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Opinions of Thursday, 17 July 2014

Columnist: Jamilatu, Ayamga Bawa

The Ghost House in Sissala East District Capital (TUMU)

Sissala East District assembly like any other District in Ghana has been entrusted with the responsibility of being the intermediary between the District and the central government. The Sissala east district is located in the north-western part of Ghana in the upper west region. The administrative district capital is Tumu, strategically positioned as it shares a 300 kilometer border with Burkina Faso to the north. The district shares boundaries to the east with kassena Nankana east and Builsa district, both of the upper East region while its extreme southeastern portion shares boundaries with Mamprugo-Moaduri District of the northern region, on the west the district shares boundaries with Sissala west and to the south with Wa east.
Sissala East District has despite its financial constraints choked some success for the previous years, success in the field of infrastructure expansion, put up a number of bore holes in various communities, assisted farmers in diverse ways, etc.
The Distrct assembly could not have choked these successes without some failures. The District assembly inability to deliver some essential services like! the recent erratic water supply into the Tumu township, The District assembly’s insensitivity to deplorable nature of many roads in Tumu township and its environs, inaccessibility of many peasant farmers to market centers especially during rainy season, coupled with execution of white elephant projects being the likes the said police station that has been completed about three years ago in Bugubele and no police personnnel has mounted it,ostensibly the latest of such projects being the slaughterhouse in Tumu, located specifically at the outskirt of Tokorojan a suburb of Tumu, the District capital of Sissala East.
Sissala east district assembly as part of its priorities chose to put up a decent slaughterhouse in Tumu town, for the old one is in a deplorable state and seem to pose a great risk to consumers. The District assembly gave out a contract for a new slaughterhouse to be put up without any prior consultation with the butcher association to ascertain whether the location for the project was the best and also, which requisites equipment should be in the facility. After the edifice has been constructed with a lot of question marks on it and nobody seem to be around to provide the needed answers.
This writer seeks to unfold the following! Why the building has been left as if it was meant for a ghost? What is the take of residents on that building? And also why the butchers refused to occupy the building? After it has being alleged that the so called completed building was informally handed over to them. An appreciable number of residents I interviewed, as to what they think the said slaughterhouse is meant for and thus majority of them said they see the building as for nobody and they even name the building as a “ghost house “and few went further to say, under no circumstance will somebody or any outfit put –up such project and look whiles it deteriorates again. When I personally interviewed some members of the butchers association for their opinion about the facility and these were some response I had! Mr bakori said the chief butcher was not involved in the planning of the facility and besides, taking a thorough look into the facility it lacks water supply, no electricity which will sometimes aid them attend to urgent cases and that, the compacted nature of the facility makes it difficult to escape should an animal overpower them. Mr Sully a senior butcher also opined that they were not involved in the whole project cycle be it planning or implementation of the project of which to him, their views would have been factored in and also, he enumerated a few challenges such as no source of water, no electricity, one entrance also serving as exit for the whole facility, sub-standard building material like the wood used for frames already decaying, no appropriate place to put fresh meat for vertinary officers to inspect, no proper ventilation and last but not they lest there is no motorable road to the slaughter house to enable vehicular movement .
After enumerating the inadequacies, they also came out with a number of recommendation and these are as follows! A reliable water source should be connected to facility for water forms an integral part of their work, the should be electricity since they would be a need to store some of the surplus meat, the facility should have at least three doors, one for entry and the other for exit and even an emergency exit, with the ventilation aspect it will be appropriate if decorated or hollow blocks are used instead of louvers blades which can easily be broken and perhaps cause an injury to persons around and a motorable road should be created to the slaughterhouse.
I therefore call on all stakeholders in the District to as a matter of urgency respond to this article and make the project profitable one for the District and also eschew embarking on white elephant projects like the newly constructed police station in Bugubelle.



by
Ayamga Bawa Jamilatu
0506984087