Eight projects that were constructed under the Social Investment Fund (SIF) to improve health care, education and access to water in the Nkwanta-North District in the Oti Region are yet to be handed over, a year after completion.
The facilities include a six-unit classroom block, teachers quarters and washroom facilities at Nabu, a maternity centre at Sibi, a clinic at Azua, a drainage project and nurses quarters at Kpassa and a mechanised borehole at Tinjase.
The works, valued at GH¢4.62 million, are part of a $19.1 million project that was started in 21 districts across the country in 2016 to help improve the quality of life of the people at the grassroot.
Dubbed Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP), it was jointly funded by OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA).
Per the arrangements, the beneficiary districts were required to provide counterpart funding of 20 per cent.
A visit by the Daily Graphic to the Nkwanta-North District last week revealed that the facilities, which were completed at the beginning of 2018, had still not been inaugurated because the beneficiary district assemblies had not been able to fulfil their side of the bargain.
In some cases, the buildings have started showing signs of deterioration from the neglect, a situation that is putting stress on existing facilities.
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At Nabu, for instance, pupils of Nabu D/A Primary School were being taught in a dilapidated structure while the completed six-unit classroom block has been left to the vagaries of the weather.
At the Sibi Central CHIPS compound, the completed maternity centre remained unused while expectant mothers went through trying moments to access prenatal services.
In addition, nurses who work at the Kpassa Health Centre lack decent accommodation even though there is a new nurses quarters nearby.
The assembly members of Nabu and Sibi Central, Messrs Isaac Kiladini and Emmanuel Triko, have, therefore, appealed to the district assembly to endeavour to pay off the counterpart fund for the projects to be put to use.
When the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Nkwanta-North, Mr Jackson Jakayi, was contacted on the matter, he claimed that the assembly had paid some of the required money.
He explained that the assembly was burdened with debt it had inherited and so "there is pressure on the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) and the internally generated fund
is also not realised as expected. However, we have done part payments and now have an outstanding balance of about GH¢380,000 to pay."
Mr Jakayi added that he was in talks with the contractors of the SIF projects to open the facilities while the assembly took steps to clear the outstanding amount.
The SIF began a four-year project to promote integrated rural and local development in 21 districts in the country in March 2016.
The OFID and the BADEA made available $10.5 million and $8.6 million, respectively, to the government to undertake the projects.
The beneficiary district assemblies are the Afigya Kwabre, Ahafo Ano South, Asunafo North, Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo, Fanteakwa, Ga East, Ho West, Kassena-Nankana West and Mfantseman.
The others are Nanumba South, Nkoranza North, Nkwanta North, Nzema East, Sene East, Sene West and Sisaala East.
The rest are Talensi, Upper Denkyira West, Upper Manya Krobo, Wa West and Wassa Amenfi West.