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General News Mon, 22 Oct 2001

Criteria for demarcating boundaries spelt out

THE criteria for the demarcation of new administrative and electoral boundaries will be based on population, economic viability and existing basic infrastructure.

Under the law for the demarcation exercise, a rural district should have a minimum population of 75,000; urban, 100,000, and a municipality should have a geographic area consisting of a single compact settlement with a minimum population of 95,000.

A metropolitan would require a minimum of 250,000 people.

Mr Kwadwo Sarfo-Kantanka, Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) in charge of Operations, said this at forum to sensitise stakeholders on the demarcation of administrative and electoral boundaries held at Bolgatanga on Thursday.

He said apart from the population factor envisaged districts should include an appreciable number of economically active groups which could be relied upon for the initial capitalisation of administration through taxation.

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Such groups, he said, should equally be able to offer commercial labour for the implementation of development projects.

Additionally, the envisaged areas should have no unsurmountable barriers to communication, while ensuring that economic activities, such as farming, mining and weekly or daily markets from which revenue could be derived, exist.

Mr Sarfo-Kantanka, therefore, asked petitioners for the new district not to aim at the District Assemblies Common Fund for their development needs but to rely on locally generated funds.

Mr Mahami Salifu, Upper East Regional Minister, who addressed the participants, said demarcation of physical boundaries would eliminate disputes and pave the way for both government and NGOs to implement national and local policies and programmes towards the development of the region.

He said the exercise would also help to reduce the spate of petitions and grievances, explaining that he has received several applications and appeals for the creation of more districts and constituencies in the region.

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Mr Salifu expressed the hope that the forum would help educate stakeholders to foster a common understanding and mutual co-operation so that the various concerns would be addressed.

He advised that great care should be taken in carrying out the exercise so that it would not arouse sectional emotions and parochial interests.

Mr Adam M. A. ddrisu, Upper East Regional Director of the EC, said the forum aims at preparing stakeholders’ minds towards the demarcation exercise.

The forum was attended by district chef executives, presiding and assembly members, traditional rulers and others.

Source: .