MUNICIPAL and District Assemblies (MDAs) have been urged to always consult community leaders when siting development projects especially school blocks and markets in rural communities, to prevent those projects from becoming ‘white elephants’.
Most infrastructure, such as school buildings and markets built for communities are not being used and are overgrown with weeds because the communities were not involved in the siting of those projects.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, made the call in response to a question posed by this writer at the Brong Ahafo Regional meet-the-press session held in Sunyani on Thursday.
He was replying to why community leaders were not consulted in the siting of development projects in their areas resulting in the refusal of the communities to use those projects after completion.
According to the regional minister, it was not only school buildings in some parts of the region that were neglected after completion, but also many new markets dotted around the region that were not being utilised.
Mr Baffour-Awuah, therefore, urged the MDAs to consult with communities before siting them.
He stressed that if possible, the assemblies should sign a memorandum of understanding with the communities to the effect that after the completion of such projects, they would use them before the assemblies would go ahead to provide them with new projects.
Touching on the upgrading of some institutions into model schools, Mr Baffour-Awuah announced that work on those schools were about 95 per cent complete in the beneficiary schools across the region, which had turned those schools into first class institutions.
Mr Baffour-Awuah stated that $75 million had been earmarked for the Sunyani water project, adding that a memorandum to that effect was currently before Cabinet.
He appealed to Nananom to allocate land for the proper disposal of waste in their communities to improve sanitation.
The regional minister announced that the region had been designated as one of the beneficiaries of the Affordable Housing Project Scheme for workers.
He said land had therefore been acquired for the project while contractors had also been selected for the project to start as soon as possible.
Mr Baffour Awuah stated that the region had benefited from massive infrastructure development, mentioning in particular road construction and provision of school blocks for basic schools.
He named some of the projects as the Sunyani-Ntotroso-Acherensua road and the ongoing construction of the Drobo-Sampa road.
The Minister for Information and National Orientation, Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, for his part, said the regional meet-the-press series had been instituted by his ministry to afford the regional ministers the chance to deal with issues within their regions and the localities.
He noted that the NPP government was committed to the total development of the country so every Ghanaian, especially media practitioners, had a role to play to ensure the forward march of the country.