General News of Friday, 24 September 2010

Source: GNA

Parliamentary Committee tour flooded areas in the North

Accra, Sept. 24, GNA - About twenty members of the Parliamentary Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises on Friday embarked on a four-day working visit to territories under the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) affected by recent floods in the northern part of the country.

The visit which would focus mainly on the areas seriously affected by the recent floods also seeks to serve as a preparatory tour to consult stakeholders to jump-start SADA's long-term programming solutions to the perennial floods.

The Committee is being led jointly by Mr Prince Hayibor, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises and the ranking member of the Committee, Mrs Akosua Frema Opare.

A statement signed by Dr. Sulley Gariba, SADA Development Policy Advisor in the Office of the Vice President, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Friday, explained that the focus of the tour would be finding lasting solutions for the floods, which is consistent with SADA's overall development program.

He noted that "the role of Parliament in providing ideas for tackling development challenges is a novelty which will enable SADA to achieve the needed political consensus, as it defines the needed investment for accelerated development in the northern savannah areas. "The fact that Parliament is the first to respond to the programming needs of the area demonstrates the emerging national consensus on the need and urgency for SADA". He called on Non-Governmental Organisations and Civil Society Organizations to follow with similar programmes in support of kick-starting the SADA initiative.

Dr Gariba said as part of the working visit, the Committee will also develop a work plan for periodic programming support to SADA by focusing on important developmental themes associated with the SADA programme.

According to the timetable of the visiting MPs, the tour starts in the Northern Region on Friday September 24, with MPs visiting the worse affected areas in Central Gonja District. The MPs will then proceed to the Upper West Region, where they will visit communities affected by the floods, and they will also trace the pathways for the floods.

In the Upper East Region, the MPs will visit the worse-affected districts including Telensi-Nabdam and Bawku-West Districts. The tour ends in Tamale on Monday September 27th with a press conference. Dr Gariba said the visit to the SADA area is the first by any Parliamentary delegation to SADA catchment areas after President John Evans Atta Mills gave accent to the SADA Law on Friday, July 17 this year.

The recent floods in the three northern regions following the release of huge quantities of water from the Bagre Dam in Bukina Faso, devastated several communities in the areas along the Volta basin, affecting lives and livelihoods of thousands of Ghanaians in those parts of the country. 24 Sep. 10