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07.06.2006 Regional News

Use pulpit for government policies - Regional Minister

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Wa, June 7, GNA - Mr. Ambrose Dery, Upper West Regional Minister, on Tuesday called on Reverend Ministers to use their influence to educate the people on government as their contribution to the development of the country.

"We expect you to generate more interest in our communities on the implementation of programmes such as the capitation grant, the National Health Insurance Scheme and the numerous opportunities in micro credit schemes that are available," the Regional Minister said. Mr. Dery who was addressing the annual general meeting of Wa Diocesan Priests Association (WADPA) of the Roman Catholic Church at Wa, said even though Priests had been talking about the moral decadence in society they should keep on reminding the people on the problem. The three-day meeting to plan for the speedy development of the Diocese, is on the theme, "Poverty Alleviation in the Upper West Region; The role of Diocesan Priests".

The Regional Minister noted that the public trusted Priests better than politicians and urged them to help in propagating government policies as well as their implementation.

They should also educate the people on infant mortality and diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Guinea worm and Malaria, which could be avoided through cleanliness and environmental sanitation.

The Most Reverend Paul Bemile, Bishop of the Diocese, appealed to the Priests to reactivate youth related programmes that would encourage them to work hard, avoid alcoholism, and other social vices such as stealing and armed robbery.

The Church should be a beacon of hope in solving family problems and give hope to the hopeless by encouraging them to be responsible and self-reliant, the Bishop stated.

Mr. James Dassah, Regional Director of Economic Planning, attributed the high level of poverty in the three regions in the northern part of the country to conflicts, land and chieftaincy disputes and the over reliance on rain-fed agriculture.

"If we have to develop and reduce poverty in our part of the country, then we need to eschew these negative tendencies that bring nothing positive, but undermine peace and unity," he said. The Reverend Father Eugene Suom-Dery, President of WADPA, said the Priests would study and adopt development plans to help the government to implement its policies and programmes.

He urged them to get involved in the development programmes of the communities they were working in, encourage the people to enrol their children and to follow the principles of the Bible to lead responsible lives.

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