The leadership of Prestea Communicators for Development(PCD), a registered civil society organisation in Prestea has reacted unhappily over the manner in which Mr. Robert Wisdom Cudjoe managed the resources of Prestea Huni Valley District over his 8-year term as DCE. Among several issues, which the group has raised since 2014 to date, has been the way and manner in which monies of the District were siphoned in poor priority areas and inflation of projects.
The group is demanding reasons why 12 seater acqua privy toilet facilities given out to contracts in 2014 could cost much higher than 20 seater similar toilet in another Assembly in Ghana.
In 2015, Bawku Municipal Chief Executive, Bukari Isaaku handed over a 20-seater toilet facility each to four communities(Kpawelga, Gingande, Sabon-Gari and Missiga) in the Bawku Municipality. Each facility came with each come with boreholes and submersible pumps. The cost of each facility is GHc 137,750. (Source 1
Similarly, in same 2014, Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF) has constructed a 12-seater aqua privy toilet facility for the Wamahinso community at a cost of GHC59,796.24 to enable a sanitary environment for the community( source: 2)
From the above findings, looking at the contract sums below, and the payments done towards the projects, shows that the 12 seater acqua privy given under contract in 2014 under the leadership of Hon. Wisdom Cudjoe “might” have been inflated. The contract sum are as follows:
1. Construction of 12 seater Acqua Privy Toilet at AkokobediabroGHc 148,107.44
2. Construction of 12 seater Acqua Privy Toilet atKodiakromGHc 149,942.84
3. Construction of12 seater Acqua Privy Toilet at Ndadieso, GHc 149,942.80
4. Construction of 12 seater Acqua Privy Toilet at AchiaseGHc 150,854.55
5. Construction of12 seaterAcqua Privy Toilet at AdjeikromGHc 145,252
PAYMENTS BY THE DISTRICT ASSEMBLY AS AT 2017:
1. GHc 98,398.48 PAID for the construction of Ndadieso acqua privy toilet,
2. GHc 122,218.93 PAID for the construction of Koduakrom 12-seater Acqua Privy,
3. GHc 140,702.02 PAID for the construction of Akokobediabro 12-seater Acqua Privy,
4. GHc 137,990.26, PAID for the construction of WC at Adjeikrom
5. GHc 117,058.78 PAID for construction of 12-seater Acqua Privy at Achiase
Due to such inflated figures, most of them have become standstill, with others being abandoned despite the fact that the district has continuously been budgeting and paying monies for these facilities since 2014 up to date. This, we deem as a clear case of “causing financial loss” and not protecting the public purse.
The full list of the toilets, which after consistent ground checks, showed some have even been abandoned. One of such is the one at Dargati Compound. The details is as follows:
1. Construction of 12-seater Acqua Privy Toilet at Dagarti Compond, Prestea
2. Construction of 12-seater Acqua Privy Toilet at Achiase
3. Construction of 12-seater Acqua Privy at Akokobediabro
4. Construction of Acqua Privy Toilet at Manhuntem
5. Construction of Acqua Privy Toilet at Koduakrom
6. Construction of Acqua Privy Toilet at Ntiakokrom
7. Construction of Acqua Privy Toilet at Mile 4
8. Construction of 12-seater WC Toilet at Adjeikrom
It must be stated that apart from the GHc 1,422,294 District Administrative Complex constructed in 2012 using Mineral Development Fund (MDF) of the District, the District Assembly cannot boast of any prominent visible project in Prestea, Bogoso, Aboso or Huni Valley, despite having access to over 2.5 trillion cedis (old cedis), which is money that passed through the hands of Robert Wisdom Cudjoe from 2008-2016, who was then the DCE.
After these revelations, our team decided to tour and cross check from the grounds to find out if indeed these public toilets were actually built as stated.
When our team got to Dargarti Compound in Prestea, we found out that no project of such nature has taken place. Sea king to Hon. Rash Ketu Dargarti, the Assembly Member of Prestea Cemetry Road and former/Urban Council Chairman for Prestea, confirmed he was a member of the Assembly in 2014 when such project was approved in addition to a 3-unit classroom Presby JHS building which is still in a skeletal form.
However,” the acqua privy toilet for Dargarti Compound had NOT been started at all”.
After our team checked at Mahuntem, Ntiakokrom and Mile 4, we spoke with the Assembly Member of the area,Hon. Toku, who confirmed “there is no such project at all at Mahuntem”, and Mile 4”. He stated clearly that that at Mile 4,He however confirmed the Ntiakokrom one is 99% complete.
Speaking to Hon. Oduro, he confirmed the one at Akokobediabro is yet to be completed but the one at Adjeikrom is already in use.
Prestea Communicators for Development wishes to make the following points:
1. That the cost of 12-seater acqua privy over Ghc 140,000.00 has been inflated,.sinceNewmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF) constructed the same 12-seater aqua privy toilet facility for the Wamahinso community in Brong Ahafo Region in the same year (2014) at a cost of GHC59,796.24.
2. That, areas where the project never got started since 2014, such as dargati compound, mile 4, even though the budget was approved year after year for such project, “where such cash went must be fished out”
4. That new projects of such nature must be reviewed to ensure, the Assembly utilizes the little resources efficiently and that there is value for money.
In a young district such as ours, if the District Assembly spends GHc 50,000.00 to purchase 5 refuse containers, then it calls for massive investigation how our monies are used. Prestea Communicators for Development is therefore appealing to the Ministry of Local Government and other investigative organisations such as EOCO to cross-check the above statements as well as several other series which Prestea Communicators will present in the coming week to ensure the good people of Prestea Huni Valley are not short-changed.
Attached to this are documents from the District Assembly to Support our write-up.
COMRADE FRANCIS ESHUN
JAMES SAMUEL ACKERSON
PHILIP GYAN (ATISCO)
Source (1): .(http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2015/March-4th/20-seater-toilet-facilities-donated-to-four-upper-east-communities.php).
Source (2): http://www.nadef.org/pages/projects.php?siteid=nadef&id=59)