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ADDRESS OF THE HONORABLE DISTRICT CHIEF EXECUTIVE AT THE FIRST ORDINARY MEETING
Shama District Assembly
Hon. Presiding Member,
Hon. Assembly Members,
Heads of Departments/Institutions,
Invited Personalities,
Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
1. Introduction
Let me also add my voice to that of the Presiding Member in welcoming you to this meeting. This meeting is the second since my assumption of duty as the District Chief Executive.
I want to be brief in my address as a lot of issues will be presented in the Executive Committee Report.
You will recall during my confirmation, I expressed my appreciation to you all for the honor done me and implore you all to support our collective efforts towards the development of our District.
I also indicated that my key focus would be in the area of agriculture i.e. fishing and farming, education, infrastructural development, natural resource management, decentralization and the welfare of both Assembly Members and Staff.
Hon. Presiding Member , at our last assembly meeting, we prioritized our development needs as a district giving due consideration to Electoral Area needs in relation to the scarce resources of the Assembly.
The results were as follows:
1. Water: 23 out of the 67 communities in the district do not have access to drinking water. It is therefore a matter of urgency for the district’s development intervention. We consider water provision as a key component of preventive health care. One of the communities, Supom Dunkwa will need d about three (3) water points considering its population size.
2. Education: Education standards in the district are not encouraging. N early 70% of student sitting the Basic Education Certificate Examination failing. The problems relate to education infrastructural & equipment support, teacher and student motivation and retention, quality of instruction, etc. The immediate action taken to address this challenge is setting up an education working group with wide interest group representation with terms of reference to ascertain real causes of the education situation and recommend a holistic creative set of solutions to move the district to achieving a set vision for education.
3. Drainage and toilet facilities: Drainage and toilet facilities both ranked third (3rd) in the prioritization exercise. Most of the roads are in the deplorable state because of poor drainage systems. The lack of drainage also causes serious erosion, collection of water at a certain point which generates unhygienic conditions causing ill health. There is also poor provision of toilet facilities in the district.
4. Electricity: A number of our communities do not have electricity which affects social and economic life. One major community whose rectification project has delayed is Awuna Beach.
5. Roads: Lots of our feeder roads are in disrepair and has adverse effects on the movement of people and goods. All our feeder roads need special immediate attention.
6. Health facilities refuse management and Street lights: These (3) issues all ranked 7th in terms of priority. The district has inadequate health facilities as the district hospital project has been abandoned. Refuse management is a challenge as the district has no final refuse dumping site. Our district lacks street light s and we have experienced a few underhand activities as a result.
7. Markets: Most of our markets are not in good condition considering that they are source of revenue for the district. The sheds are dilapidated, the grounds are unkempt and most of them do not have well demarcated stalls.
We have been able to respond to some of the needs which will be mentioned later in this address.
2. Development Planning
The overall integrated development of Shama district is the primary responsibility of the Assembly, its structure and officers. By development we mean the overall increase in our collective control over the physical and societal factors that determine our productivity and the well being of every man, woman and child in the district. Development means higher material productivity; it means better accountability on the part of those to whom we entrust public authority; it means better security because there is less want in the society and because we are organized to isolate and control those with predatory instincts in our society; it means better mechanism for delivering justice and overall better personal choice for individual citizens consistent with the community’s overall choices.
To achieve this development we must work with passion and dedication. But this will not be enough. We must also work scientifically and in accordance with the “rules” of development that our national history and indeed the history of the world have established. 3 key laws are a follows:
First: It is the masses that make history. Development is always the result of the collective of the thousands of ordinary people and not the genius of individuals. Leadership, weather political, entrepreneurial or scientific is important and worthy of reward about the individual however gifted always stands on the shoulders of thousands. The worth of the individual must be measured in terms of how his or her efforts enhance the larger social effort. We have seen in our history that when we forget this principle the genius of individual leaders can become a negative force. Scientists can unleash terribly destructive force. Business men can become horribly exploitative and official become corrupt and lazy. It is the people of Shama who will develop themselves. Our role as an assembly, as leaders is to help them organize this from the ground up and not just provide an “enabling environment” for the so called “private sector”.
