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sessional addresses

SESSIONAL ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE
DISTRICT CHIEF EXECUTIVE, PIUS KWAME ADANUTI 
AT THE FIRST ORDINARY MEETING OF THE 4TH SESSION
OF  THE KPANDO DISTRICT ASSEMBLY  HELD ON

9TH AND 10TH  MAY  2006  AT THE DISTRICT ASSEMBLY HALL
 
Hon. Presiding Member,
Hon. Member of Parliament,
Hon. Assembly Members,
Distinguished Heads of Department,
The Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Once again we are gathered together as a team to update ourselves on developmental issues affecting the Kpando District. You would agree with me that notwithstanding the challenges that we face as a district, there have been some modest achievements. This could not have been possible without the sacrifices and commitment of honourable members and our distinguished heads of department. The cooperation  of traditional rulers and other development  partners have been significant.

It is therefore my pleasant joy to deliver this Sessional address. Hon. Presiding Member, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, my second year in office has been more challenging than I could imagine. In the first Sessional address I delivered to this august house ,I recounted several problems which affected the smooth administration of the district.

Among them were the numerous chieftaincy and land disputes which tend to divide our communities. The situation has not changed much and the assembly continues to spend its scarce recourses on this matter to attend court. These monies could have otherwise been used for development.

The dimension that these disputes are assuming  is alarming  and would not augur  well for us as a district. You would agree with me that as a result of chieftaincy disputes some of our communities are divided and its seriously hampering development. With regards to land disputes some projects have been outstanding since last year.  The sad aspect of the whole issue is that monies which could have been used to  develop our children, rehabilitate our schools and improve our communities find its way into the pockets of lawyers.

Hon. Presiding member, I wish to inform honourable members that, the districts assembly  as a way of curtailing the issue of lands has gone far in its acquisition process. All lands acquired by the assembly perhaps since independence have been valued. The final report it expected  from the Land Valuation Board to enable us negotiate payments with the landlords. This, we hope in a way may save the assembly from the numerous cases pending in court. Hon. Presiding Members, it is my expectation that we in the Kpando District would make the initiative to resolve all chieftaincy and land disputes to make way for effective development.

I wish therefore to appeal to our noble traditional  rulers and land owners to take up this challenge and give peace a chance. If any community  has sacrificed projects for land then it is Kpando, which situation you know better than me.

Hon. Presiding Member, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, later In the year, district assembly elections would be conducted. In the light of this the voters register has been opened for new registrations. Let us educate our electorates who have attained 18 years and those who in one reason or the other did not register previously to avail themselves of the opportunity. Permit me, Hon. Presiding Member to commend all Honourable Members and Heads of Department who have worked diligently for us to achieve the ideals of grassroots participation in our democratic dispensation. Indeed I am proud of you and would continue to count on your rich experience. I want to assure you that you have the full support of my office in the discharge of your responsibilities, Our common objective is development and that is what we aspire to achieve.

On this note, Hon. Presiding member  permit me  to update this august house on the various issues affecting the development of our District.

Revenue Performance
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, revenue is the hub of government machinery and its impact on development cannot be under estimated. Last year the  assembly’s performance in terms of Local Revenue Generation stood as follows:

Annual Estimate         -   ¢580,322.033
Actual                            -   ¢493,087,065
Percentage Performance  - (84.96%)

This is a slight improvement over the previous year’s performance which was 81.6%. Hon. Presiding Member I wish to state that the assembly would have fared better if all the Area Council had been functional in terms of revenue performance.

It would interest members to know that performance at some of the functional area councils have also dwindled in recent times. Once again, I wish to appeal to Hon. Members to show keen interest in revenue collection for improved performance. In my last Sessional Address I indicated that performance in property and basic rates was not very encouraging, hence, a decision by the assembly to privatize these collections. I still stand by this decision and management would soon make a  proposal  for the consideration of the Assembly.

District Assembly Common Fund
Hon Presiding Member, the Kpando District Assembly received an amount of ¢4.07 billion, as its share of the District Assemblies Common Fund for the year 2005 as against an indicative amount of ¢4.5 billion. With regard to the Member of Parliament Constituency Fund, an amount of ¢191,557,123 was received.

