Koforidua, Jan. 6, GNA - The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) is instituting quarterly meetings at regional levels between District Chief Executives (DCEs) and their traditional rulers to discuss local governance and development issues as from this year. The Ministry was also assisting the Local Government Service Council to implement its Strategic Plan for 2005-2008 in which all departments at district level were being integrated into the District Assembly system to make them more responsible than before when the integration process was completed.
The Deputy Minister of the Sector, Mr Kofi Poku Adusei, announced this in a keynote address to the ongoing two-day sensitisation workshop for Metropolitan/Municipal/District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) at Koforidua on Friday.
The workshop was to sensitise the Chief Executives from the Eastern, Volta and Greater Accra Regions on the Community-Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP) and the Government Accountability Improvement Trust (GAIT) under the theme, "Working together". Mr Adusei told them that in the spirit of the two projects, the NPP government wanted to make participation in governance at all levels by including traditional rulers and civil society a reality.
According to him, all the ten Regional Houses of Chiefs had been briefed on the CBRDP on the roles expected of them with a view to re-integrating traditional authorities into mainstream local development in the spirit of partnership.
On sanitation in the communities, Mr Adusei referred to the recent outbreaks of cholera in some parts of the country which he described as a "sad commentary of the way and manner our District Assemblies are approaching environmental sanitation."
He said the Ministry had already supplied all District Environmental Officers with motorbikes to make them more effective, saying it was now the turn of the Assemblies to give environmental sanitation priority attention by leading the communities in organizing clean-up campaigns.
Mr Adusei cautioned them that the country's insanitary environment which led to cholera outbreaks, if not checked, could send negative signals not only to tourists, but jeopardize the chances of Ghana staging the African Cup of Nations in 2008.
On the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), he expressed concern that statistics on the registration process indicated that it was slower than anticipated, saying it was unfortunate that some people were playing politics with it instead of seeing to the end of the cash-and-carry system as a priority. Mr Adusei, therefore, asked all District Assemblies and civil society organisations to get deeply involved in educating the communities to register for the scheme.