Second: Even the highest level of cultural and spiritual development must have the material base. It is only when society produces a regular surplus of essential goods and service that higher functions are possible. It is only as our people are able to produce more that the assembly can raise revenue for social and other infrastructure.
Third: We cannot wish development into being. We can only start from where we actually are. We cannot for example jump agrarian production and move straight into oil industrial service. We must look at the economic activity that the people of Shama are actually engaged in. Fundamentally, Shama is an agrarian society: we are farmers, fishermen, small scale processors and traders. So our first task as an assembly is to ask: how do we increase the overall productivity of famers, fishermen, fish smoker, corn millers, etc.? How do we add optimum value to that production? How do we aggregate our production of various products and services such that we can achieve economies of scale and market power in the larger Ghanaian economy? How do we plough the surpluses we make back into improving future cycles of production and increasing surpluses available for investment? How do we enable the producers to lead this process?
Fourth: While we work to improve the critical agricultural sector, we must remember that Shama must also develop a modern industrial sector that can employ the increasing numbers of people who will leave the agricultural sector as this becomes more productive. There are two priorities here. First of course, we must upscale value addition in our agricultural sector through e.g. cooperatively owned or joint venture canneries and large scale processing mills.
Fifth: Shama must exploit the critical advantages that we have. These are locations and the foundations of an energy industry. We are close to near three (3) major harbors and we have significant harbor potential ourselves. We sit astride the West Africa coastal highway. Because of our location, and the fact that we are unencumbered coastal lands, Shama can benefit from infrastructure and other investments that will be made to support offshore oil and gas production. Clearly new shore bases, fabrication plants, transport infrastructure, security infrastructure will have to be established - potentially creating thousands of jobs. Aboadze will soon attract other power dependant mineral processing and manufacturing activities especially when the WAGP lands in Shama. New hotel accommodation and leisure facilities will have to be established – creating more direct jobs and markets for our agricultural produce. But none of this will simply fall into our hands and not all of this is necessarily beneficial to us.
We will have to strategies how best to optimize the coming wave of investment. We must be proactive in encouraging what we want and in discouraging what is environmentally or socially harmful and in regulating what we cannot control (for example, because it reflects national priorities). We must work (under the supervision of the RCC) in concert with the assemblies, traditional authorities and people of STMA, AWDA toward integrated development planning that gives our citizens the kind of development that we want. SDA must take the lead in getting all these players interested in a coordinated plan.
With this in mind we have already established a development planning Work Group to work on this as the whole district currently does not have a plan. Similarly, the capital Shama, as well as the fast growing towns of Abuesi and Aboadze, is all experiencing the threats of growing without any plan and with minimal urban management interventions. If Shama District is to contribute positively to the overall National aspiration of Ghana transforming into a middle-income, then it is important to carve out a road map that ensures among others:
i. Participatory approach to development and accountable governance;
ii. Optimal use of District’s natural resources;
iii. Ensuring a delicate balance between economic exploration of resource and environment;
iv. Avoiding conflicts in development especially in relation to adjoining District and within the framework of the emerging oil industry;
v. Ensuring complementarities in competing interests in development within the District and among adjoining District;
vi. Setting a platform for investment attraction;
vii. Facilitating the framework for donor support;
viii. Ensuring a balance between supply and demand for social and economic infrastructure;
The proposed Shama District Plan or Structure Plan will be a participatory bottom-up approach. The process will be as follows:
i. An envisioning process where all Stakeholders will collectively carve out a vision of Shama District over a 10-15 year perspective. Along with the vision comes an outline of District development goals, objectives and above all a set of strategies to accomplish these goals and objectives.
ii. An outline of development challenges and opportunity;
iii. Establishing forecasts as well as standards development imperatives etc;
iv. Details of implementation arrangement;
v. Financing of the District Development Plan;
Complementary to the District Development or Structure Plan will be a detailed Town or local Plan for Shama Township and possibly Abuesi Township. These local plans will follow the same procedures as above. However, the content of these plans will vary. The plans will link the overall District/Regional socio-economic plans to a detailed land use and infrastructure plan among others. There will be Sub-urban detailed plan as well, focusing on areas such as a new Shama town centre, an industrial enclave, and urban renewal plans for degenerated communities.