DACF Utilisation

Below are some of the areas in which the DACF has bean utilized:

- Support for Donor Funded Projects     -¢826,820,479  
- Rehabilitation of market stasis at Kpando market   -¢167,207,363
- Support for initiative of the Physically Challenged  - ¢113,875,000
-  Kpando Urban Council building                               - ¢169,211,900
- Streetlights                                                                      -  ¢99,807,187
- Sewerage System at  Low -Cost                                -  ¢62,168,700
- Support to the NHIS                                                      -  ¢38,375,450  
- Productivity and income generation improvement  - ¢457,420,632
- Construction of stores at Kpando Lorry Park          -  ¢211,699,639
- Rehabilitation of District Assembly Hall                      -  ¢49,786,605
- Minor works on roads                                                      - ¢65,010,000
- Support to Education                                     -  ¢107,733,870               
- Support to Health                                           -  ¢109,330,450         
- Sanitation                                                          - ¢283,287,167

Utilization of the MP’S Fund
The following projects were undertaken with the MP’s Constituency Fund
 -Supply of building materials  to communities      - ¢7,036,000
-Pledge to White Cross Mission                             -  ¢500,000
-Construction of a Clinic and Nurses Quarter
-Avetikope                                                                    - ¢68,641,740
-Donation to Anfoega Secondary School                - ¢2,000,000
-Donation of 100 plastic chairs to Kpando Sports stadiu ¢7,650,000
-Donation to Kpando Hearts of Lions Football Club    - ¢1,000,000
- Donation to Western Presbytery Church Choir Union at Botoku
 - ¢1,000,000
-Supply of materials for streetlights at Kpando      ¢16,236,000
- Sponsorship of students                                            ¢1,000,000

PROJECTS

European Union Project
The 5TH E. U. Micro-project ended in June last year with all projects started In 2004 successfully completed. The 6th E. U. Micro-Project has just been launched; Sensitization would soon begin in the various communities. The project is demand-driven and it is only communities that show readiness to contribute  25% in terms of labour that would be considered.

Hon. Presiding Member, permit me at this juncture to inform the house that the performance of our communities during the previous phase of the E.U. project was not encouraging. Many Communities refused to do communal labour and the assembly at certain stages had to take up the project. During the current phase the assembly would ensure that only communities that are committed to the project benefit.

Community Based Rural Development Project CBRDP)
Under the CBRDP which is a successor project to the Village Infrastructure Project, the Kpando District is to  benefit  from the Construction of a 3-Unit Classroom Block at Anfoega Akukorme and the construction of a CHCP Zone at  Anfoega Bume.

Four (4) Area Councils (Awate. Wusuta, Aveme and Gbefi) have also benefited from a capacity building programme in participatory planning under the CBRDP. The programme is aimed at equipping the councils with skills in problem management and needs identification for effective planning.

Community Water and Sanitation Project
Hon. Presiding Member, the following projects were initiated under the Community Water and Sanitation Programme.

Millenium Challenge Account Project
The Kpando District has been selected to benefit from the Millennium Challenge Account Programme. The goal of the programme is the reduction of poverty through agricultural transformation with two (2) strategic objectives;

1.Increasing production and productivity of high value cash and staple crops in three areas of Ghana i.e. Northern Agricultural Area, the Afram Plains Basin, and the Southern Agricultural Area.
2. Enhancing competitiveness of agricultural products in regional and international markets.

Five Districts, including Kpando in the Volta Region have been selected to benefit from the programme under the southern Horticultural Area. Under the programme farmers would be supported to cultivate Pawpaw, Pineapple, Mango, Avocado and Vegetables for export. Farmers are therefore expected to form groups to enable them access funding for these project.

It is also expected that the capacity of Rural Banks in the District would be built to make them more responsive to issues relating to the project. In anticipation of benefits to be reaped under the project the Ministry of Food and agriculture has initiated a Sucker Multiplication project, Farmer based groups are being supported to produce pineapple suckers. An amount of ¢154 m. is expected from  Government as support to farmer based groups identified for the project. So far 2 groups have started the project in the District.

Hon. Presiding Member I believe this project which is timely would be of immense benefit to our  taker, seriously. I wish therefore to appeal to farmers to form groups to allow them take advantage of the opportunity.

International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC)
Hon. Members, In August 2005, the Kpando District Assembly was invited alongside 40 other districts to attend a one-day orientation meeting to sensitize them on child labour issues. Kpando District was later selected to participate in the Child Labour Monitoring System.  The programme is to identify children in and those at risk of child labour, and, in particular those in the worst forms of child labour, through an administrative census of work places/households in the target areas. This list of such identified children will provide the basis for the child labour monitoring and can serve for selecting beneficiaries for various services.

