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AJUMAKO ENYAN ESSIAM DISTRICT HOLDS TOWN HALL MEETING

Chiefs and Elders of Ajumako have called on government to investigate why farmers incurred extra cost in procuring insecticides to spray their produce, especially cocoa, when a contract has been awarded for such exercise to be carried out at a fee.  



The call, which was made at the Town Hall Meeting of the Assembly, was in response to earlier statement made by Rev. Ransford Kwesi Nyarko, District Chief Executive, to the effect that the Ajumako District, as part of plans live up to its status as a Cocoa District, had initiated operation 1.5m cocoa seedlings project, starting October to be supplied freely to farmers for planting.  

The chiefs argue that if farmers are asked to buy fuel for the spraying of their farms when they have already paid for the fuel to government out of their produce (cocoa), then this cannot be described as mass spraying, adding that this practice can cause the government and give it bad press.  According to them the cocoa mass spraying which starts from May would not bring any significant change because the timing is wrong.   

The District Chief Executive, earlier, in a presentation, made it known, that a number of projects, such as rehabilitation of an abandoned school in Enyan maim since 2009; supply of dual desks to Mando and Besease SHS, with support from the GetFund; and the supply of hundred dual desks to Abatech by Dr. Kofi Mensah after an appeal by the assembly also.

On water and sanitation, he indicated that the District’s record was bad on the league table of the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) agenda which started in 2010.

He stressed the need to step up efforts to promote sanitation or risk the withdrawal of funding by UNICEF due to the District’s poor performance every year.  

He announced that by December 10, 2015, the District had successfully achieved ODF in eighteen (18) communities out of the twenty-two (22) communities targeted, making Ajumako Enyan Essiam District the first ODF District in the whole of the Central Region.  

He disclosed that five boreholes had been dug in five communities by the Ministry of Special Initiative.  Additionally, he said, the Assembly was making arrangement to dig three from its Common Fund in three other communities, adding that ,Abaasa Senior High (ABATECH) has been given a mechanized borehole to help address water supply challenge in the school.

The District Chief Executive also spoke extensive on some of the government’s flagship programmes such as, Planting for Food and Jobs, Free SHS, IDIF and Farming for Export and Rural Development.  

He said the District had chosen 4 cash crops— Cocoa, Palm Fruits and Coconut and cassava, while COCOBOD would rehabilitate over 16 of their projects such as sheds, and depot, among others in the District.

He maintained that governance was a continuous process hence, there was the need for all hands to be on deck to support any government in power to bring development to the people.

Hon. Ato Forsonn, Member of Parliament for AEED, called on the District Chief Executive to impress it upon the contractor working on some roads in the district which had been abandoned to return to site, adding that if work on these roads, namely Sunkwa, Abaasa to Enyan maim and others were not completed, Government would incur extra cost.  

He urged Government to continue projects started by previous government and pledged to work together with the DCE, even though they belonged to opposite sides of the political divide, since it was   a duty to serve the people.


Mr. Kofi Dei, Regional Information Officer, added his voice to the call for Ghanaians to understand that governance was a continuous process and that ensuring total development of the country was most important, notwithstanding which party was in power.  



Mr Dei also appealed to Ghanaians not to politicize issues but support every good government initiative.

During question, contribution and answers time, some participants congratulated government on the introduction of the free SHS, some wanted to know what government was doing to encourage cassava farmers because they always incurred losses.

1.    What government was doing about the completed Besease hospital that has been abandoned?
2.    What government was doing for those that are mentally unwell, and disable students regarding education in free SHS?
3.    Someone noted that Breman Essiam had been neglected in infrastructure for the past ten years and wanted to know what government was doing about that especially, hospitals and roads projects have been abandoned.
4.    The Chairman for the occasion, Bishop Rtd I. K. Quansah, commended the DCE and MP for their participation and urged government to encourage backbackyard farming.
5.    One Emmanuel Mensah wanted to know the fate of the teachers on the double track system and what will be the fate of students who will stay at home for four (4) months.
6.    The DCE should let us know whether he is continuing all project started by the previous and what he is doing with the IGF and the Common Fund.
7.    The Chief of Besease bemoaned the attitude of Zoomlion Staff and asked the DCE to act on them why they put such attitude of refusing to start sweeping from 4.00 am.  He asked about street lightening in Ajumako Essiam and the nature of the roads.

Response:;

1.    Cassava planting is not part of those targeted crops that can easily be exported but the government is doing everything to establish cassava processing plant’
2.    Besease project will be taken care of very soon by the IGF.
3.    Free SHS the number as at last year was 90,000 but will double this year.
4.    Breman Essiam will also be taken care of very soon.
5.    Assin Manso-Essiam road, we have met the appropriate authorities and it will be attended to.
6.    MP Ato Forson touched on the various.

Participants at the meeting included the academia, traders, farmers, artisans, religious and traditional leaders, students and political party representatives, among others.


Source: ISD (Raymond Kwofie)