Bongo District Assembly receives GH¢70,000 to fight COVID-19 — DCE

The Bongo District Assembly in the Upper East Region has so far received an amount of GH¢70, 000 from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Relief Fund to support the fight against the pandemic.

The District Chief Executive (DCE) of Bongo and leader of the COVID-19 Team of the District, Mr Peter Ayimbisa disclosed this during a public sensitisation forum in Bongo on Saturday.

The forum highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on the implementation of the Annual Action Plan (AAP) of the Assembly and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was broadcast on the Bongo Community radio giving listeners the opportunity to call in and asked questions and also make contributions.

Organised and facilitated by the Bongo District Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Platform on SDGs with support of Water Aid Ghana it sought to contribute towards deepening participatory local governance for increased responsiveness, transparency and accountability of local government authorities.

The DCE who revealed that the district had recorded its first case of COVID-19, said the Assembly had stepped up public sensitisation on the pandemic and urged residents in the area to adhere strictly to the safety protocols.

He further pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic had adversely affected resource mobilisation of the Assembly as the closure of borders was impacting negatively on businesses in the district.

This, according to the DCE, had created a huge budget deficit thereby posing a serious challenge to effectively finance a number of planned pro-poor activities in agriculture, education, water, sanitation and hygiene and hunger aimed at meeting the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mr Ayimbisa stated that the planning and implementation processes of the assembly’s plans required active participation of all citizens.

The DCE expressed regret that the COVID-19 restrictions on public and social gatherings had impacted negatively on the assembly’s efforts to mobilise and facilitate citizens’ participation in the formulation and implementation of the assembly’s plans.

He said it was against this backdrop that the assembly resorted to the use of the Bongo Community Radio platform to reach the broader spectrum of the communities in the district.

The District Planning Officer of the Assembly, Mr Thomas Kugoriba and the Local Government Inspector of the assembly, Mr Alfred Nyaaba took the public through the annual action plan of the assembly and provided details of COVID-19 responsive projects in each of the community, market and schools in the district.

According to the Planning Officer, the assembly had scheduled to review its medium term development plan taking into consideration the impact of COVID-19 on the plan.

“The assembly recognised and acknowledged the support of Water Aid Ghana and UNICEF for a number of interventions that contributed significantly to improving Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities in the district,” he stressed.

The Convener of the Bongo District CSOs Platform on SDGs, Mr Bismark Adongo Ayorogo explained that facilitating citizens-government engagement through community radio was one of the innovative ways of reaching out to hundreds of community members in the wake of the pandemic.

 He said similar activity had taken place in the Kasena-Nankana West District and urged the two assemblies to continue engaging with the people after the intervention of the District CSOs Platforms on SDGs.

Community members who participated in the programme through phone -in calls, complained of limited WASH facilities in some communities and therefore demanded an increased supply of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in every part of the district to promote hand washing; proper waste management and end open defecation.

FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BONGO

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