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08.07.2005 Regional News

School children in KEEA still walk long distances to school


Elmina (C/R), July 8, GNA - School children in the Komenda- Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) District, particularly in the Komenda area still walk more than four kilometres to access educational facilities. A report on the "beneficiary assessment on access, use and satisfaction with service provision" on KEEA District, which was made known at a review meeting at Elmina on Thursday, indicated that school children in Epowano, near Komenda still walk more than four kilometres to the nearest village, Kafodzizi to attend school.

The report, which was jointly compiled by the District Assembly and Poverty Measurement and Monitoring (PMM) project was to investigate and establish perceptions on access, availability, use of facilities and satisfaction with the provision of basic services by public sectors, such as education, health, agriculture, water and sanitation and feeder road, operating in the district.

Mr Patrick Apoya coordinator of the Community Partnership for Health Development (CPHD), who presented the report, said many communities had enough schools but the inability of most parents to afford school fees and basic needs for their children's education, as well as poor road and long distances to school was still a problem. He said children attending video shows, wake keeping and other entertainment, was also a concern raised by many of the beneficiary communities adding that, children at Ntranoa, near Ankaful prefer to go fishing and hunting than attending school and called on the District Assembly and the Ghana Education Service to evolve measures that would help address the situation.

On health, he said the situation was encouraging and that many people use health facilities to cater for their health needs, stressing that about 84.8 per cent of expectant mothers use health facilities for delivery, while 39.4 per cent deliver at home with 36.4 visiting spiritual churches and prayer camps.

Mr Apoya said many of the beneficiary communities however expressed concern about the cash and carry system, frequent referrals of patients and attitude of some medical staff, where in most cases medical personnel prefer to watch television programmes instead of attending to emergency cases.

He said there was enough education and coverage on the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) and mentioned malaria as the number one disease in many of the communities visited.

On water and sanitation, he said people still had to walk long distances and on bad roads to get access to potable water, coupled with frequent lock of pipes and long delays in repairing faulty pipes. He said the lack of money to acquire land and buy inputs, few extension service officers and lack of available market for farmers to sell their produce was a major problem hampering the agricultural development in most communities.

Mr George Frank Asmah, District Chief Executive commended the organizers for coming out with the report, stressing that data collection and its analysis play a very important role in community development.

He therefore urged the various service providers to critically examine the perception measures of the communities and address the problems raised by the communities in the report to improve upon their living condition.