Completed six-unit classroom block for Nabu D/A Basic School. INSET: Students sitting on blocks
ABOUT EIGHT projects that were completed last year to ease the suffering of residents in the Nkwanta North District of the Oti Region remain unused because these have not been handed over.
The facilities include a six-unit classroom block with offices, teachers’ quarters and washroom facilities at Nabu, a clinic at Azua, a maternity home at Sibi, a drainage project and nurses’ quarters at Kpassa and a mechanised borehole at Tinjase.
Such has been the situation because the Assembly has been unable to pay its share (about GH¢930,000), representing 20 per cent of counterpart funding for the projects which is totally valued at about GH¢4.62 million ($1million) under the Social Investment Fund (SIF).
The SIF with $19.1 million funding from OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) – $10.5 million and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) – $8.6 million initiated the Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP) in March 2016 for 21 Districts.
The beneficiary districts, including Nkwanta South were to provide counterpart funding of 20 per cent for their share of the projects which were focused on improving education, health, water and sanitation in the area.
The beneficiaries are Afigya Kwabre, Ahafo Ano South, Asunafo North, Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo, Fanteakwa, Ga East, Ho West, Kassena-Nankana West and Mfantseman. The others are Nanumba South, Nkoranza North, Nkwanta North, Nzema East, Sene East, Sene West and Sisaala East. The rest are Talensi, Upper Denkyira West, Upper Manya Krobo, Wa West and Wassa Amenfi West.
Although Daily Guide cannot authenticate the state of projects in other districts, observation from the Nkwanta North District indicates that communities are yet to benefit from the projects. The situation is so bad that some of them are still consigned to very bad conditions while these projects lie abandoned and in most cases, are beginning to deteriorate as in the case of many unused facilities.
At Nabu for instance, two of the projects, a six-unit classroom block with offices for the Nabu D/A basic school and a teachers’ bungalow are all under lock and key while students study under a dilapidated school block with teachers having poor accommodation.
Students were seen sitting on logs and rocks with others kneeling to study in a dilapidated structure without furniture. A teacher, Jagri Unajah Sani said they were having a hard time providing quality education as the school lacked all necessary facilities to perform. Some of them had to walk long distances to and from school due to lack of accommodation.
The head teacher, Iddrisu Paul said the joy they had when the two projects were completed have all disappeared as they are still under the mercy of the weather. School have had to close whenever it threatened to rain.
Residents at Azua pleaded with the Assembly to open the clinic so they could access healthcare. Expectant mothers who go through various maternal challenges at Sibi Central also want the maternity center made accessible to them.
The Kpassa Health Centre which serves as the key health facility in the District has nurses complaining of accommodation while a completed nurses’ quarters lies idle.
A mechanised borehole at Tinjase projected to serve about 7000 people also remains unused while most of the people still cry for portable water.
DCE Gives Assurance
The Nkwanta North District Chief Executive (DCE), Jackson Kwame Jakayi, explained that the assembly had no intentions of leaving citizens to suffer. However, huge financial constraints on the assembly had affected the timely release of the projects for use.
He added that huge debts, running into millions of Ghana cedis inherited had left the assembly restricted to debts financing to prevent a breakdown in administration.
The SIF project debt is top on its list and have since paid over 50 percent of the counterpart funding with only GHC380,000 remaining.
The assembly has initiated talks with the contractors, to hand over the projects while they finish clearing the remaining debt owed.
From Fred Duodu, Ho (firstname.lastname@example.org )