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Regional News of Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Source: Ananpansah B Abraham

Electricity to be extended to five communities in West Gonja district

District Chief Executive for West Gonja District, Saeed Muhazu Jibreal has disclosed that five communities within the newly created Savannah regional capital, Damongo, will soon have electricity extended to them.

In a live interview on PAD FM Friday evening, the DCE said since 1998 when Damongo township got connected to the national grid, little has been done to extend electricity to the surrounding communities and growing settlements.

The surrounding communities have over the years been demanding for power with residents of communities such as Canteen New Town, Frafra settlements number 1 & 6 recently warning that they would not participate in any general elections until their demands are med.

Reacting to this, the DCE reiterated the fact that, electricity extension is very dear to his administration.

This commitment to electricity extension according to him, was demonstrated last year when he started "something small" on electricity extension in Damongo township and beyond.

He assured that he was going to extend electricity under the District Development Facility (DDF) to communities such as Canteen New town, Frafra settlement (1 & 6), Hangaline and some other two communities in the district.

The funds according to him, are ready and pending the approval of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, adding that this time around, they are going to mount the poles and do wiring instead of just providing electricity poles.

"I am assuring you and reassuring you that we still have some facility-the DDF (District Development Facility) money worth about GH¢227,000 which I'm going to put into electricity in five communities(emphasis) and the communities are: Canteen New Town at all cost; it is going to be number one, St.Anne's Frafra settlements number 1 & 6; you remember they came here and told you "No Lights; No Vote”. Tell them they will vote because I'm going to provide them lights. Hangaline and other specific areas are also included and this time around, we are not just going to provide poles like we did after the last extension exercise. The mounting of poles will go alongside as I speak, I've forwarded the budget to the Ministry of Local Government for approval. If they don't approve it, you can't spend. The money is ready...," he stated.

Saeed Muhazu Jibreal also disclosed that there is a 2016 DDF facility which he is going to invest in putting up an ultra-modern electronic library facility as pledged sometime ago. The library he said, is going to be located in the heart of the town for easy accessibility.

On the recent clearing of refuse dumps led by the District Assembly, he removed the mask surrounding the controversy when he pointed out that it would have cost the assembly a whooping GH¢95,000 to clear each of the seven (7) dumping sites with each of the refuse dumps carrying more than 5 cubic tonnage of refuse. And that it took the intervention of the current Deputy Chief of Staff, Abu Jinapor to get the tipper trucks, caterpillar and the other heavy equipment to execute the work.

The District Assembly he disclosed, only contributed diesel to fuel the machines which is even in arrears. The hitherto quarterly GH¢40,000 Landfill contract that the district had with Zoomlion has been cancelled and that the assembly now only has a quarterly GH¢45,000 fumigation contract, clearing of gutters and sweeping of the major streets which cost the assembly GH¢40,000 a quarter.

Mr Jibreal applauded PAD FM for championing the campaign that kept the assembly on its toes to clear the refuse dumps.

He also pledged to close down the BrivyWelss Wood Company located in Yipala, adding that, the structure will completely be razed after one year. The Chinese, according to him, have promised to convert the wood company to a Tomato Processing Factory that would provide jobs for the teeming youth, reason why the assembly is still considerate in its decision to completely tear it down.

He entreated prospective farmers to register under government's Planting for Food and Jobs program. He said prices of farm inputs such as fertilizer under the program would be halved for farmers.The registration process according to him, has been decentralised this year with Agric officers visiting the electoral areas to register farmers.

Development, he concluded, is a collaborative process and all hands must be in deck beyond partisan politics to propel development in the district and newly created region.