LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO PARTNER CHRISTIAN COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION

Hon. Julius Debrah led a delegation from the Ministry to pay a working visit to the leadership of the Christian Council at its Secretariat in Accra. He was accompanied by Nii Amasah Namoale, MP for La Dade-Kotopon, a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government, the Chief Director of the Ministry and Director Finance and Administration of the Ministry.

The Minister indicated that the Ministry will institute National Sanitation Day which will be held every 1st Saturday of issuing month to encourage Ghanaians across the country to use the early hours of the day to clean their environment.

The Minister noted that partnering the Christian Council will facilitate the success of the program and immensely assist in the improvement of our environment and personal hygiene.

The General Secretary of the CCG, Rev. Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong assured the Minister of their commitment to partner with the Ministry on national efforts to halt poor sanitation.

 

Rev. Dr. KwabenaOpuni-Frimpong welcoming the Minister and his team

Hon. Minister addressing members of the press

Rev. Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong addressing members of the press

Rev. Dr. KwabenaOpuni-Frimpong assuring the Minister of their commitment

Group photograph

Hon. Minister bidding farewell to the General Secretary of the CCG.

THE MINISTRY ENGAGES THE SERVICES OF ISD TO UNDERTAKE PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN

The Ministry has engaged the Information Services Department to undertake a nationwide Public Education Campaign on Sanitation. This is to educate the public on the need to keep their surroundings clean. The initiative aims at helping the nation to embrace environmental cleanliness and to adopt effective waste disposal practices.

Mobile Cinema vans were used to show environmentally related films and also engaged in talk shows to educate the people on environmental cleanliness.

 

Cinema van undertaking Public Education Campaign

Public Education Campaign in the market

ISD team observing insanitary conditions at the market

ISD staff campaign in the market

ISD educating public

The ISD team at the La Nkwantanang Madina Municipality

Ministry of Local Government & Rural Develoment (MLGRD) organizes Breakfast meeting for its staff

A cross section of staff converged in the Conference Room to partake in the maiden Breakfast meeting, an innovation introduced by the Hon. Minister, Julius Debrah.  In his opening address, he noted that there was the need for members of staff to be united to move the Ministry forward. He stated that every member of staff from the cleaner to the Chief Director had a vital role to play in the administration of the Ministry and admonished staff to put up their best.

The Minister indicated that the objective of the Breakfast meeting was to create a platform for members of staff to express their views on a feature film “Africa United” which portrayed many lessons that could be related to our daily work schedule and experiences in the Ministry.

“Africa United” is a road movie on five children who travel several miles to arrive at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Although their background was as diverse as the continent, Dudu, a Rwandan AIDS orphan, with a true sense of determination led them to their destination.

 

The Chief Director, in his concluding remarks, noted that the Breakfast meeting was worthwhile and successful and served the purpose for which it was organised. He observed that vital lessons had been learnt,by all, including the fact that when we work in unity and togetherness; success would crown our efforts. He commended members of staff for the excitement shown during and after the film with their various contributions. The Chief Director was impressed with the participation and frank expression of members of staff.

Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development (MLGRD) signs MoU with Information Services Department (ISD), Ministry of Communication

Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development (MLGRD) signs MoU with Information Services Department (ISD), Ministry of Communication

Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the Information Services Department to undertake a nation-wide Public Education Campaign.

Per the MoU the Information Services Department is to embark on a public education campaign on sanitation throughout the country in a bid to help curb the incidence of uncleanliness in our cities and towns.

The Department has therefore submitted a proposal outlining strategies for the execution of the campaign. Cinema vans would be deployed in all the 216 Assemblies to undertake the campaign.

Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) praised for enforcing by-laws

The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. Julius Debrahhas commended Ms Rita Odoley Sowah, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE)  La Dade-Kotopon for enforcing sanitation bye – laws.

In acongratulatory letter sent to the MCEthe Minister noted with joy her compliance to his emphasis on the need for all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives to enforce sanitation bye-laws;  an emphasis made during his working visit to Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem, the La Dade-Kotopon Municipal Assembly.

“I am indeed happy that shortly after this directive; the La Dade-Kotopon Municipal Assembly was the first to have six residents convicted for causing public nuisance”.

 

According to Mr Debrah the Assembly had, by this action, set the pace for others to follow; and added: “I am very proud and I urge you to pursue this action to its logical conclusion, by keeping residents in your communities on their toes.”

Rural Development College partners the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS)

The Rural Development College at Kwaso in the Ashanti Region, which is under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, is to offer accredited degree programmes from the next academic year.

This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry and the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) in Accra, to that effect.

