Regional News of Sun, 25 Jan 20040

Chiefs urged to assist in the development their areas

Sekondi Jan. 25, GNA - Mr. Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, on Saturday said the Government recognises Chiefs and traditional authorities as partners in development.

This was stated in an address read on his behalf by Mr. Obeng Gyan Busia, Special Assistant of the Minister, at a durbar of Chiefs and people of the Shama-Ahanta East Metropolis as part of the activities marking the centenary of the Shama-Ahanta East Metropolitan Assembly (SAEMA), in Sekondi.

Mr. Adjei-Darko said Chiefs were therefore expected to be at the forefront of development in their communities. He said in recognition of the indispensable role of Chiefs, as symbols of traditional solidarity, the government would continue to support them to provide the needed leadership and focus for local development.

Mr. Adjei-Darko urged Chiefs to inculcate into their people good behavioural attitudes and patriotism by exemplary leadership. The Minister pointed out that the government recognised the efforts by the SAEMA to keep Sekondi-Takoradi clean but noted that they could not succeed if the people did not change their attitude.

He said the District Assemblies Common Fund alone could not meet all the needs of the Assembly and urged the people to pay their rates and tolls to generate revenue locally to supplement.

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Madam Sophia Horner-Sam, Deputy Western Regional Minister, appealed to Chiefs to assist in maintaining the extended family system to reduce social the problems including street children, which were unknown in the past.

She urged Queen Mothers to educate children especially the girls against teenage pregnancies and the need to abstain from pre-marital sex to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS.

The Deputy regional Minister appealed to the people to stop dumping refuse into water bodies, a common practice in the Metropolis and asked Chiefs and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help bring the situation under control.

Mr. Philip Kwesi Nkrumah, Metropolitan Chief Executive, said a team of Italian engineers had arrived in the Metropolis to train drivers and technicians of the Metro Mass Transit.

He said the Metropolis was to receive more buses for the Metro Mass Transit.

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Mr. Nkrumah announced plans by the Assembly to establish a football team and said a new stadium would be constructed to replace the Sekondi Gyandu Park.

Nana Kobina Nkestia V, Omanhene of the Essikadu Traditional Area, on behalf of the Chiefs, called for the upgrading of the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital into a teaching hospital and urged the Assembly to help provide facilities and accommodation for doctors and other medical staff.

He expressed concern about the haphazard development of the metropolis, which he attributed to indiscriminate sale of land and urged the Town and Country Planning Department to assist in correcting the situation.

Odeneho Gyapong Ababio II, President of the National House of Chiefs and Omanhene of Sefwi Bekwai Traditional Area, advised chiefs to modernise outmoded customs.

He said the National House of Chiefs was reviewing customs and traditions with the view of modernising outmoded ones.

Source: GNA

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