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Citizens views considered at Ada East Assembly DPCU meeting

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Penplusbytes’ Jerry Sam and Franka Darfour together with Mr. Isaac Djagbletey of Radio Ada on 17th September, 2015 met with the District Planning Committee Unit (DPCU) of the Ada East District Assembly. The meeting was a follow-up visit to present the concerns that were expressed by the communities during the launch of the Grassroots Open Government Using New Digital Tools project in Dorgwam and also views expressed by citizens from other communities via the various online platforms deployed by Penplusbytes and community radio phone in programmes.

The plethora of tools both online and face-to-face presented a platform for residents to voice out the numerous problems plaguing them. The issues raised are as follows

  1. Lack of Community-based Health Planning and Service (CHPS).
  2. Functional Literacy program.
  3. Nursery school blocks
  4. Infrastructure: the people expressed concern about the lack of Toilet Facilities in the communities. The lack of toilet facilities has led to the practice of open defecation which in turn has worsen the sanitation of the communities in Dorgwam.
  5. Electricity: Citizens expressed in anger how close they are to the seat of government and yet are not connected to the national power grid. They complained about how the lack electricity stalls their economic activities, the education of the children in the communities etc.
  6. Potable water: the people talked about the lack of pipe borne water in the communities and how they have to travel long distances to fetch water from streams and rivers that are also used by cattles. The expressed the health concerns associated with sharing drinking water with animals etc.
  7. Provision of irrigation services: the main source of employment in the communities making up Dorgwam is farming. The participants talked about the sole dependency of farming in the communities on rainfalls. They encouraged the Assembly to provide them with irrigation services so they can farm year round so as to improve yields as well as their economic standing.
  8. Security: issues of theft.

The participants’ tag the concerns listed below as the most urgent and appealed through the Grassroots Open Government Using New Digital Tools project and encouraged the District Assembly to make haste in meeting these needs:

  1. Lack of Community-based Health Planning and Service (CHPS).
  2. Functional Literacy Program.
  3. Nursery school blocks

The DPCU is a rally point for all the 9 Departmental heads (Health, Education, Sanitation, Agriculture, Social Work etc.) of the Ada East Assembly, a nominee from the District Assembly Members, the Planning Officer of the District Assembly, and chaired by the District Coordinating Director (DCD) - Togbe Gadzekpo. With the support of Penplusbytes’Grassroots project, they meet monthly to discuss the developmental issues of the District ranging from the tracking of ongoing projects & programmes and also responding to citizens’ concerns raised through the grassroots project.

The DPCU after the presentation promised they will consider all the issues presented before them and will do their best to provide solutions to them. They spoke to the following issues:

  1. They promised to ensure that a public toilet facility features in their 2016 budget.
  2. Regarding the Functional Literacy Program, they mentioned that the Assembly has a non-formal education department. They get in touch with that department and work out how best they can set-up literacy program in the communities concerned.
  3. Nursery School Blocks: they explained that they have made allocations for the construction of a number of Nursery blocks in their 2016 budget and so they will make sure Dorgwam will be one of the beneficiary communities.
  4.  Health Post/CHPS compound: they promised that they will investigate into whether the Dorgwam area is a catchment area for the District Health Sector, and if so, they will advocate for them to either have a health post or a CHPS compound.

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