The Chief of Kandia, Kuoro Bamula Basinjia Chieminah has appealed to stakeholders in the health sector to go to the aid of the community to help it complete 4 rooms they started as part of efforts to provide accommodation for critical health staff.
The chief said although their request for the Sorbelle CHPS compound to be upgraded to a health centre was fulfilled by the Upper West Regional Health Directorate, the upgrade was done without some corresponding infrastructural advancement and addition of health staff.
To remedy the situation the community pooled resources to build 4 rooms to serve as accommodation for health staff that would be posted to the community. The rooms are currently at the roofing level.
The Chief made the call at the 10th Annual Gandawii Naabahilime Festival of the people of Gandawii in the Sissala West Region of the Upper West Region.
The chiefs and people of the Gandawii Traditional Area initiated the festival as part of efforts to preserve and promote the positive cultural values of the Gandawii people
Touching on government’s One-Village-One-Dam, Policy (1V1D), the Chief, Kuoro Basinjia Chieminah was excited about the prospects of the policy for his people.
He said two of the communities that made up the Gandawii Traditional area had been allocated dams however. while the contractor in charge of the dam at Kandia has almost completed his work, work on the Gbarima dam is yet to start.
He therefore appealed to government to impress on the contractor to report to the site and begin work immediately.
Kuoro Basinjia Chieminah appealed to government to allocate the next batch of dams to cover the rest of the communities in fulfillment of its promise.
The DCE for Sissala West, Mohammed Zakaria Bakor congratulated the people of the area on the 10th Anniversary of their festival.
He used the opportunity to encourage the Gandawii people to continue to promote the positive aspect of their culture.
“I must urge you to use the occasion not only for drumming and dancing but to strengthen your cultural practices and do away with those that are inimical to society,” he said.
Mr. Bakor disclosed that 3 dams at Gwollu, Puzene and Kandia have been completed or are near completion while the remaining 7 are at various stages of completion.
The DCE was however, unhappy that some of the dams are not being utilized. “The construction of the Kandia dam brings to 6 the number [of dams] in the Gandawii Traditional Area alone.
Meanwhile, we are yet to derive the maximum benefits from these facilities [dams]. The practice defeats the purpose of the interventions and must be checked,” he added.
For his part, the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister Amidu Chinnia Issahaku said the theme for the occasion “Celebrating Ten Years of Gandawii Unity and Cultural Revival” was “appropriate and timely as it seeks to echo the critical role people play in the realization of peace and development.”
He reminded the people of the area to continue to kick against negative cultural practices such as “female genital mutilation, child betrothal and early marriages which are still practiced in some of our communities.”
He said some of the cultural practices were not only dehumanizing, but were also against the fundamental human rights of the victims.
The Deputy Minister was unhappy that the Sissala West District was 7th on the Upper West Regional League Table on Open Defecation in spite of the continuous support of development partners.
He appealed to the chiefs to continue to promote the construction of latrines instead of open defecation. He congratulated the Nandom District for achieving a district wide ODF status.
The festival was attended by the people of the Gandawii Traditional Area, chiefs from surrounding communities and the MP for the area, Patrick Alhassan Adama.
Story by Mark Smith