Mr Wilson Arthur, The District Chief Executives of Wassa East, has urged members of the Assembly to make it a habit to meet with their electorates before and after general assembly meetings to promote grassroots participation in local governance.
This, he said, would enable the electorates to have a say and be informed about development issues in the district.
“As representatives of our people, we are key development agents. The dividends of decentralization cannot be fully realized unless our chiefs and community leaders and also the citizens at the community level assume responsibility for their development”.
Mr Arthur, who said his during the second ordinary meeting of the Wassa East District Assembly at Daboase, noted that his interactions with some communities revealed that most of the electorates were unaware of the activities and roles the district assembly played in the development process.
The DCE said the district has been relatively calm with some chieftaincy having been dealt with and more so, government efforts to stop illegal mining and it’s destructive consequences was yielding some results.
He said plans are advanced to operationalize the community task force to cooperate with the district stakeholders to combat illegal small scale mining and lumbering.
Mr Arthur said the fight against illegal mining in water bodies and forest reserves was not over yet and that information reaching him revealed that some groups were still mining in some communities.
“Do not hide such perpetrators and tacitly ignore their activities, report them for us to restore our environment “, he said.
On education, the DCE said the training and development of human capital was the thrust of the Assembly’s new four year development and that issues concerning education would continue to be a major priority.
He said to enhance teaching and learning in the district a total of 66 teachers were transferred internally whiles 14 officers in the education directorate were reshuffled.
Mr Arthur said 7 out of 10 people are farmers in the district, noting that agriculture was the backbone of not only Wassa East local economy but Ghana’s economy growth and that “investment in agriculture is the surest way to achieve accelerated sustainable development in the district and the nation “.
He said in this regard 2.246 farmers in agriculture extension technologies were trained by the department of agriculture.
Mr Arthur said the district has received it’s fair share of inputs such as fertilizers, seeds and agriculture chemicals under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
He said due to the importance the Assembly attached to agriculture a special song has been created for farmers in the district whiles an audiovisual documentary on the state of agriculture in the district has been produced to market the district.
Mr Arthur said in this regard funds have been set aside to improve the competencies and abilities of the council members.
Touching on finance and revenue Mr Arthur said from January to September this year the Assembly received an amount of GHC 266, 412.51 representing 46.54 of the budgeted internally generated fund of GHC 572,360.00, adding that the total budget for the year was GHC 8, 125, 570.16.
The DCE announced that most of the development projects have been completed with a few currently ongoing and that the assembly was in the process of awarding a contract for the construction of one semi detached nurse’s quarters at Akyempim.
Mr Arthur also announced the construction of 280 meter drain in Daboase township.
On Social protection intervention and child protection he said 288 households have benefited from the LEAP programme with a total amount of 28,064.00 paid out to the beneficiaries.
On health he said a total of 20,047 clients were registered under the National Health Insurance Scheme during the period under review with 8,597 being new registrants whiles 11,450 were renewals and that 679,456.99 was paid as claims by September this year.
He said the services of ACCESS water an NGO in some 20 communities would soon be completed and extended to cover more communities and that water access would hit 100 per cent in the next five years.
Mr Arthur said the district was endowed with various natural resources and this includes a unique waterfalls and hinted that the assembly has developed a strategic plan to promote the tourists sites at Domama, Atobiase and the Nsadweso water falls from 2018.
He said alongside the government’s flagship programme of One District One Factory, other industrial projects like quarry, palm oil processing factory, soap making, plastic products would be established in the district.