The Metropolitan Chief Executive of Tema Metropolitan Assembly, Hon. Felix Mensah Nii Anang-La and his Staff together with personnel from the Tema Regional Police Command, the Fire Service, Tema Development Council (TDC) and Electricity Company of Ghana has embarked on series of Town Hall Meetings from electoral area to electoral area, listening to the problems and assertions of the people.
Town hall meetings are periodic meetings between (MMDCEs) local authorities and various segments of the society within the Assembly to bring governance closer to the doorstep of the people, give them the opportunity to interact, discuss matters concerning development, administration, accountability, education, health, sanitation, disaster prevention and management and the utilization of Assembly resources to better their lives.
It is a means of involving the grassroots in decision and policy making. It broadens our democracy and also creates the platform for direct participation of the citizens in local governance. It adequately informs the citizenry on major government policies, programs and initiatives.
The Public Relation Officer of the Assembly, Mr. Frank Asante explained to the people to take note of their questions and concerns raised as the Assembly would be organizing the Town Hall Meetings every three months to account to the people.
So far, the Assembly has met with eleven (11) out of twenty-one (21) electoral areas. They are, Ashiboi, Padmore, Kwesi Plange, Republic, Horticulture, Union, Uhuru, Sahara, “A” Road, Black Cat and Low-cost electoral areas.
Some of the major concerns raised by the people were, sanitation, sewerage problems, social vices, lightening systems on the streets, drainage problems, unauthorized structures, encroachment on public lands, security, safety and inner roads maintenance among others.
In response, the heads of the various Departments take their time to explain things and the possible solutions one after the other with the Mayor himself overseeing things.
The head of Waste Management Department, Mr. Solomon Noi (Engineer) explained the categories of waste produced in our households, solid waste, liquid waste, sewage and drainage and what goes into the management.
Waste management could be seen as one of the leading problems of the people. According to the Head of Waste management, the Assembly has assigned agencies to each community to collect waste within the metropolis. He however outlined some challenges facing the process, some of which are peoples’ refusal to give their waste to the assigned collectors but hiring the services of tricycles (Aboboya) and truck pushers who turn to dispose the rubbish at wrong places posing danger to the community.
Other concerns discussed are the irregularity of the waste collectors, a situation propelling the people to give the refuse to the tricycles. Wrong extension and unauthorized structures covering the manholes and the sewer lines, dumping of solid materials in the sewer and drainage lines or gutters, delay of the assembly’s officials or technical personnel in emergency situations like damage of sewer lines, leakage of manholes among others.
About security and public safety, the police and the Ghana national Fire service were there to educate the people. The Public Relation Officer of the Tema Regional Police Command, DSP Joseph Benefo Darkwa, took his time to explain and answer questions from people.
The Representative from the Fire Service also lectured on fire safety. He demonstrated how to use fire extinguishers and advised that we all acquire some for our homes and workplaces.
The Mayor, Hon. Felix Mensah Nii Anang-La has promised to transform the metropolis into a world class clean and organized city. He however specified the significance of the cooperation of the masses in fighting the course. According to him, the redevelopment of Tema informed his Tema Restoration Agenda, an outline to which has been mapped already.
Some of the programs on the Restoration Agenda are, Sanitation, removal of containers and unauthorized structures, reconstruction of inner roads, street lightening system among others.
He said anyone who would be affected by the removal of temporary or unauthorized structures should come to the Assembly for a talk. He also said there would be renovation of recreational grounds and reconstruction of new playing grounds for children so as to reduce the rate at which they spend time at gambling centers for example.
“We would come back here after three months, then you can ask if we have indeed done all we have promised, and if we have been able to solve all the problems you have put before us.” Mayor concluded.
By Frankquophy A. Hanyabui & Bryan Bedu (Tma media)