Regional News of Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Source: GNA

Persons with disability demand accountability

Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) at a Social Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability launch in Ga West Municipality, called on the assembly to involve them in the design of public buildings for accessibility sake.

“Most of the public buildings in the assembly are not ‘disability friendly’, making it virtually impossible to carry our concerns to officers, particularly those whose offices are located on storey buildings,” says Mr Paul Dogbey, a physically challenged person.

However, assembly officials say a Functional Organisational Assessment Tool conducted by the District Development Fund had queried the municipality on the issue prompting it to redesign old public structures and ensure that the new ones are made accessible to PWDs.

Mr Samuel Lawer, Planning Officer of the Assembly, said that the assembly building was constructed before the passage of the PWDs Act (Act 715, 2006).

He said the assembly noticing the defect engaged an architect to redesign all old public structures including schools to make them generally accessible to people, irrespective of their conditions.

Mrs Sarah Naa Deda Agbey, Project Manager of Social Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (SPEFA), The Netherlands Development Organisation, urged the assembly to put people first in their quest to develop the municipality.

“Put people first in whatever you do, serve the people and solve their problems to improve their living conditions so that they will be happy and you too will be happy,” she said.

She asked the citizens to engage assembly officials at all times for appropriate formulation and implementation of policies inuring to the improvement in the quality of lives.

Mr Kojo Anane, Programme Officer of People’s Dialogue on Human Settlements, an NGO (People's Dialogue) said: “Poverty can hardly be reduced in Ghana particularly in the long run unless deliberate efforts are made to strengthen social accountability at all levels of development.”

He said duty-bearers have the core responsibility of administering development and delivering public goods and services to better the lot of citizens.

He advised the people not to shirk their role in demanding accountably from assembly officials since it is a right enshrined in Ghanaian laws.

The SPEFA project is the third component of the Local Government Capacity Support Project with the involvement of Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Ministry of Finance, and Local Government Service Secretariat.

People’s Dialogue, a community-based NGO established in 2003, is part of the implementation agencies executing the project in 46 metropolitan and municipal assemblies across the country in three years.

This is the third SPEFA launch carried out by the People’s Dialogue after out-dooring similar programme in the Ga South and Ashaiman municipalities.