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14.12.2005 Politics

"Development will elude us if there is no peace" - DCE

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Gushiegu (N/R), Dec. 14, GNA - Mr. Mahama Abukari, the Gushiegu District Chief Executive, has observed that development would continue to elude the people if peace was not restored in the Northern Region. He said: "It is unfortunate that people in the communities are still living in suspicion of one another while peace has become virtually a scarce commodity". "We need to propagate peace and put it into practice so as to have our dreams fulfilled" he added. Mr. Abukari made the observation at the inauguration of the Gushiegu

and Karaga Districts Water and Sanitation Network (GUKA Network) at Gushiegu on Tuesday. The Community Life Improvement Programme (CLIP), a Danish NGO initiated the formation of the network, which is made up of NGOs involved in the water and sanitation sector. The GUKA Network is to ensure effective utilisation of resources, foster unity among the people and to collaborate with the district assemblies in the execution of projects and programmes with regards to the provision of water and sanitation facilities.

Mr. Abukari called on NGOs, especially the Network, not to limit its support to the provision of water alone but should also be involved in conflict resolution and peace building process in the communities to enable the people to enjoy the benefits of the facilities it had provided. "We, those in the district assemblies and members of the Network must assume a collective responsibility of promoting sustainable development through the judicious use of the available resources to improve economic and social welfare of the people", he said.

Mr. Baba Wahab, the Karaga District Chief Executive noted that development would not be effective if there was no collaboration among the NGOs and the district assemblies to harmonise resources for sustainable growth and poverty reduction. He noted that the formation of the Network would, among other things, reduce the incidence of water-related diseases in the two districts and urged members of the Network to provide potable water and sanitation facilities in communities that had not benefited from their operations.

Mr. Nashiru Bawa, Water Coordinator of CLIP said the essence of the Network was to bring sanity among NGOs engaged in the provision of water and sanitation facilities in the districts and avoid duplication of work. He said the Network would therefore collaborate with the district assemblies to promote efficient and even distribution of water and sanitation facilities to improve the living conditions of the people. Mr. Bawa announced that CLIP had this year, provided 40 hand-dug wells fitted with pumps at a cost of one billion cedis for communities in the Gushiegu, Karaga and Yendi districts.

About 160 household latrines had also been constructed during the period, while efforts had been made to encourage the people to practice hand washing, both in the schools and the communities. Mr. Bawa said the NGO would construct 60 hand-dug wells and 12 KVIPs, provide 1,800 household latrines and nine water harvesting tanks for the people and schools in the three districts next year.