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Strengthen District Courts to Deal with Sanitation Cases Promptly

2005-05-17 12:37:56
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THE UPPER East regional branch of the National Association of Local Authorities in Ghana (NALAG) has stressed the urgent need to strengthen the municipal and district courts to handle sanitation cases expeditiously.
The association has appealed also to the Chief Justice of Ghana to staff the District and Municipal Courts in the country with competent and reliable personnel who can handle sanitation cases timeously and efficiently.

The regional representative of the association, Rockson Bukari who doubles as the Acting Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), made the appeal at the NALAG’s regional council meeting held in Bolgatanga.

According to him, that would not only help in keeping the environment clean but also get the people to be more responsible for their actions.

He reminded the assemblies to assist in strengthening the various municipal and district courts to enable them to handle sanitation cases well, adding that prompt handling of such cases would ensure proper execution of the assemblies’ bye-laws.

Outlining the hazards caused by indiscriminate disposal of plastic, especially the polythene bags known to be inorganic substance, the regional representative observed that the effects on the environment are directly or indirectly passed on to the animals and even crops.

‘In most instances, our sheep, goats, and even cows and donkeys, swallow these bags and die as a result. Our food crops like millet, groundnuts, beans, guinea corn and the like, are no longer as productive as we knew them to be,’ Mr. Bukari lamented.

He emphasized that the local authorities could not continue to support the use of those bags at the expense of the environment. He has therefore called for a common voice against the use of polythene bags, citing paper bags as an alternative.

Delivering the association’s report, the regional representative again reminded the members of their core business as the official representative of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies tasked to serve as advocates to influence policy, and enhance efficient and effective decentralization and local governance.

Mr. Bukari enumerated some of the strides made by NALAG in enhancing the work of local authorities in the country such as completion of the association’s constitution review and sister-city relationship program and consideration of ex-gratia award for assembly members.

He urged the assemblies to sponsor their members to participate in the upcoming sister-city conference to be held in the United States in 2006 to brighten their chances of enjoying the fruits of the program.

He expressed NALAG’s commitment to employ its key areas and mode of operation to champion decentralization in the country by representing the interest of the local to central government and ensuring that the process leads to the establishment of effective local government institutions.

This year’s conference, as stated in a speech delivered by Mr. Moses Appiah , the Acting Bawku West District Chief Executive on behalf of the NALAG President, centered on sanitation and waste management, revenue maximization and efficient use of assemblies’ resources.

The Upper East Regional Minister, Boniface Gambilla called on NALAG to update the knowledge of its members, especially in the area of financial management through in-service trainings.

He underscored the need for effecting public service policies, procedures and process especially it when comes to financial management practices which he said must be in line with auditing rules and regulations.

On revenue mobilization, the minister advised the assemblies to intensify tax education programs and ‘let the people know the value of their monies’ to erase the notion that monies paid as taxes are being spent by public officials and politicians.

Mr. Gambilla suggested that some of the taxes must be merged together as one, to shorten the list of taxable items by employing what he described as ‘market psychology’.

source: ghanaian chronicle

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