Twenty three communities across the Bongo District have been declared Open-Defecation Free (ODF) within the year, Mr Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga, District Chief Executive (DCE) for Bongo in the Upper East Region, has disclosed.
The DCE, who was speaking at the last mandatory General Assembly meeting for year 2017, added that this feat was achieved through the collaborative efforts of partners under the Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) intervention.
Giving details, he said 13 of the communities benefited under a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) intervention while the remaining 10 were under a SPRING Ghana programme. The communities included Tarongor-Kunkua, Asolgo, Dusobligo, Akaliwaka, Zemasa and Akanselinga, among others.
On its position on the District League Table (DLT), Mr Ayamga disclosed that the District dropped from its previous 59th position in 2016 to the 104th position in the 2017 grading which, he said, meant that the District did not do well in the area of sanitation, among other indicators, adding that it was not a record to be proud of.
He, therefore, urged the Assembly members to continuously educate their people and lead them to keep their surroundings neat at all times while the Assembly provided adequate toilet and other sanitary facilities for the communities.
Touching on Internally Generated Funds (IGFs), the DCE disclosed that when the 2017 Annual Estimates were approved at the beginning of the year, the Assembly projected to rake in 224,580.00 Ghana Cedis, but that as at November 30, 2017; only 158,283.70 Ghana Cedis had been realized.
The DCE said even though the figure represented a 70.47 per cent of the projections, it fell below the projections and charged his technocrats to redouble their efforts in improving revenue generation since that was the immediate source of revenue for undertaking the routine administration and other important business of the District.
He attributed the shortfall in revenue to the inaccessibility of some good revenue points, non-payment of telecommunication masts fees and the refusal by the citizenry to pay up their property rates, adding that the Assembly had, however, initiated measures to recover all such payments due it.
On roads, he announced that the District, in conjunction with the Feeder Roads Department, had started procurement processes for the award of contracts on some of the roads.
These roads, he said, included the Bongo-Namoo, Namoo-Zorkor, Yorigor-Gowrie-Vea, Balungu-Vea, Yorigor-Bogrigor, Adaboya-Apatanga and Kongo-Beo feeder roads, and expressed the hope that full rehabilitation of these roads would improve travel time as well as open up the road network for the easy and quick transportation of farm produce to marketing centres in and outside the District.
Mr Ayamga did not leave out agriculture and indicated that the District received 9,390 bags of NPK fertilizer, 4,420 bags of Sulphate of Amonia and 1,385 bags of Urea which had since been distributed to registered farmers after a meticulous screening by the Department of Agriculture.
Meanwhile, he said, 290 sachets of improved tomato and pepper seeds had also been delivered and distributed to a total of 2,213 farmers including women, the youth and persons living with disabilities across the District.
The DCE also spoke on the health sector where he said the Out-Patient Department (OPD) attendance dropped from 123,129 in 2016 to 95,669 in 2017.
He said the possible reasons for the decrease were that either the people were resorting to other forms of treatment outside the health institutions or that their health status had improved drastically.
Still on health, he disclosed that there had been an increasing trend of HIV-AIDS cases in the District where out of 3,193 persons tested in 2016, 114 of them turned positive while in November 2017, a total of 2,213 out of 3,175 farmers including women, the youth and persons living with disabilities tested were found to be positive.
Mr Ayamga, therefore, urged all stakeholders to embark on an enhanced sensitization campaign in order to nib the canker in the bud.
Two rounds of voting failed to elect a Presiding Member (PM) for the Assembly. The incumbent PM, Hon. Duke A. Anaba, who is a Government Appointee, stood against Hon. Baba Timothy, Assembly man for the Vea electoral area.
Source: ISD (Peter Atogewe Wedam)