The East Gonja District Assembly in the Northern Region of Ghana, has held its mid-year performance review meeting with highlights on various projects being executed within the period showing the district was progressing despite certain challenges.
In a presentation of the Assembly’s activities for the period under review, the District Development Planning Officer, Abukari A. Alidu stated that the district witnessed massive construction of projects within the period under the areas of education, health, water and sanitation, security and governance, road and transport and food security.
He disclosed that 19 projects are at various stages of completion under education, 4 health facilities renovated and new ones built, 5 water projects constructed, construction and rehabilitation of 6 KVIP toilets, 6 projects under security and governance and the construction of market stores and stalls at Salaga and Gindanturu to improve food security in the area.
On road and transport, Mr. Alidu mentioned the spots improvement projects at Abrumase, Mabun and Talkpa as projects that were implemented to open up the food producing areas in the district.
The sources of funding for these projects he disclosed were mainly from development partners, Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) and the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF).
He however indicated that the DACF was beset with problems such as late release of funds and at source deductions involving big amounts of money. This, according to Mr. Alidu was affecting the Assembly’s capacity to fund projects mainly from that source.
On the development challenges of the district, the Planning Officer mentioned poor performance of students at the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), inadequate departmental staff, inadequate logistics and poor budgetary allocations, armed robberies and depletion of the district’s vegetation cover by various human factors.
Performance reviews such as mid-year and end of year reviews are monitoring tools designed purposely to assess progress of work, achievements, challenges and to chart the way forward in terms of deviations or modifications of planned projects and activities. It is in line with this thinking that the East Gonja District Assembly organized its mid-year review for the 2011 planning period.
The review brought together development partners, Non-Governmental Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, Government Institutions and Departments as well as Community-Based Organizations.
The presentations of various development partners including SNV, SEND-Ghana, Triple S, Ghanaian Developing Communities Association (GDCA), Choice Ghana, and Association of People With Disabilities, among others revealed that every area of the district was being touched with their activities, either implemented directly or through community based groups.
However, one major issue that came up strongly from the presentations of the development partners and the Civil Society Organizations was lack of collaboration and harmonization of development activities.
They also charged the District Assembly to concentrate more in developing softwares in education rather than putting so much funds into physical projects which sometimes did `not contribute to good academic performance. This stemmed from the general concerns expressed by the participants about the poor percentage score of 19 % by the district for 2011 BECE.
Meanwhile, District Chief Executive for East Gonja, Alhassan Mumuni thanked development partners for assisting the District Assembly to provide socio-economic infrastructure to improve the lives of the people, stressing that their support would always be put to good use.He also disclosed that the District Assembly would soon organize Town Hall meetings in the communities to give opportunity to heads of department in the district to inform the people about their activities so as to enhance local participation in development.