As a follow-up a consultative and orientation meeting was held for members of the  District Child Labour Committee on 28th  and 29th  April, 2006. Hon. Members, you would agree with me that child trafficking and child labour are assuming alarming proportion in the district. Children in the e district are exposed to moral and physical dangers under dehumanizing conditions that adversely affect their intellectual and social development.

As a district we have a peculiar case of being flanked on the western border by the Volta Lake. This situation has attracted many settler communities with a great tendency of child trafficking and child labour. The committee would soon start work and I wish to appeal to all honourable members, traditional rulers, opinion leaders and the entire people in the District to co-operate and freely  volunteer information on child labour and trafficking issues in their communities.

Rural Enterprise Developmental Project
Hon. Presiding Member, regarding the Rural Enterprise Development Project, the Assembly has registered the company with the Registrar General’s Department. Registration of Farmer Based Organizations have also been carried out. The assembly is now to transfer its counterpart fund into the account of the company to attract government support.

Craft Village
The Kpando District Assembly has benefited from the construction of an Art Gallery at Kpando Fesi under the HIPC Fund. The Art Gallery is the first phase of projects lined-up for the establishment of a crafts village in the Kpando District.  The assembly acquired about 10.26 acres of land at fesi for the project at a cost of ¢165 m. An initial payment of ¢10 m has been made to the landlord.  The Ministry of’ Trade and Presidential Special Initiative has pledged to pay the remaining amount.

Education
The Kpando District Assembly continues to support education in the district to promote quality teaching and Learning. The areas of intervention in 2005 include:
-Provision of educational infrastructure
-Organization of Best Teacher/Worker
-Organization of Mock Exams for all JSS candidates to adequately prepare them for the BECE Exams
-STME workshop for girls
-Sponsorship of teacher trainees

With regard to the sponsorship of teacher trainees, 40 teachers were sponsored last year.

NEPAD School Feeding Programme
Hon. Presiding Member, the Kpando District has been selected to benefit from the NEPAD School feeding Programme which is to commence this year. Vakpo-Fu L/A Primary School has been selected among the first set of 100 schools to benefit from the programme on a pilot basis. Equipment for the programme has been delivered and the community is putting up to some relevant facilities to kick start the process. Other schools would also be considered In subsequent phases.

Japanese Government and Counter Value Programme
Under the above programme the Kpando District is to benefit from the construction of two (2) No.4-.Unit Teacher Accommodation Blocks.

The beneficiary schools are:
1. Kpando Tsakpe R/C Girls Primary School;
2. Kpando Dzigb L/A Primary School

Analysis of Examination Results BECE
Hon. Presiding Member, Hon. Members, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen I am happy to inform you that there has been some improvement in the performance at the BECE in 2005 over 2004. In 2005 total passes was 54.6% as against 43.9% in 2004

Aggregate   6     7-15   16-24    25-30    31 +       % passes 
Boys               1      63        141        164        262               58.6 
Girls                -       39        108       125         271              50.0
Total             1    102       249       289        533              54.6

In all 47 Junior Secondary Schools took part in the 2005 BECE throughout the District. Out of 1181 candidates comprising 634 boy and 547 girls who registered for the BECE 1174 took the examination. A total of 641 qualified to enter second cycle institutions. Honourable Members much as I believe our efforts have been rewarded in a way; there is still much work to be done. From the analysis, just a little over half of the candidates qualified to enter second cycle school. What then happens to the other half? Your guess could be as good as mine.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, this result does not befit Kpando District which has all the opportunities to be called an educational centre. It therefore behoves on all stakeholders to act in concert to ensure that educational standards are improved. I wish to assure you that the Kpando District Assembly is committed to this and would collaborate with the District Directorate of Education to achieve this objective.  It is my expectation that this year the percentage pass would reach 80%.

National Board For Small Scale Industries(NBSSI)
The National Board for Small Scale .industries has organized a number of workshops for women’s groups and trade associations in the Kpando District.

The areas covered were:
-Cassava processing
-Hair product application for hairdressers
-Computer Hardware and servicing for Electronic Technicians
-Good Hygiene for Drinking and chop bar operators
-Hygiene care and Equipment Sterilization for Barbers Association
-Fabric Structure Design and Colour Selection for Kente Weavers Association
-Garment Making Techniques for Tailors and Dressmakers.

African Growth and Opportunity Act
The Kpando District Assembly has fully embraced this African Growth and Opportunity Act Initiative which is a component of the US Hade and Development Act, 3000. Under this programme the USA is to open her market to Africa for Improved trade relations. This expected to allow entrepreneurs to export non-traditional product to the USA.