3. Financing Development
Development financing, as you may be aware, is expensive and often challenging to come by. District assemblies are expected to finance their development interventions principally from their share of common fund and internally generated funds. We need to raise money even to get the planning process off the ground. We are also establishing a development finance working group that will look at how we can raise money to support the plan that emerges from the planning working group. We will ask Lower Pra Rural Bank to chair this and will include other Shama citizens and friends of Shama who have experience in financial engineering. Already there are many good suggestions putting together a prospectus for a Shama Development Fund through which the public can make profitable long term investments in Shama’s overall development.
a. Common Fund:
Our 2009 supplementary budget of GH¢2,068,979.27 was approved in June 2009 and since then received our share of the first quarter of 2009 totaling GH¢246,354.02. After statutory deductions for HIV/AIDS (0.5%), people with disabilities (2%), Malaria programs (0.5%) and trading and capacity building (1%), we have GH¢236,499.86 to disburse. We are also in receipt of an amount of GH¢276,051.38 as our share for the fourth quarter of 2008.

b. Internally Generated Fund (IGF):
Honorable Presiding Member, we need to improve our performance on generating funds internally. Out of a targeted revenue of GH¢119,380.00 an amount of GH¢78,582.18 has been collected as at June 2009. This represents 65.83% of our total expected revenue for the period. We need to work harder to achieve more. Towards this end, a proposal by the finance and administration sub-committee to constitute a revenue task force is most welcome. We need to develop a workable strategy to achieve high revenue collection. One of the immediate things to do is to streamline the revenue collection processes. SDA has about26 revenue collectors which in my view is too large for this small district. We have been speaking to some experts in the field to assist us in this direction and may make a presentation to this assembly meeting.

4. Development Interventions
This section describes activities we have undertaken for the first half of the year. It is divided into social, economical and political development.
4.1. Social Development.
4.1.1. Water
In response to the identified need of water supply in the district, the Assembly budgeted GH¢50,000 in the 2009 budget. Under the community based development programme, (CBRDP), we will be able to provide water facilities to 4 communities – Atta-Na-Atta, Beposo Nkran, Krobo (New Site), Badukrom. These communities are without portable water facilities. As part of their distribution of the last trench of block brands to Assemblies, the programme allocated forty-two thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢42,000.00) to Shama District Assembly to implement projects in conformity with their (CBRDP) areas of location.
Ghana International Bank has also given us funding for additional three (3) water facilities for Anapansu, Bosomdo and New Daboasi Junction. It is our view, having received expert advice, that Supom Dunkwa, Beposo and Awuna Beach be connected to the main Ghana Water Company line (GWC). We are currently awaiting the cost estimate from GWC to inform the next steps.
4.1.2. Education
As we are all aware, education standards in the district are worrying. Fortunately, we have a category ‘A’ secondary school in the district and a descent number of primary and junior high secondary schools. We will like to confront the issue of education frontally, as a result we are in a process of setting up an education working group to do a comprehensive analysis of the situation and recommend holistic and creative solutions to the education challenge. Details on the functions of the working group are attached for discussion. In the meantime, we have done the following:
a. Allocation of Furniture to Schools:
The Assembly was a beneficiary of furniture supply for Basic Schools under the GET Fund. A number of desks have been taken delivery and handed over to the Ghana Education Service for distribution. A copy of the distribution list is available to Honorable Members.