Per the Memorandum of Understanding, the ILGS, which is an accredited institution, would provide the certificates for the degree programmes, while the courses would be run on the campus of the Rural Development College.

Mr. Julius Debrah, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, who signed the MoU on behalf of the Ministry, was optimistic that the collaboration would help to develop human resources, especially in the area of community and local governance.

He gave the assurance that the government would continue to expand infrastructure on the various campuses in order to accommodate more students.

Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye, Director of ILGS, was delighted at the collaboration between the two institutions, indicating that the institutions would be offering a series of joint academic programmes and offer a wider range of partnership, including learning resources.

Dr Offei-Aboagye said community development programmes were now taking a different dimension by the introduction of new technology, adding that the ILGS would offer more support in that regard.

She said the ILGS had no presence in Ghana’s middle belt, therefore the collaboration would create its presence and help impact knowledge to the people.

Mr John Amuzu Aguadze, Principal of the Rural Development College, commended Mr Julius Debrah for ensuring the smooth take-off of the collaborative programme.

 

He described the collaboration as timely and pledged the College’s commitment to fully take advantage of it, to develop its operations.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT MINISTRY GETS NEW CHIEF DIRECTOR_

Following the exit of Vincent Adzato-Ntem, a new Chief Director in the person of Charles Dondieu has been officially inaugurated at a well-attended staff durbar in Accra.

In his introductory address, the soft spoken Chief Administrator, who occupies the highest office with several years of experience hinted of restructuring the unproductive order of work in order for the ministry to be seen as the true heart-beat of governance in the country?

Mr. Dondieu subsequently called for unity and respect among all members of staff regardless of status or pedigree adding that, he would appreciate any call from his superiors to order, in case he veers off track.

Addressing the staff durbar, the sector minister, Julius Debrah made public his open door policy urging every staff, particularly Cleaners and Junior staff to boldly approach him with any issue bothering them, stressing that, non-courageous staff irrespective of political affiliations could slip their concerns scribbled on paper into a suggestion box or under his door for attention and not wait for staff durbars before expressing them.

A Deputy Minister of the sector, Baba Jamal advised that mutual respect for one another should be the prevailing atmosphere in the ministry and urged the new Chief Director to stamp his authority in every nook and cranny for all to know he is the Chief Administrator in charge.

Staff members took turns to express pertinent concerns which were duly addressed in a spirit of camaraderie

FORUM ON URBAN POLICY HELD

Ghana has hit a 52 percent urban population due to massive migration of rural folks to urban areas. Whereas the country’s rural population was 80 percent and that of the urban was 20 in the 1960’s, the urban population thus stands at 52 percent with an annual growth rate of four percent.

Government in its response to this high population growth in the urban centres has organized a forum to sensitize the public on the new National Urban Policy which intends to give meaning to urban development and management in the country.

Speaking on the theme: “the new national urban policy; its implications and challenges to Ghana’s urban development” in Accra at the function which had Chief Executives of MMDA’s as well as local and international development partners, the Honourable Minister for Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Akwasi Opong-Fosu charged all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDA’s) as well as stakeholders to ensure regular forums are held to enhance policy dialogue amongst national and local governments, community representatives as well as civil society groups in order to develop practical capacities of key actors in the urban development and management.

Mr. Opong-Fosu noted that “urbanization is a global and natural phenomenon for development, and we must as a nation begin to discuss urbanization as a national issue, so that together, we can fashion out pragmatic and workable actions towards sustainable urban development in Ghana”

On his part, the Chairman of the National Development Planning Committee (NDPC) and Senior Advisor to the President, Mr. Paul Victor Obeng, in his keynote address cautioned framers of this urban policy not to rest on their oars since a policy plan on paper is not an end in itself. He thus emphasized the need for strategies in the wise use of land and factors that will contribute to the realization of a standard urbanization scheme.

Mr. Obeng then admonished all stakeholders including Town and Country Planning Authorities, Engineers, Artisans and concerned citizens to get their hands on deck.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Roads and Highways, Amin Amidu Sulemani has opined that, the key factor in this new paradigm of development should be the integration of land use and infrastructure planning since available evidence shows that, merely creating new lanes or roads are no panacea for congestion in the country. He consequently emphasized the inclusion of complimentary transport modes such as rail, cycling and walking while improving road transportation through the adoption of mass transit systems.

The Road sector Minister pledged his readiness to support the sustainability of this new urban policy.

The Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing Alhaji Collins Dauda, on his part admitted the absence of an approved National Housing Policy as the first challenge to the New Urban Policy and bemoaned among others, the non existence of a National Housing Fund as well as a Housing authority under his ministry to oversee the implementation of the national housing policy.