The Kpando District has also taken advantage of the programme and has organized local craftsmen/women in the production of non-traditional products into an Association  known as Kpando District Handicraft and Agro Products Producers Association. The assembly is facilitating the establishment of a District Secretariat.  The objective of the secretariat is to offer training to the members of the association to ensure that their products meet the standards set by AGOA.

The products include;
-Agricultural Products e.g. Mango, pineapples, pawpaw, pepper/chilies, okro.
-Manufactured products e.g. palm oil and garments.
- Handicrafts e.g. Kente, wooden handicrafts and pottery

programme has the objective of:
i)  Attracting US investment partners
ii) Improve efficiency and capacity to export to other countries
iii) Create employment
iv) Create wealth and reduce poverty

The Assembly in its efforts to promote the association, sponsored the producers of these non-traditional products to participate in the 10th Ghana International  Trade Fair. I wish to appeal to our youth to take advantage of this opportunity to make them self sufficient.

Agriculture
Hon. Presiding Member, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, you would agree with me that agriculture is the mainstay of the District Economy. Unfortunately however, agricultural production last year, 2005, fell far  below expected production levels due to poor rainfall pattern.

The figures below gives a vivid picture of the situation.

Crop                Production Target/Ha            Achievement/Ha
Maize                                      90                                            20
Cassava                                100                                            25
Yam                                        40                                             20
Plantain                                 20                                               5
Rice                                       90                                              60
Vegetables                          100                                              60

From the above, the production of maize and cassava which are main staple foods fell far below expected production levels. This gives a serious cause for concern about our dependence on rain-fed agriculture. Hon. Presiding Member, I wish at this juncture to inform this august house that the Irrigation Development Authority is rehabilitating the Torkor Irrigation Project.

The first phase involves irrigating 72 hectares of land for all year farming activities. The construction of offices and stores has been completed. The laying of pipes on the field is in progress. This project is expected to bring a marked difference in the living standards of our people in the District.

Soil Fertility Improvement Programme
Hon. Members, you would agree with me that a large expanse of arable land;, have become infertile. This situation has  also adversely affected our agricultural Productivity. The Ministry of Food and agriculture is embarking on a soil improvement fertility programme aimed at enhancing the fertility of our soils. Farmers are therefore advised to liaised: with Agricultural Extension Officers located in their communities for technical advice.

It may interest members to know that very soon an Agricultural information Centre would be opened in the District to provide technical support to farmers and fishermen.

Forum
Under Forum activities farmers have been trained In Bee-keeping and grasscutter rearing, Loan facilities are also available under the programme. Interested farmers should contact the District Director of Agriculture for further briefing.

Avian Flu
Hon. Members, we have all heard about the deadly "Bird Flu" disease which is affecting both birds and Humans.  The disease is nearer us than ever. May I therefore appeal to all of us to report any strange diseases suffered by our livestock. Let us educate our community members to be vigilant.

Improvement of Policies and Institutions For Co-Management of Inland and Water (IPIC)
The IPIC project has an objective to reduce poverty and improve livelihood in the fishing communities through sustainable participatory management of water bodies and aquatic resources.  It is an FAO and Ghana Government collaborative project targeted at communities along the Volta Lake.  Under this project, District Zonal and Community Lake Management Committees have been formed.

Bye-Laws have also been drawn-up to regulate activities along the Volta Lake which we will have that privilege to discuss during this session. Some members of the Community Lake Management Committees have also been trained in Batik Tie and Dye, Soap and Bead Making, Pastries and Snail Rearing.

Health
Honorable Presiding Member good health is the greatest asset that any nation can have. Hence efforts by government to make health care delivery accessible to all Ghanaians without discrimination. The Kpando District Assembly in the light of this supported the District Directorate of Health to carryout critical activities affecting the health of our people.

Some of these activities include;

Support For National Immunization Programme
The District performed very well in the National Immunization programme. Coverage is as follows: -Round one 110%, Round two 100.3% Round three 100.4% Round four 99.3% Hon. Presiding Member, I wish to use this opportunity to commend the District Directorate of Health for their commitment and dedication to duty.

Support For Nurses                                 
The District Assembly is currently supporting eight (8) nurses at various training institutions who would return to the District after completing their courses. In addition to this, 4 Health Aids are also being sponsored. Last year the assembly sponsored 3 Health Aids who are at present working, in our health institution in various communities.

