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06.09.2005 Regional News

Chiefs and Queen-mothers attend sensitisation workshop

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Takoradi, Sept.6 GNA - Mr. Abraham Dwuma Odoom, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development on Tuesday said success of the Community-Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP) would depend on the effective participation of traditional authorities. He therefore, called on traditional authorities to collaborate with the Government to ensure the success of the CBRDP, which was demand and community driven.

Mr Odoom was addressing the opening session of a day's sensitisation workshop for traditional authorities in the Western Region on the project at Takoradi.

Fifty Chiefs and Queen-mothers from the 22 traditional areas and representatives from some public institutions attended the workshop. The project is designed to accelerate the planning and implementation of development programmes of rural communities. Under the project rural communities would be provided with irrigation dams, feeder roads, boreholes, farm-tracks and schools. It has training programmes to enhance enterprises development to generate incomes and a natural resources management component. Mr.Odoom called on traditional authorities to support the project to reduce poverty and create wealth for people in the communities. He asked them to encourage and support women to have confidence and involve themselves in social and political activities.

Mr. Odoom said land disputes had been identified as one of the problems affecting national development despite the elaborate institutional and legal structures to land management. The Deputy Minister appealed to traditional authorities to find lasting solutions to these disputes that had become sources of tensions and conflicts that affects development.

He advised traditional authorities involved in chieftaincy disputes to take a cue from the chiefs and people from Twifo Mampoma-Kayireku and Wassa Amenfi traditional areas who had settled a 114 year-old land dispute out of court.

Mr. Odoom called for the establishment of a Royal College to train chiefs to enhance their performance. He asked Queen-mothers to help in the crusade against the spread of HIV/AIDS pandemic by educating the youth particularly girls to abstain from pre-marital and casual sex.

Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Western Regional Minister in an address read on his behalf, stressed the need for traditional authorities to participate actively in programmes that would enhance poverty reduction among the people.

He said they had the influence to mobilise human, financial and material resources for the implementation of development projects. Mr. Aidoo however, reminded chiefs and queen-mothers that development could not be achieved in areas of protracted disputes. He said the chiefs and queen-mothers should therefore, collaborate with the relevant institutions to find lasting solutions to disputes that continued to be a source of concern to the Government. Odeneho Gyapong Ababio, President of the National House of Chiefs asked chiefs to accept the challenges of society and help improve on the living standards of the people.

He commended the Government for recognising the importance of chiefs in its development efforts and pledged the commitment of chiefs to support the project to succeed. 06 Sept.05

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