NGO Bemoans Low Direct Investment in Upper West

Youth Of Upper West

The Community Development Alliance (CDA), a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO), has bemoaned the low direct government investment in the Upper West Region and the entire Northern sector.

The NGO said studies suggested that the entire Northern sector had attracted less than three per cent of government direct investment in capital projects since the inception of the Fourth Republic.

Mr Salifu Issifu Kanton, the Executive Director of CDA, said at a breakfast meeting with regional stakeholders in Wa that the analysis also showed that the low government direct investment was affecting the development of the Northern sector.

He urged stakeholders to speak up to enable the Region to get its fair share of the national resources, noting that the lack of government investment made the region unattractive for private capital investment and also prevented qualified personnel from accepting postings to the area.
Mr Kanton said the region was also suffering from a litany of uncompleted and abandoned projects such as roads, schools, health facilities, toilet facilities and many more, adding that once those projects remained uncompleted, they were of zero benefits to the people.

“So we are saying that first there is low direct government investment and secondly we are saying that even the little investment that is made, they never get completed,” he said.

“For example, some mechanised toilet facilities that were built by the Ministry of Special Development Initiative with over one billion budget allocation in 2018 and another one billion in 2019/2020 had remained uncompleted and unutilized,” the CDA Executive Director added.

“If you move around, you will see uncompleted schools and health facilities left in the bush without any benefit to the people”, Mr Kanton said and noted that the continued abandonment of these projects had the potential to generate dissatisfaction, which could lead to conflicts and others that could threaten the peace and security in the region.

He also mentioned the rising incidence of co-payments and unapproved fees in the public health facilities, denying people access to healthcare and poor and unacceptable basic education learning outcomes with many schools recording zero pass rates in successive years.

The other, he said, was the poor implementation of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme, resulting in massive exploitation of smallholder farmers to the benefit of a syndicate of smugglers and input dealers.
Mr Kanton also highlighted some achievements made by the organisation in the areas of education, agriculture, good governance and health, noting that in the area of education, they launched an aggressive campaign to get girls back to school after the COVID-19 induced school closures.

In the area of agriculture, he said they had supported about 150 smallholder farmers mostly women to access about 300 bags of farm inputs under beneficial supplier credit arrangements to increase their productivity, food security and incomes.

On good governance, the CDA Executive Director said they partnered with the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD) to carry out some studies and consultations on local government reform agenda among others.

Mr Kanton said they also promoted local community philanthropy for self-help community development through the implementation of the “Given for Change” project initiative.

They also facilitated behaviour change interventions, trained community health management committees and supported the healthy volunteers to create demand for increased uptake of maternal and newborn healthcare services in the area of health.

“We will focus more on peacebuilding and preventive actions to curb the rising threat to violent extremism that is growing in the sub-region”, Mr Kanton said.

Source: GNA

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