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Regional News of Sunday, 2 July 2006

Source: GNA

Districts need extra strategies to raise awareness on local issues

Sogakope (V/R), July 02, GNA-Miss Cate Aglah, South-Tongu District Chief Executive (DCE) on Friday observed that District Assemblies needed extra strategies to increase the awareness of their people on local and national issues.

She was of the view that the assemblies general meetings, the annual People's Assemblies and other forums though significant were still not enough in fully mobilizing the people. She was addressing a durbar to close a three-day programme organized by the Assembly in collaboration with the district Union of Civic Organizations.

It was to erase misconceptions about local and national issues among the people and galvanize them into exercising their civic responsibilities in support of the assembly. Miss Aglah said people often criticized the assembly from the wrong point of view, which, in effect was creating apathy towards the assemblies work and added that the open forum would be sustained to discuss and clear issues of contention. She asked the people to participate in the plastic waste collection exercise, which was going on for a fee so that the district could be cleared of filth.

Miss Gladys Gilligo, Tetteh, Programme Officer, National Association of Local Authorities Ghana (NALAG) stated that a Women in Local Government Fund had been created under the auspices of NALAG to co-finance all female candidates contesting district assembly elections, starting from this year. Mr Moses Asare, District Finance Officer, expressed concern about the assembly's poor performance in meeting its annual target in locally generated funds and appealed to the people to pay their taxes and rates promptly.

Dr Esther Offei-Aboagye, Director, Institute of Local Government Studies in a speech read for her said women had become indispensable in the country's political process but demanded that women must offer themselves for positions and not nominated for them. Mr. Anthony Kumaga, President of the Volta Region Network of Civic Unions (VUNCU) and Southern Ghana Network of Civic Unions (NETADE) criticized the rampant allocation of project contracts in the Volta Region to firms from outside who also import labour from outside the region for the jobs.

Concern raised during question time included inequitable distribution of development projects in the districts and the threat by some communities to breakaway to join adjoining districts. 02 July 06

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