…As He Focuses On Quality Education, Irrigation Farming
Hon. Albert Akuka Alalzuuga, Member of Parliament (MP) for Garu Constituency in the Upper East Region, has taken the bold initiative to chart the path of development that would tackle the problem of unemployment bed evil-ling the youthful constituents.
According to him, though the problem of youth unemployment remained deeply a national challenge, there was the need for him to tackle it because he is ambitious for the young people’s development in the Garu constituency.
Hon. Alalzuuga made the promise during an interaction with The Republic in his office at parliament in Accra yesterday.
He told the paper that, no nation can achieve any meaningful development without supporting the youth as future leaders with quality education and career guidance and counselling to enable them to realize their full potentials.
Some development analysts argued that Ghana’s non-graduates still struggle with the transition between education and the workplace, partly because of poor careers provision in schools, and also largely because too few youth accept farming as a means of earning a living.
As a measure to tackle the staggering unemployment in his constituency, the MP for Garu said one of such interventions is quality education and agriculture, with emphasis on irrigation.
He said, his hope hinges on the timely completion of the Tamane Irrigation Dam, which is being constructed by the government, following a sod-cutting by former President John Dramani Mahama, sometime last year.
The Tamane Dam, he said, when completed would be able to employ thousands of the youth in the area onto irrigation farming.
Of particular concern to the MP is the quality of education, especially the girl child education, which he said has been very poor in the Garu District.
For instance, he said the situation is so bad that sometime last year, CAMFED Ghana, an NGO with priority in girl child education, could not find girls up to five in number in the area to sponsor their education.
While outlining his development agenda, his achievements and challenges, Mr. Alalzuuga said he would not rest on his oars until a significant number of children from Garu are able to access quality education to the highest level.
“My main aim is to satisfy the clamour for development, create employment and reduce poverty, which is widespread and the biggest challenge in the Garu constituency and the entire northern part of Ghana.”
“The process of ensuring access to quality education is very dear to my heart, and I am happy that during my administration as DCE, I was able to complete a number of classroom blocks and will work to ensure that more girls get enrolled,” he said.
He mentioned some of the development projects, including Community Senior High School, District Hospital, two CHIP Compound, several of government workers, especially agric-extensions officers’ bungalows renovated, construction of a number of roads – some completed, others ongoing, Mango plantation, among others, that would open up the area for development.
Despite all these, he said he would also institute an education fund for brilliant but needy students, as well as free classes, to help more children in the constituency access quality education, and repeated his position to attend to the needs of the constituents without party colours.
“I’m MP for all, and all the development projects, those we started but could not complete before leaving power as a political party. I will continue to lobby the government and also support with personal resources where possible,” Mr. Alalzuuga said.
The Garu MP added that, he is also focusing on career guidance and counselling to the youth in his constituency to be able to unlock the unemployment situation, stressing that some youths would be put on skills training and apprenticeship.
While promising to continue in the effort to improve living standard through education, irrigation, health and others in the constituency, Mr. Alalzuuga reassured the effort to put up a number of education and health facilities in most of the deprived communities.
He also lamented the issue of inaccessibility of drinking water to the remote parts of the constituency, especially during the dry season, which continues to be a worrisome development to the people in recent time.
“One issue that we also face is access to good drinking water, especially during the dry season. Even though there are number of boreholes, some of the residents who rely on rain-fed rivers and streams travel several kilometres to fetch water.
“Availability of water is not the real big problem, because there are quite a number of boreholes and pipelines, but the problem is some of the communities are yet to have theirs, so they travel far to fetch water. Some residents also depend on river-water, but I am in talks with some NGOs to see how best they could help. We need to extend some boreholes to such communities, so everybody could have access to, at least, water that we could all drink without a problem,” the MP stated.
With strong confidence to team up with the people to develop the area, Mr. Alalzuuga, who is also the immediate former District Chief Executive for Garu, dwelt on his experience of being an administrator, a farmer and a politician, and pledged to lobby for developmental projects, stating, ” with support from my people nothing is Impossible.”
As a member of the Employment and Social Welfare Select Committee of Parliament, he spoke of other social interventions, including the Ghana Social Opportunity Programme (G-SOP), weather forecast to farmers that he introduced and Youth Employment Agency (YEA), among others, that he would also work upon.
He noted that he is glad to be on such committee, because he has personal passion for the vulnerable, like women, youth and children, and would give useful contribution to the development of Garu and the nation at large.
“Parliament is an institution of learning, it is an eye opener, the work is interesting and as a new entrance, I work in order not to let my people down,” he said, stressing that, the people of Garu should expect a very useful work from him in parliament, and assured his supporters his contributions would continue to be of a high calibre.
The former DCE promised to use his experience to lobby for more developmental projects for the constituency.
Mr. Alazuuga however expressed gratitude to his constituents, especially the chiefs, the community leaders, the women, youth and all citizens of Garu, both within and outside, for believing in him.
He further promised to work cordially with the new DCE for Garu to ensure that the district gets its fair share of the national cake.