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Communities urged to participate in Assembly budgeting
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Regional News of Monday, 17 August 2009

Source: GNA

Communities urged to participate in Assembly budgeting

Talensi U/E, Aug, 17, GNA - Mr Moisob Clemen Dubik, the District Budget Analyst of the Talensi Nabdam District in the Upper East Region has urged people at the grassroots level to actively participate in the drawing up of the annual budget of the District Assemblies, since it was meant to address issues affecting them at the community level. Mr Dubik gave the advice at a forum on "Assembly Budgeting", organized by Foundation for Grassroots Initiatives in Africa (GrassRootsAfrica), a Non-Governmental Organization at Pelingu in the Talensi Nabdam District at the weekend. The NGO is working in the Upper East Region to promote grassroots participation in decision making and to empower the marginalized in Society.

The Programme, which attracted about 50 participants drawn from some parts of the Talensi-Nabdam District, was aimed at getting citizens at the grassroots to get actively involved in the budgeting process of the District Assembly. Mr Dubik explained that most often, many communities did not participate in the District Assembly budget process, which affects decision making on development projects in their respective communities.

He explained that when communities get involved in the planning of the District Assembly budgeting, their needs in terms of development projects would be captured and that the assumption that the Assemblymen represented communities at the assembly level was not enough. Mr Dubik mentioned avenues through which communities could contribute their views on the budget to include, Mid Year Review of Annual Action Plan and Budgeting, Fee Fixing Resolution, Preparation of Community Area Plan, Public Hearing of District Assembly Plan and Budget.

On the annual budget plan for Talensi Nabdam District, the Budget Analyst said the Assembly would sponsor a number of students, including medical students, nurses and teachers trainees as well as the disabled into colleges and tertiary institutions, to augment the manpower base of the Assembly.

He said the Assembly would also provide leadership training for women to enable them to participate in decision making. Participants at the programme expressed their dissatisfaction about the poor state of the road network in the Pelingu area and said whenever it rained heavily the place is cut off from other parts of the Region, especially Bolgatanga, where many of them conduct their business. They said despite the fact that the assembly records its highest revenue at Pelingu, the market, which was put up by the community, was in a deplorable state. They therefore appealed to the District Assembly to rehabilitate the market and ensure that the contractor working on their roads expedites work.

They also asked the Assembly to provide sources of good drinking water for the area since it's difficult to get portable water. The Capacity Building Officer of the Local Civic Coalition Project of GrassRootsAfrica, Mr James Awini told the participants that it was very good to participate in the reviewing process to find out whether the projects captured for implementation were executed and to prompt the Assembly if there were delays. The Assemblyman for Damol-Tindongo, Mr Solomon Kurug commended GrassRootsAfrica for organizing the Programme. The Forum had also taken place in Pusu-Namongo, Tongo, Shega and Nangodi in the Talens-Nabdam District. 17 Aug. 09

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