…With Agriculture, Quality Health
…But Needs Peace In Constituency
Hon Samuel Abdulai Jabanyite, Member of Parliament for Chereponi Constituency in the Northern Region, has reiterated his commitment to the development of agriculture and provision of primary healthcare to fight poverty, disease and unemployment.
According to the MP, access to primary healthcare, productive agriculture and provision of potable drinking water remain the topmost agenda to him as development, and vowed that his administration will fight poverty through such areas.
Mr. Jabanyite disclosed this, during an exclusive interview with The Republic Parliamentary correspondent in parliament in Accra yesterday.
The MP, who highlighted a number of developmental issues at the Chereponi Constituency, described agriculture and primary healthcare as the major policies needed to help in poverty eradication among his constituents.
Explaining his developmental vision for the constituency, Mr. Jabanyite said he would pursue six key priority policies which are youth-in- agriculture, healthcare, water, education, electricity and roads.
These six particular policies, he believea, would help bridge the gap of development between the people of Chereponi, a predominant farming area, and the rest of the Northern Region and the country as a whole.
He said he is engaging most of the youth in the area on the “Youth in Agric” module of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) as a stepping stone to their future advancement, adding that, “agriculture is the only means by which the people could catch up in development in the meantime.”
“I am a rural man, I grew up with my people and am not new to the problems we are facing as a constituency and now that I am their MP, I will use every opportunity to lobby for more developmental projects and programmes.”
“If you ask, I will say my main priority for the people of Chereponi is access to good healthcare and agriculture, for there are no health centres, people experience snake-bites and there are no facilities to go for treatment. And where there is even a health facility, the roads leading to such facilities are not motorable,” the MP stated.
Despite an impressive availability of primary healthcare services, average annual GDP growth rate of 4 percent from 2011 to 2014 in the country, access to healthcare, unemployment and under-employment remain high in the Chereponi constituency, hovering around 30 and 20 percent, respectively.
The MP, who spoke passionately about the health needs of his people, told The Republic that, ” a healthy mind needs a healthy body” and that, provision of health facilities, especially to the deprived communities, are of very important.
He bemoaned the incidence of snake-bites experiences by his constituents and its attendant treatment, stating that, “its vaccine is becoming difficult as residents have to have about GHc300.00 to be able to treat themselves of venomous snake (Viper) bites.”
As part of the effort to stamp out poverty in the constituency, Hon. Jabanyite said plans are far advanced to assist the rural women with skilled training enterprises so they could earn a decent living.
Another development issue that the Chereponi legislator highlighted are roads, both trunk and feeder roads, in the area, as well as bridges that link the Chereponi District to other parts of the region and across the country.
He mentioned a GHc36 million, 98km road that links Chereponi to Yendi that was awarded on contract under the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) and was to be completed in 36 months as a major road needed to be continued for completion by the current government.
In addition to that, the MP said some feeder roads and bridges which also needed attention by the government include an 18km Lamakara-Mongogo road, Jagbanga, Jawari- anzor road, and Wenchiki road and four major bridges including the Kakombu bridge, described as “Spine” road bridge that links the Eastern corridor road on the Oti River.
These roads and bridges, Hon. Jabanyite noted, do not only provide easy transportation, but also boost economy and agriculture in general, as farmers could have access to markets and also increase revenue to the government due to tolls paid by vehicles from neighbouring Burkina-Faso, Mali, Niger and others plying on the road.
The extension of electricity supply and provision of drinkable water to the people, the deputy ranking member on Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee of Parliament, said about 20 communities had benefited from the Government Rural Electrification project, but work has since been stalled.
Currently, he said most of the communities have electrical poles allocated to them for the project which have been dumped on site, some erected but have no cables fixed and others have cables fixed but not powered.
“Maintaining strong and viable rural communities is essential to the future of our great country,” he noted, vowing to bring development to the doorsteps of the people, majority of whom he indicated are underprivileged.
While assuring the effort to improve high-quality education in the constituency, Mr. Jabanyite said he had made it a policy to support brilliant but needy students as he lobbies the government for education facilities for deprived communities to enable children to have access to basic school for teaching and learning.
He maintained that, access to education remains a topmost agenda to him and that he would do everything humanly possible to implement policies that would add value to the effort made by parents for their wards education in the constituency, noting that, he had “assisted about 25 senior high schools with sport kits, comprising 45 footballs and jerseys.”
In his view, no society can achieve meaningful development without quality and affordable education, hence the measures to put up a number of education facilities in most of the communities.
He also expressed concern about unavailability of clean and potable drinking water to the constituents, especially during the dry season, which continued to cause anxiety to the people.
To mitigate the acute water problem, Mr. Jabanyite said, through his personal resources, he had been able to drill a number of boreholes to benefit over eight communities, while effort was being made to reach out to government and investors for more water projects.
“Another problem that the people of Chereponi face is lack of drinking water. Now that the rains are coming iys quite better but during the dry season people have to travel several kilometers to fetch water.”
“The situation is not only affecting the elderly women, but school children, who should be in class learning, spend most of their classes time roaming about at streams in search of water which is affecting their education performance,” the MP said.
The young parliamentarian also expressed concern about the recent conflict that occurred in the area and called on the people to remain peaceful and calm, as the issues are being investigated.
Sometime in April, this year, violence broke out between Bimobas and Chokosis, with guns, spears and sharpened sticks and some houses were set ablaze.
.The Bimobas allegedly extended the ambush to about five communities, including Jagbanga, Jawari and Zanzori, forcing all the Chokosi residents to flee to Tosori and Kwabenakaposo, near Wenchike.
During the conflict, some residents fled to neighbouring Togo, through the River Oti, but Hon Jabanyite said, through his effort and with support from chiefs and other stakeholders, the people have returned.
In addition to that, he said, the chiefs have offered land for those whose farmlands and houses were destroyed during the conflict to settle and restart farming so they could earn a living with their families.
The Chereponi Constituency shares boundaries with Gushiegu District to the West, Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District to the North, and Saboba District to the south and the Republic of Togo to the East, bordered by the River Oti, with a population of 53,394 with 26,206 males and 27,188 females, according to 2010 population and housing census.
Farming is the main occupation for the people, especially Soya-beans, cotton, rice, maize, potatoes, yam and other vegetables.
The MP said there are other projects which need the government’s urgent attention to enable the people of Chereponi to gain access to better economic living, especially feeder roads in the constituency to enable farms and other commuters as he intensifies lobbying the government.
He underscored the need for the people in the conflict communities to remain peaceful with each other, as the task of yearning for development involved peace and cooperation, promising he will never let them down.