The District Chief Executive (DCE) for the Ellembelle District in the Western Region Kwasi Bonzo popularly known as Ellembelle David has made a passionate appeal to the good people of the area to collaborate with the Assembly for rapid development.
The DCE made this known during the Second Ordinary Meeting of the Assembly held on Monday, October 8, 2018, at the District Assembly's Hall, Nkroful.
Addressing the gathering, the DCE extended his profound appreciation to the people especially the Assembly Members for their total co-operation and support which have tremendously facilitated the smooth administration of the District.
"As key partners in the decentralization process, you have a strong interest in whatever goes on in the District and therefore your continuous participation in the work of the Assembly is very crucial if we are to succeed as a District Assembly", said.
He added "In this regard, I will like to once again to appeal to you to join hands and collaborate with other with other major stakeholders for us to push the development agenda of the District forward".
The DCE said before the Assembly can achieve this then there should sacrifices, total commitment and hard work.
"Hon. Presiding Member, let us remind ourselves that, nothing more meaningful can be achieved without sacrifices, total commitment and hard work"
He added "Over the years, the Assembly has been guided by these basic principles and these contributed towards our success story. As a people, we need to tolerate each other's views and analyze issues dispassionately so as to maintain a United Front capable of working to together to transform the lives of our own people. The challenge confronting the District are enormous but surmountable".
The DCE admitted that road network within the District poses the greatest challenge to their quest for enhancing economic growth and development.
He said the 28.8-km road starting from Esiama through the District capital, Nkroful all the way to Menzezor has undoubtedly been their greatest challenge for almost a decade.
But, he was happy to announce to the gathering that the Ghana Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has promised to re-construct the Esiama to Menzezor road.
"Over the last year, we have worked assiduously towards fixing this major problem which is a tendency of negatively impacting on the lives and well-being of our people. The 28.8-Km road starting from Esiama through our District capital, Nkroful all the way to Menzezor has undoubtedly been our greatest challenge for almost a decade", he expressed worry.
He excited "I am happy to announce that by the kind courtesy of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), all is set for this particular road to be rehabilitated and reconstructed".
He reminded "Hon. PM, the House may recall that in my sessional address of the 8th General Assembly held on Wednesday 4th October 2017, I informed the House that 20-km road approval had been granted for construction with bitumen surface from Aiyinasi Nyamebekyere to Kwasikrom road. I am once again delighted to confirm to this House that the contractor, Kinspok Limited to whom the contract was awarded is currently on site working vigorously on the said road".
He also said "Early this year, the Assembly with our own meagre resources funded the construction and rehabilitation of 10-km Asomase to Baseke No. 2 Feeder Road and clearing and forming New Adiembra-Ananekrom and reshaping of Asomase-Dotsekrom Feeder road".
"Our efforts towards fixing our roads in the District yielded another positive result with the award of a contract to Messres Xara Developers Limited for the construction of 20 Km Bitumen-surfaced road from Gravel Yard-Santaso Feeder Road phase 1 for which the contractor took possession of the site on the 10th July 2018", he revealed.
He revealed that the District is currently working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and World Bank to redevelop and rehabilitate the Kwame Nkrumah Museum and also to restore the Kwame Nkrumah Motel to its original state to serve as a residence and museum for potential tourist to Nkroful being the birthplace and the original birth barrier place of the first President of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
The DCE said the District is relatively peaceful and calm with the people going on with their normal socio-economic activities but admitted that that were some pockets of chieftaincy issues in some parts of the District.
He revealed "For instance, two factions planned to celebrate Kundum Festival at Sanzule on Saturday 29th September 2018. Regional Security Council (RESEC) intervened and banned the celebration of Kundum Festival at Sanzule until all chieftaincy issues are resolved between the two parties".
He assured the gathering that the Assembly will continue to monitor the situation and be proactive in dealing with any situation that was likely to disturb the peace the District was enjoying currently.
Ghana School Feeding Programme
Under the School Feeding Programme, the DCE said the beneficiary schools have been increased to nineteen (19) and added the enrollment figure for the nineteen schools stood at 5,434 pupils.
The DCE said in spite of the challenges facing the health sector of the District, he revealed that Maternal Mortality rate has reduced drastically as a result of the presence of a District Medical Doctor.
He used the opportunity to appeal to all stakeholders and corporate bodies to support the Assembly in the quest to providing the needed financial and logistical support for the success of the Health Sector.
He said the District is currently part of the Community Lead Total Sanitation (CLTS) program funded by the World Bank through Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) and added that ten communities have been selected for the startup.
He, therefore, urged the Assembly Members of these communities to put their weight behind the Assembly of achieving open defecation "free District".
He revealed that the Assembly has planned to extend this program to all the communities in the area from time to time.
He said "There is urgent need to encourage our electorates to own household latrines and desist from open defecation.
He also used the opportunity to appeal to his people to desist from indiscriminate disposal of waste materials.
The District Chief Executive announced to the gathering that the Assembly has offered three hundred and fifty-eight (358) to the teeming unemployed youth jobs under the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) as at January 2018 in nine modules.
Under the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO), Hon. Kwasi Bonzo revealed that the Assembly has engaged 307 youth which he said they will soon start working.
Planting for Foods and Jobs
He said the program is ongoing in the District and said the District has received 2,000 bags of NPK fertiliser which have been sold out to farmers at a subsidized price of GHC68 each.
He added that 9,000 hybrid coconut seedlings have been distributed for rehabilitation and said 93 hectors of maize farms sprayed to control 'Fall Army Worm'.
"I'm happy to announce that the Agriculture Department has also received delivery of the project vehicle to facilitate their activities (Nissan 4*4 Pickup) in the District. The District through the Department of Agriculture would continue to encourage farmers to take advantage of this program for the benefit of us all", he urged.
He said the Assembly has sponsored over 120 tertiary students.
He added that the Assembly also successfully conducted BECE Mock Examinations.
Hon. Bonzoh said the Assembly has supported the Bonzoh Kaku Senior High School (BOKASS) in the area with seven (7) Non-Teaching Staff (Cooks) to augment the Free SHS program in the country.
He also revealed that the Assembly has awarded contract for the supply of 200 mono desks and dual desks to some schools in the area.
He said as a result of congestion in schools in the area, he also revealed that contract has been awarded for the construction classroom blocks for the Bomoakpole Nursery School, also Salman, Nvelesolo, Basake, Asanta Basic Schools respectively.
On his part, the Member of Parliament, Mr. Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah thanked the DCE for taking education of the District as his number one priority and therefore appealed to the DCE to do more.
He also expressed his worries over the falling standard of education in the District and called on all to support the measures put in place to curb the situation.
As his efforts to enhance effective quality education in the area, the MP who was the Petroleum Minister under the erstwhile John Mahama administration revealed that every year he uses 13,000 Ghana Cedis to organise Mock Exams for BECE candidates so as to prepare them well and pass.
He said after the Mock Exams whether the candidates did well or not, he has not been informed since he started.
He, therefore, charged the Assembly to let him see the results in the next exercise, hopefully 2019.
He also tasked the various stakeholders in the District to support development of education and also urged parents to advise their children to take their studies seriously and pass any exam they will embark on.