Support For Margaret Marquart Hospital
The District Assembly donated 100 bags of cement to Margaret Marquart Hospital towards the construction of a children’s ward.

Malaria Control Activities
Hon. Presiding Member, malaria continues to be the number one course of morbidity in our District and take a heavy toll on the population. In the light of this the Assembly has task to Ministry of Health and the Environmental Health Division to come out with a programme to combat this deadly disease.  I want to charge honourable members to take up the role of exemplary Leadership by organizing their electorate to clear environment which breed  mosquitoes. For example desilting of choked drains, weeding of bushy surroundings among others. We must also not forget to use treated mosquito nets for out children and ourselves. By this we would be reducing the incidence of malaria.

We should not however, be tempted to think that all is well us. This is the time to intensify our education in the communities. Let us talk about HIV/A1DS at home, in the church, at funerals, festival and at schools. The assembly and the District Directorate of Health continue to collaborate their effort in educating the public. There are also NGOs and CBOs who are granted funding from the Ghana Aids Commission to undertake activities that will help eradicate malaria. My appeal to them is to use the monies judiciously for the purpose. Any attempt to divert this money spells doom for us as a nation.

National Health Insurace Scheme
Hon. Presiding Member, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I am happy to inform you that the National Health Insurance Scheme is operational in our District. It started on 1st January, 2006. Records available, as at 26th April, 2006 indicate that 1610 patients accessed health care services at various health facilities in the District.

Also a total number of 260 patients from Hohoe and Jasikan Districts benefited from our scheme. This has been  possible because of a special arrangement put in place to allow patients from other district in the Volta Region benefit from  scheme where ever they are. Hon. Members we would not say all has been very smooth. As it is always with the introduction of new things we have some teething problems. But I can now assure you that  we have fully taken  off. Arrangements are also underway to get some private Hospitals and Clinics on board. The scheme has started negotiating with them. So far 11,642 people have fully registered with this scheme.

An amount of ¢402,146,700 has been collected, from both the formal and informal sectors. From January to March. 2006 a total claim of ¢84,872,885 was received from the health facilities which claims have been fully settled. Hon. Members, it is surprising to know that even with all these evidences to show that the National Health  Insurance Scheme is gaining grounds; there are skeptics who continue to discourage themselves and others from joining the scheme.

I wish to make a passionate appeal to members of this august house to sensitize their electorate and encourage them to register with the scheme. The scheme is meant far those of us who cannot afford health care delivery under the cash and carry system.  l have been assured by the Management of the scheme that they have a vision of making Kpando District Mutual  Health Insurance Scheme the best  in the Region if not the country.

The Way Forward
Hon. Members, the district assembly is still committed to revamping the  Urban and Area Councils to make them more functional.  This is to enable our people derive true full benefits of decentralization. As already indicated under the CBRDP some Area Councils are undergoing training to equip themselves with skills for effective planning. The programme  would be replicated in other area councils to ensure total capacity building for efficient service delivery at the urban and area council levels.

Indeed, but for a few Council that are operational the rest have gone into oblivion. All our people must be active participants in the development process. It is our expectation that this year all our sub-structures would be made operational. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the assembly is also going to pursue its agenda of motivating its staff’ and members through various training programmes to enable them acquire skills for effective performance. It is also out expectation that new strategies would be adopted towards revenue generation, currently the assembly is in the process of creating a register for all rates payers. Registration forms are being administered throughout the district.

Hon. Members are kindly requested to co-operate with the assembly to ensure the compilation or a credible register.  Hon. Presiding Member, the District Assembly would continue to collaborate and partner with civil society organizations in the pursuit of its development agenda. Our partnership with SNV, Ghana and Friends of the Earth has yielded very fruitful results. The Voluntary Testing and Counseling Centre being put up at Health Centre, the kindergarten at Konda Primary School and the modest improvement in our revenue collection are evidence of our collaboration with civil society organizations.

This partnership would continue, with the assembly making its NGO desk more functional. Further, the partnership with SNV is to enhance the assembly’s collaboration with the private sector towards achieving our developmental objective. The secretariat is in this process of drawing a programme for their intervention.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, you would agree with me that as a nation, a district and a community much is required of us to chart a course that would bring our people out of the doldrums to the lime light. This demand our commitment and dedication and sacrifice backed by a vision strongly motivated by our peculiar challenges.

On this note. Hon. Presiding Member. Hon Members, Heads of Department, Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you and wish you a happy deliberation.

Thank you.








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