The Coalition said it is sad to note that for the past four years government had failed to make budgetary allocation to SADA, adding that such a development if not checked has the potential to thwart the efforts of the organisation.
Mr Bismark Adongo Ayorogo, the Upper East Convener of the SADA Zone Coalition of CSOs expressed the worry during a courtesy call on, Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, Regional Minister to brief him about the advocacy strategy planned by the Coalition to support the Authority.
The meeting was also to solicit the Regional Coordinating Council’s (RCC’s) support towards the implementation of SADA activities.
Mr Ayorogo however commended the government for the swift action taken during the SADA crisis, noting that the action led to a total transformation and rebranding of the organization, which is now poised to turn the northern ecological zone into a place of opportunities free from poverty.
He said the new managers of SADA are people with foresight but would not be able to deliver effectively without the appropriate funding and logistics support from government.
“Once you have put together a team with foresight to transform SADA, it behooves the government to put in the necessary budgetary support to enable them perform their duties as mandated,” he said.
He said Ghana would have attained a middle income status but because of the development challenges in the north it is called a lower middle income country.
He said SADA could reverse the situation with the necessary governmental support.
Mr Yussif Issifu Kanton, the Regional Convener of the SADA Zone Coalition of CSOs, noted that things went bad for the old SADA because CSOs and people from the north all went to sleep and did not show much interest in the activities of the organisation.
He said SADA is not just a programme for the Northern Ecological Zone but rather a national programme, which success would inure to the benefit of the whole nation.
Mr Kanton therefore observed that SADA should not be treated as if it is a “political football”, but rather viewed as a development vehicle committed to transforming the north to a level such that it would not be perceived to be drawing the nation back but rather seen to be pushing it forward.
Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, Regional Minister expressed happiness that CSOs are now taken interest in the activities of SADA and are ready to help advocate support for it to carry out its mandate.
He said the over politicisation of SADA in the past had affected it a lot, saying that had contributed to it not having anything tangible to show.
The Regional Minister noted that SADA previously was also misconstrued to be an organisation with money coming to implement projects and programmes.
He said the Authority is a catalyst to help attract investors to invest in the development of the Northern Ecological Zone.
Alhaji Sulemana therefore assured the SADA Zone Coalition of CSOs that the RCC is fully prepared to offer its support to the Coalition.
By Prosper K. Kuorsoh, GNA