b. Sponsorship of Fifteen Pupils across the District:
A sponsorship package of GH¢50.00 per pupil for fifteen brilliant pupils in the district has been approved for their participation in this year’s Science, Technical and Mathematics Education which takes place during the long vacation from 10th – 14th August, 2009. These are:
i. Augustus Buckman - Shama Catholic JHS
ii. Alberta Eshun - Assorko Essaman D/A JHS
iii. Diana Quansah - Inchaban R/C Primary
iv. Theresah Ansah - Inchaban JHS B
v. Mavis Arthur - Nyankrom D/A Primary
vi. Gloria Abrokwah Fobie - Shama Junction D/A JHS
vii. Justice Wiredu - Beposo D/A Primary
viii. Abraham Wedzi - Anlo Beach JHS
ix. Dzovi Kingsley - Cran JHS
x. Letecia Amakye - Inchaban Methodist JHS
xi. Eunice Owoo - Supomu Dunkwa JHS
xii. Veronica Abikpa - Aboaze/Abuesi D/A JHS C
xiii. Clara Dogbatsey - Anlo Beach Primary
xiv. Lydia Eyimah - Obinyimokyena D/A JHS
xv. Eric Okyere Addo - Shama Model JHS
c. Sponsorship for ‘My First Day at School’:
This annual program will be held in September. A budget proposal from the Ghana Educational Service is being considered.
d. Scholarship Request:
There have been a lot of request for scholarship. This have been compiled and submitted to the education sub-committee for recommendation. The assembly needs to come out with a policy on scholarships to be given by the assembly. It is my hope that as was contained in my memo to the sub-committee, the policy position will be presented to the assembly for discussion and resolution.
e. Education infrastructure requests:
Similarly, there are lots of requests for education infrastructure support which have also been to the education subcommittee for recommendations.
f. GES Office Accommodation:
We are renovating block ‘C’ as office accommodation for the Ghana Education Service. The present block housing this department is on the verge of collapse. We need to do something about it to avoid any calamity.
4.1.3. Health
Access to and utilization of health service is central to development. Shama is plagued with a wide range of diseases but particularly preventable communicable diseases. Malaria continues to be the highest cause of outpatient attendance. Other diseases of public health importance such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, buruli ulcer and yaws are also prevalent in the district. Out of a total of 52,140 recorded OPD visits, 23,635 were malaria cases, representing 43.5%. Less than 1% (0.08%) was cases of severe malaria and therefore needed care at the health center or hospital level. The rest of the malaria cases and most of the other causes of OPD attendance could have been managed at the community health facility level. 26 new cases of tuberculosis were identified in the second half of 2008. The focus for health delivery in the Shama district is maternal health and child health care. The millennium development goals 4 and 5 which centre on the improvement for maternal and child health serve as the yardstick for our program of work for the district for the stated period.
a. Shama District Hospital:
As it is already known, the abandoned Shama polyclinic project was awarded in 2004 expected to be completed in 2006. Since assuming office, together with the district director of health, I have taken it up with the minister of health and health directorate at national and regional levels. The minister has assured us that it will be completed in 2 to 3 years and upgraded to a district hospital status.
b. Community – Based Health Planning and Service (CHPS) Strategy:
One of the main strategies to achieve our target is the strengthening of community-based healthcare delivery. This strategy has been adopted because it is documented that most of the cases which resulted in death could have been prevented by simple intervention at community level even by lower cadre health staff. A package of integrated health care at the community level is provided by the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) strategy. To this end the district has been divided into 10 CHPS zones. We have sent out a proposal seeking funding for building the facility in all 10 zonal capitals.
c. Flood Situation in the District:
After several days of persistent rainfall in the country, the Shama District recorded its worst flooding in recent times. Almost all communities which lie along water bodies were seriously affected. Notable among them were Lower Inchaban, Supomu Dunkwa, Atwereboanda, Beposo, Krobo, Anlo Beach, Anlo Kwesi and Adwoakrom. Some affected communities were supported with relief items from both NADMO and the Assembly.
