The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Ga East Municipal Assembly (GEMA), Hon. Janet Tulasi Mensah, has pledged her commitment to working closely with Residents’ Associations to further develop the municipality and commended their role. She indicated this when the executive of South East Haatso Residents’ Association called on her at Abokobi.
Residents’ Associations (RAs) are important stakeholders for the Ga East Municipal Assembly and they contribute in diverse ways to support the Assembly’s developmental agenda.
There are over 40 RAs in the municipality located in mostly residential areas with the mandate to undertake self-help projects and mobilize for the welfare of the residents within their jurisdictions.
The activities of the RAs are coordinated by the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development on behalf of the Assembly where, on weekly and monthly basis (mostly Sundays), staff of the Department attend their meetings and report on their developmental challenges for redress.
The contributions of the RAs to the development of the municipality are enormous which are especially seen in the areas of security, roads and drains construction and sanitation (clean-up exercises).
For instance, on security, there are currently five (5) Police Posts in the municipality which were constructed by the RAs (South East Haatso, North Haatso – ECOMOG, Akporman-Manna, South Kwabenya and East Kwabenya) with support from the Assembly while one is nearing completion at Ashongman Pure Water.
Some of these RAs over the years have also initiated numerous projects such as construction of drains and reshaping of roads to make them motorable in their respective areas, provision and rehabilitation of streetlights as well as organizing periodic clean-up exercises and health screening for residents.
On revenue mobilization, four (4) of the RAs (South East Haatso, South Kwabenya, Dome Pillar 2 and Dome Paradise) have been given mandate to facilitate the collection of Property Rates and receive 30% commission which they use for self-help development projects.
SEHRA has been in existence since the early 2000s and has embarked on several self-help projects in same fashion as earlier stated.
From late last year to date, SEHRA has installed a total number of 25 Street Lights, 14 new and 11 rehabilitated with 16 fixed the Association’s Internally Generated Fund (IGF), 6 from the Member of Parliament, Hon. Lawyer Sarah Adwoa Safo, 2 from the Chairman of the Association, and 1 from the Assembly Member for the Area and Presiding Member, Hon. Nii Noi Anum.
With this and many more successes chalked, it was therefore unsurprising for SEHRA, one of the very vibrant RAs, to be the first among key stakeholders in the municipality to pay a courtesy call on the MCE to welcome her and introduce themselves and call for socio-economic collaborations to advance the municipality.
The team of executive members, Mr. Sarfo Prempeh (Chairman), Mr. Victor Anti (Vice Chairman), Mrs. Ruth Gyan (Treasurer) and Mr. Francis Sepanu (Assistant Organizer), who met with the MCE in her office reported and discussed issues including revenue mobilization, street naming, roads and drains and security.
They lamented about the poor state of roads and drains and appealed to the MCE to investigate and follow up on the abandoned 12.5 kilometers road project for the area started by SIDALCO in 2015.
They also urged the Assembly to speed up the processes of the valuation and data gathering exercise on properties in the area to help in easy collection of Property Rates.
“If they (Assembly) complain they don’t have money, I don’t understand. All these issues about people wanting roads, wanting this and that, is all about money. What we’ve realized is that the money is there but we are not doing enough to collect them”, Mr. Prempeh, leader of the team, remarked.
They again informed the MCE about their intention to erect wooden signages since they had already submitted their list of street names, vetted by the traditional authorities of Haatso, to the Assembly but the project was not visible in their area.
MCE, Hon. Janet Tulasi Mensah, responding to the concerns of the Association, urged them not to give up on the laudable efforts they are making to help develop the municipality.
She indicated that she was in the process of studying documents available to her and receiving briefings on all projects, programmes and activities in the municipality to abreast herself with their statuses and take further actions where necessary.
She therefore appealed to them to exercise restraints and continue with their good works.
“If people are ready to help you (Assembly) and you’re not ready to help yourself, then it’s something else. Don’t abandon us, we will work together”, Hon. Janet Mensah assured them.
The MCE promised to avail herself to the RAs and other stakeholders to ensure that their role in the development of the municipality is recognized, supported and sustained.
The Association presented two of their branded La Coste T-shirts to the MCE as a token of their partnership and friendship as well as an area map containing street names which they developed on their own.
In a related development, ……….
A delegation of the interim Executive of the Happy Home Residents’ Association (HHRA) at Agbogba have similarly paid a courtesy call on the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Hon. Janet Tulasi Mensah, at her office at Abokobi.
The delegation, led by Mr. Ralph Adjei, congratulated and welcomed the MCE and interacted briefly on their developmental challenges.
They appealed to her to help them fix the deteriorating road linking Agbogba Fitting Shop and Haatso, crossing the Kossway Down-Bohye road.
They also requested her to join them in the up-coming clean-up and health screening exercise slated for July 1, 2017.
Hon. Janet Tulasi Mensah thanked the Association for coming to her and urged all other Residents’ Associations in the municipality not relent in their efforts to support the Assembly to promote development.
She told them that the Assembly is rolling out a collaborative programme to help address the roads challenges in the municipality.
According to her, the Assembly has made a Grader machine available to upgrade the roads and called on the Residents’ Associations to support the initiative.
Other members of the delegation were Mr. Ernest Kofi Sefordzi, Mr. Raymond Awinaba, Elder Brown-Ogoe and Mr. Israel Ankudey.
By: Okunyin Boaz Orlan-Hackman