CALID Holds District Town-Hall Meetings in both East and West Mamprusi Districts
As part of the Ghana Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms (GSAM) project activities, every quarter, partner CSOs are expected to organise a town-hall (interface) meeting in each Social Accountability district. The purpose of these meetings is to expand the opportunity and create a platform for citizens and MMDAs authorities to dialogue and agree on corrective measures which address the feedback gathered by citizens and the CSOs during the generation of the citizen’ scorecards.
These meetings serve as an opportunity for citizens to commit duty bearers to take action to address issues of concern. Therefore during the town-hall meetings, all important agreements and decisions reached would be well documented and timelines and persons responsible agreed on.
In line with this, CALID organized two separate town-hall meetings in East and West Mamprusi districts this quarter. This activity took place in the East mamprusi district on the 29th November, 2017 whiles it took place on 13th December, 2017 in the West Mamprusi district.
The purpose was to disseminate the scores and findings of scorecards generated in project communities and to provide a platform to discuss emerging issues on the projects. Participants for the Town hall meetings included; Traditional Authorities, Religious Leaders, Chairpersons of selected committees within the assembly, Opinion Leaders within the district, Women Leaders and Youth Leaders. They also included officers from the District Assemblies, other CSOs in the districts, staff of OXFAM and the Media.
In each district Town hall meeting, opportunity was given to community representatives to present the scores and reasons behind scores during the Community scorecards generation exercise that were in both districts. This was followed by presentations by CALID on the Project Performance Updates for both districts. The floor in each case was opened for questions, contributions and suggestions from participants.
The capital projects that score cards were generated on were;
- 1 Number CHPS Compound at Dabari
- 1 Number CHPS Compound at Yankazia
- 1Number 10-seater Water Closet toilet at Wungu
- Rehabilitation of 11Number culverts on the Wulugu- Kpasenkpe Road
In the East mamprusi district, scores for the communities were; 35% for the Yankazia project and 42% for the Dabari project. The overall score for the whole district after the aggregation of the CSO monitoring score card stood at 55% in the East Mamprusi. This score represented scores from citizens’, CSOs and the DA. (Attached as appendix are the scorecards)
The community members during the question session made submissions on their observation during monitoring of projects and their concerns identified. They were of the view that since the contracts for the CHPS compounds were awarded in 2016, they have been stalling. Both projects have still not been started by the contractors. Apart from the sea-sand deposited at the Dabari site and also the blocks and Sea-sand deposited at the Yankazia site, nothing has happened again. The contractors have abandoned the sites.
The District Assembly staff (Planner and Engineer) responded to these concerns raised. They were of the view that, the stalled nature of the projects was as a result of the delay in disbursement of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF). The Engineer opined that they thought the contractors could have pre-financed the projects pending reimbursement later when funds are in but they have not. Unfortunately, the Assembly is not supposed to give advance mobilization to Contractors for DACF projects.
Equally, the scores for the Wungu and Wulugu-Kpasenkpe projects in the West Mamprusi district were 71% and 14%. The total score for the West Mamprusi was 66 %. (Attached as appendix are the scorecards)
The community members made their submission on their observation during monitoring of projects and their concerns identified. The Wungu community members were of the view that work on the 10-seater toilet project at Wungu is behind schedule and also mentioned some few defects observed in the contractor’ work.
The District Assembly staff (Planner and Engineer) responded to these concerns raised. They were of the view that, the reason for the Wungu project been behind schedule was as a result of the delay in disbursement of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF). The Engineer assured members that the contractor for the Wungu project will be summoned and instructed to attend to defects and also given a new deadline to complete project.
The Kpasenkpe community also complained about the delays in the completion of the 11No. Culverts on the Wulugu-Kpasenkpe road and the fact that there are some remaining culverts on the road which have not been rehabilitated and these broken culverts have become ‘deathtraps’. They also complained about they not knowing the contractor working on the culverts.
The District Engineer explained that the reason why that project too is stalling is because the funds (District Development Facility (DDF)) have not yet been disbursed from the Central Government. The contractor has not been paid yet and he has pre-financed the work he has done so far. He explained that as and when funds are provided, the contractor will be paid to finish off.
In all, 62 participants from the two districts (27 for East Mamprusi and 35 for West Mamprusi district) attended the town hall meetings. Some stakeholders expressed their satisfaction about the programme and also commended the assembly and the DA for a good job done. They lauded CALID and OXFAM for the GSAM project and the opportunity given to them to assess the District Assemblies and discuss corrective measures with them.
The assemblies also assured citizens that their doors are open to anybody who wish to make inquiries about the projects the assembly is undertaking. According to them citizens’ inputs into projects being undertaken in their communities are welcome as this will enhance the assemblies’ performance.
The town hall meetings afforded citizens and DAs the opportunity to discuss around scores and issues emanating from projects. The DA had the opportunity to address the concerns of citizens on the projects. Hence, citizens’ understanding on the workings of Assemblies and their role in the monitoring of capital projects has been enhanced.