It has become apparent that some of these communities have to be resettled. The Krobo community was totally submerged and over fifty houses in Anlo Beach collapsed. Krobo has agreed to resettlement and identified land for that purpose. We are still working with Awuna Beach to arrive at an agreement for resettlement. We will need all of your support in implementing recommendations offered by the National Disaster Management Organization as follows:
§ That the Assembly provides some relief items to the affected people of Supomu Dunkwa. This should be made up of mattresses, blankets, mosquito nets and rice.
§ That some materials in the form of cement and roofing sheets be provided to resettle communities.
§ The need for the Assembly to clear all structures sited along river courses in the district and the Statutory Planning Committee conduct thorough inspection of sites earmarked for development before permits are issued out.
§ The Assembly inaugurates its District Disaster Committee and a District Disaster Relief Fund should be instituted.
4.1.4. Toilet Provision & Management
Though there have been a few toilets added to the existing ones the district does not have the needed toilet facilities necessary for its citizens. Fortunately CBRDP has provided funding to furnish up toilets in Abuesi and Aboadze. The 2009 budget also makes provision for a few more toilets.
One of the major issues confronting us is the management of toilets. We have received complaints of how public toilets are managed by individuals. We have had instances where communities are calling for management of toilets to be handed over to assembly members and together with community plan proper revenue generation and utilization for community benefit. We currently have applications from some assembly members to take over management. I pray this house to discuss this matter and come up with a policy direction.
4.2. Economic Development & Job Creation
As we know, Shama’s economy is based mainly on agriculture-fishing and farming. We are of natural resource deposits in the district and region that can be of significant benefit to the economy of the district. We have to think through this properly to enable us tap the resources to improve our economy and create jobs for our people. In that regard, another working group is in formation to look at the economy of Shama and job creation. The district geologist has also been tasked to prepare a detailed geological map of the district indicating all relevant geological information with all necessary appendages and supporting document. In the meantime there are a few issues and ideas worth bringing to your attention.
a. Markets:
Recognizing the role markets play in internally generating revenue, the assembly intends to focus on market development and upgrade in the next fiscal year. In this fiscal year, we are revisiting the Shama junction market project. In that respect we have met with the leadership of the market women and GPRTU to design the market to meet identified needs. At the last tender committee meeting it was approved that the market upgrade be undertaken under direct labour to be supervised by the SDA engineers. We will also start with phase 1 of a market in Abuesi this fiscal year.
b. Fishing – pre mix fuel & Light Situation:
SDA has been allotted 5 landing beach committees, two in Shama, one in Abuesi, one in Kesewokan and one in Aboadze. Each LBC is composed of chief fisherman, a representative of canoe owners, a representative of fishmongers, one ordinary fisherman nominated by MFOA, and one other person appointed by MMDCE, a secretary and pump attendant. The LBC is expected to select an OMC of choice to store and sell the premix. No individuals are permitted to sell the premix. The premix supply has been challenging but we are informed that this will be sorted out in due course. The issue of fishermen using light for fishing has been raise many times. This meeting should discuss it and take a decisive position on mitigating this activity.
c. Small Scale Mining:
Steps are being taken to institute small scale mining in the district. Discussions have been held with the attorney generals, minerals commission and international organizations that have experience in this matter. A private entrepreneur has promised investment in equipments for the enterprise when we have developed it. We have had a meeting with the “galamsey” operators to discuss the subject and warned them to desist from illegal activities or face the consequences.
d. Inland Rice Farming:
The inland rice farming project is on course. There are plans to install equipments for processing Ohiamadwen.
e. Cold Store:
The cold store to be built with Spanish funding is on course. We have had discussions with the minister responsible and understand there will be action soon.
4.3. Political Development
The decentralization process is incomplete without the lower level structures in place. SDA does not have unit committees and area councils active. Out of the 67 unit committees in the district, only 16 were elected during the last local level elections. The electoral commission advises that we go ahead and inaugurate the 16 elected with the government appointees. EC advises further that for the other communities without elected unit committees we consult with communities to appoint an agreed unit (town development) committees till the next elections in 2010.
