Participants at a day’s Social Auditing engagement has called on the Ekumfi District Assembly and duty bearers to involve community members in policy formulation, planning and projects implementation to improve lives.
The participants said involving them in decisions would enable them to prioritize their needs for the Assembly to implement.
The forum was organized by the Ekumfi District Directorate of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) under the Accountability, Rule of law and Anti-corruption Programme (ARAP) with funding from the European Union (EU).
It brought together Traditional Leaders, the Clergy, Civil Society Groups, Assembly members and Market Women.
The participants identified the rehabilitation of a public toilet in the town as a priority to help curb open defecation.
According to them, appeals to the Assembly for action had yielded no result and called for a prompt intervention to ease the challenge of residents to visit the toilet.
They also appealed to the Assembly to construct speed ramps on the Mankessim /Apam Junction highway to help address the killing of pedestrians.
Mrs Cecilia Limangsiab Dam, the Ekumfi NCCE Director, said the Social Auditing engagement was aimed at deepening local governance through public accountability in Ghana.
Its objective is to reduce corruption and improve accountability and compliance with the rule of law.
It is also to promote community ownership of development projects and policies, increase awareness of the operations of the local government system and empower the citizenry to demand accountability from duty bearers.
She said the doors of the NCCE were opened for partnership and urged the public to reach out to the authorities to demand their share of the national Cake to improve their livelihood.
Mr Alex Afful, the Ajumako District Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), explained human right, corruption and Accountability.
He said a human right institution, CHARJ had a duty to promote and protect fundamental human rights and freedoms of citizens in the country.
He urged the community members to contribute their quota towards the development of the area through public engagement to add their inputs on issues.
They must be able to make constructive criticisms when not satisfied with the way things were done.
He said it was their civic right to complain to the Commission when their rights were being abused, among others for investigation and action.
Mr Alihu Mohammed, Central Regional NCCE Deputy Director, who deputized for the Regional Director, congratulated the participants for the high turn out and for observing the COVID-19 protocols.
He urged them to continue to respect the protocols to help stop the spread of the virus.
The 2020 engagement, he indicated, seeks to build on the gains of the previous exercise in 2019 to hold duty bearers accountable as they participate in the governance.
He led an action plan committee, which will ensure the implementation of the issues raised, to take the oath of office.
Mr Moasi Andoh, the Presiding Member of Ekumfi District Assembly, reminded the gathering that it was their responsibly as citizens to fight against the canker of corruption and demand transparency and accountability from public officers.
“When it comes to corruption, politicians, civil servants and others in a high position, are not the only culprits but also what pertains in our families, homes, small business, churches and mosque.”
“We are all part of the problem and there is the need for us to change our attitude to fight the canker, Mr Andoh added.