He put on record that “we are trying to get the necessary legislation to regulate the activities of the Built Environment Professionals. We already have the Architect’s Registration Council… A Bill has also been drafted for the establishment of a Real Estate Agency Authority to regulate real estate agency practice….”

Alhaji Dauda then requested that, Housing be added to the name to read Ghana Housing and Urban Forum so as to create a bigger platform for this exercise.

GHANA HOSTS WATER CONFERENCE

Water is life, a fact true and clear as day light. You just forgo water for two or four days and you are consigned. So vital is water for the sustenance of life and for other multi-purpose activities that, governments the world over are compelled to commit huge chunk of national budgets for the provision of water.

In Africa, the over exploitation of land for farming, fishing, mining and quarrying and for commercial and industrial activities coupled with the amazing climatic changes, impact negatively on water bodies- rivers, lakes, streams and ponds etc. Thus making them unsafe sources of water for drinking, bathing and laundering among others.

Ghana, supported by UNICEF, WHO and the International Water Safety Network, is honoured to host the just ended three – day workshop for west Anglophone countries of the Gambia, Sierra Leon, Liberia and Nigeria on simple to use HWTS technology under the theme “Scaling-up HWTS-National Policy Environment and Integration strategies .

Based on household water treatment and safe storage, the technology has contributed significantly to around 80 percent of households in Ghana using improved sources of drinking water and to the promotion of hand washing with soap particularly in schools called the WASH Splash, let alone appropriate disposal of human excreta as accepted norm  of  hygienic and sanitation practices.

With increased cases of many water borne diseases including diarrhoea accounting for 10, 000 deaths of under five year olds annually and the periodic cholera outbreaks recorded in 2012 alone, hope for some amount of reduction is near.

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Akwasi Opong-Fosu, could not be more forthcoming when addressing the workshop, commended the  efforts being made by the participating governments in making water from doubtful, unsafe sources, cleaned and safe for households.

It’s heart-warming that, all that the workshop is seeking to achieve is to scale up or heighten the use of the technology in all nooks and crannies of urban and rural communities.

 

The ball is now in the court of participating governments’ countries. The expectation is that they will gather courage and exercise the political will to implement various resolutions reached at the workshop for the betterment of their people.

Minister Pledges Ghc 50,000 Towards Vocational Development

Mr Emmanuel Kojo Agyekum, Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development pledged an amount of GHc 50,000 towards the construction of a school building for the Community Development and Vocational Technical Institute at Kpong.

Mr Agyekum said government has allocated GHc 400,000 towards the construction of the first phase of the two-storey classrooms block, estimated at GHc 1.3 million for Vocational and Technical schools.

The Minister made this known at a fundraising ceremony for the construction of a school building and acquisition of a school bus for the Community Development and Vocational Technical Institute at Kpong, in the Eastern Region.

 

Mr Agyekum said it is the desire of the Ministry that the capacities of the youth are enhanced through skills training and development, adding that, the initiative to construct the building would encourage the youth to acquire value added technical and vocational skills for gainful employment.

He said Vocational and Technical education is one of the most effective human resource development strategies in the country to train the technical workforce for rapid industrialization and national development.

“Countries like Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and China have developed through rapid industrialization based on the development of technical and vocational education”, he added.

Mr Agyekum said people are of the opinion that vocational and technical education are for average students and that the total development of the nation could not be accomplished without the contribution of vocational and technical education.

He said the objective of technical and vocational training is to offer students the opportunity of employment, as well as being self-employed, and appealed to all and other organizations to assist in the construction of the school’s development projects.

Ms Akua Sena Dansua, Former Minister of Tourism pledged GHc 500 and solicited an amount of GHc 5000 from Zoomlion Company to assist in the construction of school’s infrastructural needs.

Ms Dansua said under her tenure, she instituted a special skills development programme to train young girls in vocational and technical education where 80 students of the institute’s were on full scholarship.

She encouraged all and sundry to contribute towards the needs of the school since education was the bedrock of a nation’s development.

Mrs Felicia Botchway, Principal of the institute’s said the school was established in 2002, and that, about 300 students had passed out successfully and gainfully employed.

Mrs Botchway said the institute now has a population of 320 students, made up of 80 boys and 240 girls, and that, 80 of them are on full scholarship.

She said some of the courses offered include Cookery, Dressmaking, Home Management, Hairdressing, General Electricals, Auto-Vehicle Mechanics, Building and Construction, Carpentry, Plumbing and Batik Tie and Die.

She thanked those who supported in the construction of the institute’s projects, adding that, the gesture would help meet its developmental needs and improve academic studies.

 

The ceremony witnessed other activities such as choreography, cultural display and the presentation of awards to some staff, as well as an exhibition of student’s creative works.