Regional News Sun, 4 Jan 2004

Western Region MPS urged to adopt development agenda

Busua (W/R) Jan. 4, GNA - Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, on Saturday, called on Members of Parliament (MP) in the region, to help ensure peaceful campaign for the general elections this year.

He made the call at a meeting of 19 MPs in the region organized by the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) at Busua near Takoradi. Mr. Aidoo said to achieve this; the MPS should focus on the development and unity of the region as their top priority instead of cashing in on their party affiliations and political differences. He asked the Parliamentarians not to see themselves as enemies because they belonged to different political parties but should critically examine the developmental needs of the region and come out with workable solutions.

Mr. Aidoo told the MPS that they should "let brotherliness, love and a sense of belonging prevail on their platforms."

Mr. Aidoo said some of the country's farmers had been smuggling low standard cocoa beans from Cote d'Ivoire into the country because of better price and to adulterate Ghana's premium cocoa with poor quality beans.

He announced that some of the farmers involved in such deals had been arrested.

Mr. Aidoo proposed that a policy on roads in the Region should be formulated in view of the heavy rainfall pattern and to ensure that as many roads as possible were tarred.

He said the bulk of funds allocated to the region for road construction was used for rehabilitation, re-graveling and grading. Mr. Aidoo said currently 3,540 kilometres of feeder roads were being rehabilitated and re-gravelled at an estimated cost of 116.2 billion cedis.

Mr. Aidoo said 65.1 kilometres of feeder roads in the region were being tarred at a cost of 52.2 billion cedis.

The roads include Anaji-Mpatado, Aboso-Wassa Nkran-Wassa Asikuma, Agona-Dwenase, Apowa-Benso, Adesu-Afransie-Jukwa, Apowa-Funko, Alabokazo-Tikobo Number One and Juaboso-Benchimaa Barrier feeder roads. Mr. Aidoo said the region needed 120 doctors but presently, it had only 60 doctors.

He said out of the 60 doctors, six were public health physicians assigned to administrative duties, 12 were on study leave and 14 were retired but on contract.

"So in effect, there are only 28 doctors taking care of one point nine million people in the region,"

He said the region had a total of 944 nurses working in 276 health facilities although an estimated 2000 were required.

Source: GNA