The Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have been urged to set up and motivate project monitoring teams to supervise construction of physical development projects in local communities.
The composition of the monitoring teams would comprise representatives of MMDAs, Traditional Authorities and community members.
They would be actively engaged in contract bidding and awards so as to empower them to effectively supervise and monitor construction of projects in their localities.
This, according to Mr. Gilbert Asante, the Programmes and Resource Mobilisation Coordinator of Sustainable Mission Aid (SMAid), an international non-governmental organisation was necessary as it would help check and minimise shoddy works among contractors and save the public purse.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a meeting held at Odomase in the Sunyani West District, Mr. Asante noted that communities owned social infrastructural projects, and the local people would be in the better position to monitor such projects for quality works, if the MMDAs engaged and empower them to do.
He expressed regret that most often negligence on the part of MMDAs and local communities in project construction contributed to execution of inferior and shoddy works, saying “if contractors are aware that communities monitor their works, they would also execute quality works”.
The meeting was attended by District Chief Executives and their Coordinating Directors, Development Planning Officers, Assembly Members, Traditional leaders as well as women and youth groups selected from Asunafo South and Asutifi North Districts of the newly-created Ahafo Region and Sunyani West of the Bono Region.
It was to assess the impact of a project on improving local government and accountability mechanisms in the three Districts being implemented by SMAid and the Ghana Journalists Association with support from STAR Ghana.
Titled citizens participation and social inclusion: an effective tool in promoting transparency, accountability and performance”, the 18 months project, to be completed in July this year, aimed at monitoring specific development projects being constructed by the Assembly to ensure their completion.
It further aims at strengthening media and civil society organisation (CSO) collaboration for inclusive and accountable local governance in the country.
Mr. Asante expressed satisfaction with what he described as the level at which the project implementing District Assemblies engaged local people in initiating and executing development projects, but added that more ought to be done by MMDAs to deepen community participation in local governance.
Mr Philip D. Baazeng, the Sunyani West District Coordinating Director, lauded the project, and hoped that its implementation would be expanded to cover more Assemblies to help strengthen local people’s participation and improve on local government systems.