The Minister of Inner City and Zongo Development, Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique, has given an assurance that the government's resolve to improve living conditions in Zongo communities in the three regions of the north is on course.
According to him, those communities would all benefit from improvements in the four thematic areas his ministry was mandated to help improve on, so that the Zongo communities did not become a "sanctuary of criminals, despair, high unemployment, poverty, illiteracy and disease".
He stated this after inspecting some ongoing projects under his ministry and interacting with leaders in the Zongo communities at Walewale in the Northern Region, Bolgatanga and Navrongo in the Upper East Region last Wednesday. The projects he visited included modern sports facilities at Walewale and the Bolgatanga Municipality. He also interacted with Muslims at the Bolgatanga Central and the Navrongo mosques, among other things.
Alhaji Saddique noted that the four thematic areas, namely infrastructure and sanitation enhancement, social development and economic empowerment, crime and security control, as well as heritage preservation and cultural preservation, would be enhanced in Zongo communities, including the ones in the Upper East Region.
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He further explained that Bolgatanga, Bawku, Zebilla, Navrongo and Sandema were Zongo communities in the region that were receiving the needed attention by the government under the Zongo Ministry.
Touching on the sports facilities being provided, Alhaji Saddique noted that the facilities were to be "a convergence point for the youth in the Zongo communities to help unearth football and other talents".
He observed that the government wanted an integrated development for the country, especially in the Zongo communities, to make them more attractive and change the negative perception about those communities.
Reacting to concerns raised about the fact that loudspeakers should not be used to call Muslims to worship owing to noise pollution, instead they could use text messages and Whatsapp, the minister pointed out that there was nowhere the President and his Vice had issued an instruction that loudspeakers should not be used to call Muslims to worship.
The Regent of Navrongo, Arthur Belinia Arthur, commended the government for the programmes it was rolling out for the Zongo communities. He expressed optimism that although there were numerous challenges facing the zongo community at Navrongo, a significant number of them would be addressed if those programmes were implemented effectively.