Action Plan for Tema
Hajia Alima Mahama, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development at the weekend stressed the need for district assemblies to work harder in urban development to justify their elevation to city or capital town.
Launching the Tema Civic Action Plan and the Tema Civic Committee that will manage the plan at Tema, she said there are a lot of activities to be carried out to enhance development of the cities to improve the lives of the people.
The plan is a United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme using Tema as the pilot project involving the civil society including, tax payers, traders, traditional authorities, stakeholders, opinion leaders and staff of the Tema Municipal Assembly (TMA).
The City Consultation is a programme geared towards improving the quality of life of the urban population through an approach that allows the civil society to express their opinion in defining the municipal priorities and effectively, address their own problems.
Hajia Mahama called for quick implementation of the plan and entreated the committee to capture environmental degradation and pollution as some of the indiscipline in environmental activities.
The Deputy Minister asked the TMA to critically examine the document with a view to adopting it and incorporate it in its medium term plan of action to strengthen the process of development. She asked other district assemblies to learn the process and come out with similar action to help improve the lot of the people.
Mr Wagui Siby, Regional Coordinator of the Urban Management Programme (UMP) of Africa noted that while urbanisation seems to be irreversible, local governments in most developing countries show little response to challenges of urbanisation.
This practice has resulted in many inhabitants not having access to basic social services like potable water, good sanitation, adequate housing, good health care and education.
Siby noted that the inability of the local government system to respond to these facilities are confusing governance structure that makes no clear distinction between the local and central governments in terms of sharing of responsibilities.
Other impediments are the transfer of responsibilities to local governments without commensurate transfer of resources for implementation by central authorities and the limitation of participation development actors in the development efforts of municipal authorities.
Mr Samuel Evans Ashong Narh, Tema Municipal Chief Executive noted that the development problem in the municipalities is compounded with the issue of poverty among tax payers and lack of sufficient revenue to provide the required services and development activities. He commended the UNV for the project to support the establishment of a civic process to improve the municipal revenue generation system.