MMDAs urged to build disability friendly projects

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo
Mr Kwamena Duncan addressing the forum.
Mr Kwamena Duncan addressing the forum.

Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have been tasked to ensure that any new projects built were disability friendly.

The assemblies have further been urged to set up disability sub-committees to ensure that there was effective collaboration between person with disability in the communities and other vulnerable groups to encourage them to participate in decision making and governance at the district and community levels.

These were contained in a communique issued after an evidence dissemination forum on citizen state-engagement in Cape Coast on Tuesday.

The forum, organised by Coastal Television, a Cape Coast-based television station with support from Star Ghana and the Central Regional Coordinating Council, was to disseminate findings of a project by the Centre for Intercultural Learning and Talent Development (CILTAD).

It was also to strengthen accountability and transparency and responsiveness at the local government level.

Star Ghana/CILTAD Coastal TV Support

Star Ghana had supported CILTAD/Coastal Television under its Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) strategy to embark on a year-long project dubbed the “Fontomfrom Programme” that aimed at improving mutual understanding, responsiveness and engagement between the citizenry and their respective district assemblies.

The project took the form of a base line study and follow up visits and road shows to five districts including Cape Coast, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo Abrem, Mfantseman, Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira and Abura Asebu Kwamankese districts and involved over 200,000 people on various issues affecting their districts development.

Discuss Projects

The communique issued after the forum of stakeholders from beneficiary districts also called on the district assemblies to intensify discussion of developmental projects with beneficiary communities to avoid undertaking “white elephant” projects.

It noted that some projects were left in the communities unused because those projects were not the real priority projects of the beneficiary communities.

It further called for a reward system for assemblymen and women who engaged more with constituents.

The communique also called on assemblies complete abandoned project and more for education on what the assemblies were using their monetary allocations for.

Earlier, the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Manager of Star Ghana, Mrs Eunice Agbenyadzi stressed that it was essential that views of all groupings in the communities were incorporated in decision making while ensuring transparency at the local level to make them feel part of the development process.

She said this would also boost the confidence of the citizenry confidence in local government structures and encourage them to commit to ensure projects were implemented successfully.

The Chief Executive Officer of CILTAD-Coastal Television, Mr Selete Nyomi in an address said he was optimistic that the project would foster effective collaborations between relevant stakeholders and groups to accelerate development in the communities.

Grassroot Engagement Essential

The Central Regional Minster, Mr Kwamena Duncan advised the MMDCEs move to the grassroots and engage citizenry particularly the marginalized and socially excluded and persons with disability and incorporate their needs in local development projects.

He commended the CILTAD-Coastal TV, Star Ghana for the laudable initiative and urged them to scale up the project to other districts.