‘Use local governance system to develop communities’

BY: George Folley
Rev. Fr. Clement Kwesi Adjei addressing the gathering
Rev. Fr. Clement Kwesi Adjei addressing the gathering

The Director of Governance, Justice and Peace at the National Catholic Secretariat, Rev. Fr. Clement Kwesi Adjei, has called on citizens to actively get involved in the local governance system to ensure the development of their communities.

‘’Most people are always interested in the central government and not the local government, even though local government is about decentralisation,’’ he said.

He further stated that, ‘’ If the people want development, it is the local government system that can help, they must understand and get involved in local governance.’’

He emphasised that the central government could not identify the needs of all communities hence the need for the people to get involved and identify the problems within their communities so that together with the assembly they could plan and develop with resources from the Internally Generated Funds (IGFs), the Common Fund and other aids.

Rev. Fr. Adjei was speaking at a town hall meeting organised by the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Koforidua in collaboration with Konard Adenauer Stiftung Foundation and the New Juaben Municipal Assembly at Effiduase near Koforidua.

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Purpose of project

The pilot project is being implemented in four selected regions across the country: Eastern, Ashanti, Western and Central.

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 The purpose is to sensitise the public to the local governance system for the people to make inputs in the development of their communities.

Rev. Fr  Adjei noted that even though the response from the communities had been encouraging, it had also proven that majority of the people did not understand the local governance concept and what roles they were supposed to play as citizens.

The New Juaben Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Madam Comfort Asante, thanked the organisers for educating the   community members on the local governance system.

 Responsibility of assembly

Madam Asante indicated that it was the responsibility of the assembly to engage communities from time to time but that did not happen as expected.

She called on the participants to actively take part in the government’s flagship project ‘’Planting for food and jobs’’ to enable them to benefit from the programme to ensure food security within the municipality.

She advised the communities to register and take delivery of the ‘’Zoomlion waste bins’’ to ensure the proper disposal of refuse within the communities to prevent sicknesses and diseases.

The Chief of Effiduase and Nifahene of the New Juaben Traditional Area, Okoawia  Dwomo Baabu II, said local governance was a big responsibility on residents and if measures were not put in place to understand how the system worked then it would become a real challenge.

 He urged the Roman Catholic Church to continue to educate the people so that majority of the citizens would understand the local government concept and contribute to the development of communities.

 Participants were taken through the medium-term development plan of the assembly, fee-fixing resolution, one-district, one-factory, planting for food and jobs and safety security measures.