Saturday, June 19, 2010



Residents of Tantuani, a highly deprived farming community in the East Gonja District of the Northern Region of Ghana, are appealing to the District Chief Executive and the Member of Parliament for the area to provide them with basic social amenities.

The community, with a population of about one thousand has no hospital/clinic, electricity, safe drinking water, tarred roads, market, and a modern school edifice. The only school in the area, Tantuani Annex Primary runs from class one (1) to four (4) only, including a day nursery and Kindergarten which hold classes under trees.

The nearest clinic to Tantuani is located at a village called Kpalbi, which is also about 15miles away; hence most of the women deliver their babies in the community with the assistance of an aged Traditional Birth Attendant.

Even though the community falls under the East Gonja District, the bad nature of the road to Salaga, the district capital forced most of them to rather seek healthcare at the Tamale Teaching Hospital, covering a distance of about 40 kilometres.

The only source of drinking water is a dam but according to residents, it dries up during the harmattan/dry season, and this leave the women with no option than to travel long distances in search of water during the dry season for their domestic use.

But from this deprived village, emerged the Best Primary School Teacher at the 2009 Northern Regional Best Teacher Awards. The award winning teacher Mr. Sulemana Issahaku, who is the head-teacher of Tantuani Annex Primary School, in an interview with savannahnews during a brief ceremony to hand over their refurbished school building to them, called on the District Assembly and the MP for the area, Alhaji Ibrahim Dey to respond to their needs.

According to him, the MP visited the community during the 2008 elections but since then had not stepped his foot in the area although he is aware of their problems. Adding that, the DCE Mr. Alhassan Mumuni likewise, visited the place the first time he assumed office but that was in the night.

Mr. Issahaku thanked Bibir Ghana, an international non-governmental organisation (ngo) working to alleviate the plight of the rural poor, for refurbishing the only school in the community, saying “the conversion of the hut structure into zinc and brick structure is better than none”.

According to the Director of Bibir Ghana, Joseph Osei, the structure was provided through communal labour from community members and financial and technical support from the organisation. The ngo also provided furniture, school uniforms, school bags, exercise books and other learning materials to the pupils, he disclosed.

He urged the people to unite in order to get the needed development to their area, stressing that they should not allow partisan politics to divide them but rather put their heads together to achieve their set goals”.

Mr. Osei further entreated them to maintain the facilities that have been provided them else his organisation would not hesitate to withdraw its services.

Apart from helping the people of Tantuani to put up a school and providing the children with learning materials, Bibir Ghana has also donated a grinding mill worth GH¢2,000.00 and assisted farmers with credit schemes to boost their farming activities. The next development project on the drawing board is the provision of a borehole and expansion of the school to class six.

However, Mr. Osei told this reporter his organisation alone cannot sponsor the projects and added his voice to the call on the East Gonja District Assembly and Member of Parliament for Salaga to help the people.

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