understanding of what the District Assembly was doing in terms of development.
Outlining the achievements of the District, Mr Arthur said under its 4-year strategic development plan via the one District one Factory (1D1F) project, the Distirct had identified cassava processing into starch and others with five improved cassava species established in five towns.
He identified 1D1F projects as PSG Oil Palm Mill, Wassaman Starch Co.Ltd., Wassa Cassava Farmers’ Co-operative and One District One Warehouse in the Daboase District.
The District has cultivated four new rice varieties with 26 farmers supplied with 2 new varieties of taro (kooko).
Cocoa spraying inputs have been distributed to farmers with 423,356 cocoa seedlings made available, while 2,324 jobs were created under Planting for Food and Jobs with 386 beneficiaries of different arable crop varieties.
He said the Internally Generated Fund (IGF) increased to GH¢ 522,640.83 with the district Assembly Common Fund increasing to GH¢ 901,725.34.
On education, the DCE said there was free registration of all BECE candidates in public schools with two mock examinations sponsored by the Assembly, adding that 256 students enrolled under the free SHS programme with new infrastructure on-going to accommodate the 2018 batch.
Touching on Tourism, he said the District had tourism potentials but was yet to be tapped and announced that the Takoradi Technical University (TTU) had adopted the tourism department of the District to create servicing and hospitality of tourist opportunity of Damaman, a tourist site in the area.
Mr Arthur said the Livelihood Empowerment Alternative Programme (LEAP) expanded from 288 in 13 communities in 2017 to 399 households in 22 communities in 2018.
The school feeding programme increased from 22 to 23 schools with 6,854 beneficiaries with the capitation grant increasing from GH¢ 4.50P to GH¢ 9, 00 and under the social protection and vulnerability policy, he said 240 persons with disability were supported with cash, tools and equipment as start-up capital.
On the nation Builders Corps, 200 out of the 340 employees were engaged in the District and appealed to the youth to come on board adding that the fight against galamsey was in force with 32 security men and 10 civilians arrested.
He mentioned developmental projects initiated in the area as CHPS compound at Sekyere Krobo, two semi-detached nursing quarters at Akyempim,two pavilion markets at Daboase and Telecommunication towers at Akutuase.
He also outlined new projects to be initiated in September 2018 as a police post at Hemang, the Ateku market complex, Akutuase police post, CHPS compound at Asamang.
The Western Regional Information Officer, Nana Armstrong Asmah on behalf of the Minister for Information, who gave an overview of 2017 major government policies and programmes said 211,000 farmers registered under the planting for food and jobs campaign and supported with basic farm inputs.
He said 13,000 metric tonnes of storage capacity facilities from COCOBOD were made available to farmers
Nana Armstrong said the over 160 youth who were engaged in illegal mining activities had been employed under the multi-sectoral mining project with 17,000 to be employed in 2018 and Government had developed a-five-year multi-lateral mining international project to improve on the management of small scale mining in the country.
As part of government’s efforts to ensure transparency, the government would spread the allocation of pre-mix fuel from two to nine more Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).
He said GH¢ 456m has been earmarked for the 1D1F project and announced that the Ekumfi Fruit Processing plant was currently under construction, while GH¢ 220m earmarked to support distressed but viable companies.
He said the Right to Information Bill has been laid before Parliament and is expected to be passed in due course.