5. Infrastructure Developments
a. ICT:
Information, Communication and Technology is a tool for strengthening local governance for development. The district has to make serious efforts to install the necessary ICT facilities at the assembly, extend to Shama Secondary School and the public library. Please find attached a proposal for discussion and resolution. ALLTELL Ghana Ltd, Akasanoma and Uphill’s Limited have submitted a proposal to the ministry of local government and rural development on district VSAT/Broadband network infrastructure and ICT centres in all MMDAs. We are in receipt of a letter from the ministry in that respect. The project will be pre-financed and w workable repayment package agreed among all parties involved.
b. Roads, Drainage & Pitches:
The district’s feeder roads are in poor condition and need immediate attention. One condition that needs prompt attention is the hospital road. The minister for roads and highways has pledged to include the district in the next round of beneficiaries for the 15km district capital road development project. The district needs drainage systems as well. The Shama junction highways gutter is choked and causing great inconveniences to the residents. The regional director of highways has promised prompt attention within the month. River Anankwari in Inchaban needs desalting and Zoomlion has promised to undertake that exercise. Most of our football pitches are in states of despair. It is being proposed that we pay attention to sports development in the next fiscal year.
c. Electricity:
We have followed up on the electrification of Awuna beach with the contractor and Dupaul to supply the high tension poles. It is apparent that the project will resume as soon as possible. We have been informed by the contractor that the assembly may have to support the project with additional town poles.
d. Street Lights: We have to light up our communities. We hope that the small assembly members’ community assistance fund is helping some small ways to address this problem. As we work to light up every community in the district, we propose that we put up street lights from Shama junction to Shama and Inchaban junction to Aboadze/ Abuesi.
6. General Administration
The SDA administration has been running well due to committed and good staff of the central administration and decentralization departments. We do however have a few challenges. We do not have the full complement of staff and we do not have office and residential accommodation challenges.
a. Full Complement Of Department and staff:
SDA does not have the full complement of department and staff needed. We are working on this to get the particular departments established and also get the requisite number of staff in the district.
b. Office and residential accommodation: We need the following office accommodation:
· Presiding member – Furnishing the office.
· Feeder Roads – Office and furnishing (currently sharing office with community development).
· MOFA – Renovating and furnishing.
· BNI – Renting office and furnishing.
· NADMO - Renting office and furnishing.
· NSS - Renting office and furnishing.
Quite a number of our staff needs accommodation considering that they reside in STMA bungalows which are needed for STMA staff. We have a window of three (3) months in the STMA bungalows.
I am aware that when the Assembly finds accommodation for staff, they have responsibility of monthly rent repayment to the assembly. This responsibility has not been adhered to by those already in assembly rented premises. We will enforce this procedure as soon as practicable.
c. Posting of District Coordination Director:
The District Coordinating Director has been posted to Juaboso District Assembly with effect from 1st August, 2009. He will be released very shortly to report to his new station.
d. Acquisition of equipments:
We present for assembly’s consideration the purchase of some equipment to facilitate the district’s development agenda. One such equipment is a grader which we can use to grade all our roads, bring our football pitches to usable decent condition and hire out to generate revenue. There are different payment options ranging from 1 to 3 years.
7. Others Issues
a. Community Visits:
Hon. Presiding Member, I wish to inform Members that I have started embarking on community visits and have been to Shama junction, Supomu Dunkwa, Anlo Beach, Shama were issues of development were discussed which include Chieftaincy disputes and the general well being of our people. I am assuring Members that all communities will be visited.
I thank you for your attention and wish us fruitful deliberations.
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PAYMENT CLEARANCE CERTIFICATION, A MUST FOR SHAMA DISTRICT ASSEMBLY WORKERS, ARTISAN AND BUSINESSMEN.
Assembly news
Shama District Assembly newly introduced Electronic Tax Clearance Certificate (e-TCC) as a means of identification in all transactions with the state. The e-TCC is a form of Smartcard, being handled under the Electronic Banking System of Revenue Collection Monitoring (EBS-RCM) programme by RevNet consulting limited.
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