The Legal Resource Centre (LRC), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in partnership with the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has organised a Town Hall Meetings on the state of public service delivery in six Districts of the Upper East Region.
The long term project, dubbed 'I am Aware,' implemented by CDD - Ghana seeks to build the capacity of state actors to improve on their services, and empower citizens on user friendly data on the state of public service delivery to demand accountability in their Districts.
It covered the Bawku West District, Bongo, Kassena-Nankana West, Nabdam, Talensi and Builsa South Districts in the Region, and would be extended to Nandom, Lawra and Nandoli-Kaleo Districts of the Upper West Region, As well as the Savelugu-Nanton, Bole and Sawla-Tuna-Kalba Districts of the Northern Region.
Mr Enock Jengre, Project Officer of LRC told the Ghana News Agency after presenting findings of performance of some key areas to stakeholders in the Kassena-Nankana West, said the project was to enhance the knowledge of citizens on public goods and services at the District level.
He said the project was funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and expected to improve transparent and accountable governance through the bottom-up approach to development and further enhance local-level engagements between district officials and citizens.
Mr Jengre said the findings focused on the education and health sectors, water and security, with sanitation inclusive in some Districts.
On education, the Officer disclosed that the District had witnessed some level of improvement from 2013/14 to 2016/17 academic years with the current ratio of pupils to trained teacher in primary schools being 60:1.
Mr Jengre said at the Junior High School level, 'the district has witnessed a substantial improvement in pupil to trained teacher ratio for the academic years 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17 with the most recent ratio hovering around 15:1.'
He said the district had consistently outperformed the Region in its pupil to trained teacher ratio, and added that it increased its number of trained teachers by 14 per cent from the 2013/14 to 2016/17 academic years.
He however noted that access to reading materials and furniture for pupils declined significantly over the years, especially in the 2016/17 academic year and witnessed a fall in the Basic Education Certificate Examination.
On health, Mr Jengre said the District witnessed improvement in the percentage of skilled delivery by 5.5 per cent from 2013 to 2014, and one per cent in 2015, and recorded zero maternal mortality from 2013 to 2015.
The Officer said rural population with access to good drinking water in the area had decreased by 3.7 per cent from 2013 to 2015. 'Minority of the rural population still do not have access to good drinking water,' he added.
Mr Jengre said Pusiga District had performed well within the Region 'because it topped the District League Table (DLT) with 13th position followed by Nabdam which had the 26th position.'
He said the District under review had the 46th position and emphasised that the DLT was not meant to 'name and shame any official', but was intended to bring to light how they performed over the years in the various sectors which would help them improve on their weak areas.
He called on duty bearers to get closer to the people at the grassroots, hear their challenges and consolidate that into their medium term development plans.
Mr Augustus Kwaku Awity, the Kassena-Nankana District Coordinating Director, said the presentation was a wake-up call to all stakeholders in the District and the Region as a whole, and added that without cooperation and collaboration from all, the District could perform worst in the years ahead.
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.