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Central Region: New minister initiates war on open defecation

BY: Edith Mensah and Francisca Eshun
 Mrs Justina Marigold Assan`
Mrs Justina Marigold Assan

The Central Regional Minister, Mrs Justina Marigold Assan has stated that her administration would collaborate with the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies in the region to ensure that at least 70 percent of households in the region have access to places of convenience.

She said her administration would wage war on open defecation and other sanitation issues emphasising that she would ensure the region significantly enhances it's sanitation in conformity with the local government act.

Mrs Assan observed that central region had only 19 percent of households having access to places of convenience.

She made this known in her first ever engagement with the various heads of departments in the Region last Wednesday.

The meeting was also to formally introduce herself to the various institutions and its heads in the region.

“I am very passionate about sanitation issues and this has been one of my major drives,” she said, adding “It is something we need to wage war on and ensure that in the next few years we have at least 70 percent of households having access to places of convenience”.

She added that the agenda could only become a reality if all stakeholders and the various institutions in the region played their respective roles in harmony.

Blueprint

Mrs Assan stated that the Central Regional Coordinating Council would roll out plans and policies in unison with the national agenda to propel the region’s advancement.

She said the planning unit of the Central Regional Coordinating Council (CRCC) would develop plans and commit resources that would help realise the agenda.

"It is in our collective responsibilities of identifying strategies in objective and goals we set for ourselves and I am glad to state that my doors are widely opened to accommodate fresh ideas”, she stated.

Touching on other thematic areas her outfit would be focusing on, Mrs Assan mentioned education, poverty alleviation, youth employment, health and tourism as the high priority areas.

Poverty alleviation

The minister called for support from the various heads of departments to help identify feasible strategies to alleviate poverty in the region.

She said it was a big anomaly for the Central Region to be tagged as one of the poorest regions in the country, given the numerous resources it could boast of.

“It is very sad that the central region is tagged as one of the poorest even in the midst of its abundant resources”.

To propel the regional agenda, we must all join hands and fight this very issue”.

Basic Education

Mrs Assan lamented the low enrolment of indigenes in second cycle institutions in the region indicating that most of its population were from other regions.

“The Central Region is known as the citadel of education and has the best schools but they are mainly populated by people from other regions”.

She said her outfit would lay emphasis on basic education and commit resources to ensure that students at the basic level were well prepared to pass and get access into second cycle institution in the region.

Reviving abandoned projects

Mrs Assan revealed that abandoned projects in the project would be attended to with all seriousness especially in the area of tourism and industrialisation.

She said the planning department of the CRCC was putting together a programme that would revive abandoned projects and liaise with the tourism industry and necessary agencies to bring life to "sick projects"

She also mentioned plans were underway to revive the collapsed Ameen Sangari factory, pointing out that “a proposal has also been sent to the one district one factory to revamp the factory in due time.”

Support

In his welcome remarks, the Chief Director of the Central Regional Coordinating Council, Mr Kingsley Adjei Boahene said he was hopeful that the new journey would build a good working relationship and help transform the region.

He affirmed his support for the regional agenda, noting that he would in his capacity avail himself and the needed resources to support the drive.

Other heads of departments laid bare their grievances and pledged their support for the “new era".