Monday, September 29, 2008

West Akyem MCE accuses Sallas-Mensah of inciting Mepom youth

     The West Akyem Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Kwabena Sintim-Aboagye, has accused the Member of Parliament for Upper West Akyem, Mr Samuel Salas-Mensah, of inciting the youth of Mepom to vandalize the control room of the Mepom small town water system.
     He estimated the cost of damage at GH¢4,900.
     Speaking at the second session of the municipal assembly at Asamankese, Mr Sintim Aboagye explained that towns benefiting from the small town water system projec were expected to pay five per cent of the counterpart funding.
     He said while the assembly was grappling with the problem of convincing communities to pay their matching fund, Mr. Sallas-Mensah, at a rally at Mepom asked the people not to pay since it was the responsibility of government to provide potable water for the communities.
     Mr. Sintim-Aboagye said the end result was that the people later refused to pay and those who had already paid were demanding and harassing the collectors for refund of their monies.
  "Clearly this behaviour can deter donor partners from continuing to offer assistance to the municipality and mother Ghana as a whole".
      He said, "such a step will adversely affect our development and must be totally condemned by all".
     Mr. Sallas-Mensah, who was present was quick on his feet replying that indeed it was the responsibility of government to provide water for communities.
     He explained that it was a big burden for communities to bear the counterpart funding and said if even the people were "stripped naked", there was no way they could afford to pay.
     He said, if the municipal assembly could buy low tension poles for electrification projects in some communities, they could equally afford to pay the counterpart funding for communities needing water.
     Mr. Silas-Mensah cited the case of the Adeiso small town water project, which the government paid the greater part of the counterpart funding of the community through the HIPC fund and said the government should find money to supply water to the people.
     Mr. Philip Gyau-Boakye, Chief Executive Officer of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency, who was present at the function, explained that donor countries required beneficiary communities to pay five percent counterpart funding since they owned the projects, adding that those projects were demand-driven.
     He said it was a rule also set by the World Bank about 15 years and not a decision by the present government.

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