The Western Regional Minister, Hon. Kwabena Okyere Darko, has paid a two-day working visit to the Prestea/Huni-Valley Municipality as part of a nine-day tour of the region.
As part of the tour, he visited Bogoso, Gyimakrom, Huni-Valley and Damang where he interacted with the people to gain first-hand information on the state of the municipality for policy direction.
He was accompanied by the regional executives of the NPP, police commanders as well as officials of the Regional Co-coordinating Council (RCC).
Hon. Okyere Darkos first point of call was the chief of Bogoso, Nana Kwesi Sompreh II. Welcoming the Minister, Nana Sompreh congratulated the minister on his appointment as substantive minister for the region.
The chief enumerated some challenges confronting the well-being of the people which included lack of access to proper roads and health facilities, non-availability of mineral and magistrate court and lack of oil palm processing plant.
He appealed to the minister to fast track the construction of the municipal hospital to increase health care accessibility.
The chief appealed to the Minister to give Golden Star Resources tax exemptions to enable the mining firm construct the Bogoso to Prestea road as Goldfields did for Damang and Huni-Valley.
This, he believes will make crucial contribution to the economic development and growth.
The minister said although there are reports on the situations in the municipality, it was important for him to have first-hand information, therefore, his mission was to observe, learn and take something back, which will inform him about the policy direction of the government.
He said contract will soon be awarded for the construction of the Bogoso to Prestea road adding that plans are far advanced for the local economy to be boosted with the construction of oil palm processing factory which is under the 1D1F initiative.
Hon. Okyere Darko later met heads and staff of the Prestea/Huni-Valley Municipal Assembly, where he expressed dissatisfaction about the poor sanitation situation in the municipality.
He tasked the assembly to provide more support to local level plans and strategies since his objective is to transform the region into a model one.
The minister further urged them to continue to dedicate themselves to their profession.
The Municipal Chief Executive for the area, Mr Mozart Kweku Owuh in his address said, he was honoured by the visit of the minister.
The MCE assured the minister of the Assemblys support in actualizing the aims of his ministry.
At Gyimakrom, the minister met with traditional authorities and residents to inspect the ultra-modern CHPS compound constructed by the Assembly to offer the best opportunity for more effective health care in rural communities.
The chief, elders and residents told the minister about how the lack of a health facility was affecting health care delivery.
He praised the government for coming to their aid by providing them with the CHPS compound.
In Huni-valley, the Minister and his delegation visited the chief of Huni-valley and further urge the chief and residents to get involved in governments flagship programmes and initiative which includes planting for food and jobs, one district one factory, community mining and planting for export and rural development.
He said government will soon kick start the community mining project and advised the people especially the youth to form groups and register with the municipal assembly.
"Mining has short and long term effects in the communities where they are conducted that is why it is essential to promote responsible mining now for the protection of the environment, communities and the people. The community mining will ensure and safeguard the environment," he intimated.
He rounded up the tour with a familiarization visit to Goldfileds Ghana Damang Mine.