Community participation in the development process is a prerequisite in creating efficient mobilization, ownership and sustainability of projects.
To achieve this, the Nadowli/ Kaleo District Directorate of the National Commission for Civic Education held a Social Auditing engagement forum at the Dapuori community to empower community members of the need to take the center stage in monitoring and questioning project implementors on interventions in their localities
The social auditing engagement forum by the NCCE with funding from the European Union was well organised in the Dapouri community.
The focus of the project is aimed at promoting community ownership of developmental projects and policies, increase awareness on the operations of the Local Government establishments and empower the citizenry to demand accountability from duty bearers.
The Nadowli / Kaleo District Director of the NCCE Mr. Tambile Der Emmanuel in his address underscored the increasing roles the directorate is focused on building the capacity of local communities to enhance accountability, transparency and good governance.
He pointed out that, similar exercises have been extended to other communities, schools, identifiable groups, faith-based organisations and other trade associations as part of activities under the Anti-corruption, Rule of Law and Accountability Programme (ARAP). Those engagements according to him have deepened citizen’s understanding of issues related to corruption, its forms, negative effects, and linkages with human rights.
Mr. Tambile Der Emmanuel further urged participants to contribute to the discussions by avoiding partisanship and by remaining committed to the actions and decisions to be taken for the outright benefit of their entire community membership and the district as a whole.
The Nadowli/ Kaleo District Director of Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr. Yakubu Omar Yaarun, who graced the occasion, used the opportunity to educate citizens on their constitutional rights that extends to demanding accountability. He further encouraged participants to volunteer information on corrupt acts exhibited by public officers to the District Office of the CHRAJ, especially issues relating to human rights violations.
The Upper West Regional Director of the NCCE, Madam Patience Sally Kumah during her speech schooled participants on their civic rights and responsibilities as far as the development of their community is concerned. She encouraged the people of Dapuori community to take the seriousness of the Social Auditing engagement by rendering their unwavering support to the Social Audit Committee constituted by them to lead them in the implementation of their community action plan. She reiterated the fact that Social Auditing is not an event but a process towards achieving results. In this regard, she urged community members to exercise ownership of all projects whether initiated by the government or the community. According to her, it is only when community members demonstrate their civic responsibilities by becoming owners of their developmental needs that effective and efficient delivery of social services can be achieved.
The representative of the Nadowli-Kaleo District Chief Executive, Mr. Yawuza Batong applauded the Commission and the European Union for the Social Auditing engagement. He assured participants that all their issues of concern raised would be made known to the District Chief Executive and that consideration would be given to some of the issues raised as the District Assembly would soon work on its 2021 Annual Action Plan.
The community members during need assessment identified ten (10) pressing issues, with five been prioritised in other of preference as the most pressing needs. These included issues; roads, school infrastructure, dam for dry season farming, loan scheme to women, and child protection interventions. Road infrastructure was the most prioritized need and the chief and people Doupuri appeal for a road to their palace and the need to construct a bridge over a river the divided the community into parts thereby making it increasingly difficult to access the school during the raining season. Participants further appealed to the Nadowli/ Kaleo District Assembly to support them with a bulldozer service to reshape their roads. The forum ended with the drafting of community action and setting of a five-member committee to spearheading monitoring and stakeholder engagement to address their felt needs.
The chief and people were full of gratitude to the Nadowli/ Kaleo District Directorate of NCCE for such a capacity-building forum. To the people of Dapuori, the forum provided an eye-opening on how to demand from duty bearer as well as prioritized their need with community endorsement. The Social Auditing Engagement Forum was held on the 25th August, 2020 with Two hundred and fourteen participants comprising 94 Males and 120 Females.
Author; Tahiru Lukman
Youth Activist, Dev’t Consultant & Pan- African Author
Tel: 0209154057 / 0551018778