Rita Nyorka, the Planning Officer for the Nadowli-Kaleo District, has advised community members to desist from divisive politics at the local level, as that could stifle the rapid development of their communities.
She stated that the act of ascribing and crediting projects to only the government that initiated the projects was the major reason why some projects were abandoned when there was a change of government.
Speaking at a Townhall meeting at Nadowli at the weekend, Madam Nyorka said every government would like to be praised for its initiatives, hence the need for community members to support every government in the implementation of projects.
The Center for Development Initiatives (CDI) organized the meeting under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Ghana’s Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms (GSAM) project.
The project was jointly implemented by a consortium of organisations, Care International, ISODEC and OXFAM together with 25 other civil society organizations.
Similar meetings were held in the Wa West District at the weekend to create an opportunity for citizens to demand accountability from the authorities and to commit duty bearers to take action to address issues of concern.
“When I come and complete an uncompleted project for you and you turn and say, I didn’t build a single project, you are indirectly encouraging me to use funds to initiate my projects at the peril of equally important but uncompleted projects,” Madam Nyorka said.
Mr Stanislaus Dery, the Programmes Coordinator for CDI, stated that the meetings were meant to create a platform for citizens and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to dialogue and agree on corrective measures, which address citizens’ needs on District Assemblies’ capital project performance.
According to him, the GSAM project sought to strengthen citizen’s oversight responsibility for capital development projects to improve local government transparency, accountability and performance in 100 Districts in Ghana.
Mr Adams Walid, the Deputy Coordinating Director for the Nadowli-Kaleo District, lauded the GSAM project and encouraged participants to participate in subsequent public hearings where they could contribute significantly to the development of the district.
At the Wa West District, Mr Gorden Kpeglu, the Deputy Engineer for the district, commended the participants for their objective assessment of the performance of the district and promised that the assembly would take practical steps to address all their concerns.
He also urged the participants to eschew partisan politics in their assessment as it would help the assembly to improve on its performance.
Representatives of women's’ groups, Ghana Federation of Disability, youth groups, civil society organizations, community leaders, Faith-Based organizations and staff of the District Assemblies among others attended the Townhall meetings.