The Bongo District Assembly in its efforts to augment staff numbers in the health sector has spent GH¢15,000.00 on the sponsorship of 15 first-year nursing students.The beneficiary students received GH¢1,000.00 each and are expected to periodically receive similar financial support from the Assembly till they complete.
Bongo District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr. Alexis Ayamdor Adugdaa, disclosed this in his address at the 3rd ordinary meeting of the 2nd session of the 7th Bongo District Assembly. He added that the students and the Assembly had accordingly signed a memorandum of understanding for the former to serve at various health facilities across the district over a stipulated period of time upon completion.
The DCE further disclosed that, the Upper East Regional Minister, Mr. Albert Abongo, who is also the outgoing Member of Parliament (MP) for the Bongo Constituency has over the past few months disbursed GH¢75,000.00 from his MP’s Common Fund to several female students pursuing various courses in nursing and teaching. He noted that this gesture by the MP had taken off a huge burden on parents many of whom would have had huge financial challenges in settling their children’s education bills all by themselves.
Mr. Adugdaa also revealed that the Assembly had completed and furnished four CHPS compounds with funds from the District Development Fund while two additional CHPS facilities at the Amanga and Goo-Awaah communities had reached various levels of completion. Meanwhile, the Abokobiisi and Sikabiisi CHPS compounds as well as the Feo Clinic whose roofs were ripped off in a rainstorm that hit the district in May 2016 had since been fixed and delivery of health care services running smoothly.
On Agriculture, he said the Department of Agriculture had initiated measures to register farmers across the district to benefit from the Government’s fertilizer subsidy and that so far, 6,428 farmers had been registered and purchases of the subsidised fertilizers ongoing. Meanwhile, the Department in collaboration with development partners was also undertaking field demonstrations and varietal trials over a farmland area of 45 hectares. Crops including cow pea, maize, millet, groundnuts and sorghum are being cultivated under the trials.
Touching on the revenue performance of the district from January to August 2016, the DCE announced that an amount of GH¢115,703.60 was collected as against an expenditure of GH¢117,332.22, indicating an expenditure over income of GH¢1,528.62. He, however, explained that the reason for the over expenditure resulted from a balance carried forward from 31st December, 2015 to January, 2016.
Chief Executive Officer of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), Dr. Charles Abugre, who was also invited to address the General Assembly, noted that the Bongo District Assembly and other sister districts could make enormous contributions to the greening of the SADA zone by incorporating tree planting into the awards of contracts for the construction of school blocks and health facilities. He also urged the Assembly to undertake prospecting for mineral deposits and proceed to secure land leases from the appropriate state agencies so that in future, it could either sell out these leases to investors or partner them to make wealth for the other developmental purposes.
Meanwhile, Dr. Emmanuel Arhin, a Regolith and Exploration Geologist with the Faculty of Earth and Environmental Science at the University for Development Studies, in presenting his findings on an “Exploration and Evaluation of Clay Deposits and Dimension Stones in Bongo District”, revealed that the research which commenced by late 2015 showed that the Bongo rock deposits had as many as eight to 10 different kinds of rocks. He noted that in today’s world of decorations for houses and other types of buildings, floor tiles made from natural rock were about the most expensive because they were environmentally friendly and their artistic view is superb.
Dr. Arhin noted that the Bongo rocks fall in the category that suits the manufacture of these types of tiles and other ceramic ware that could be used for floor tiling and for roofing. He disclosed that during the research, he also found out that the district had large deposits of clay which could be used for the production of brick and tiles, roofing products as well as for the building of houses. He observed that building a house from products made of these natural rock and clay deposits, automatically regulates temperatures in and outside of the rooms which could then reduce additional expenditures on purchasing and installation of electronic cooling devices.
He said per his findings, the District’s clay deposits can last for the next 41 years should an investor produce say 60,000 bricks a day. He emphasised that no entrepreneur stands to lose should he/she establish a plant in the area while such an intervention will also create hundreds of jobs thereby reducing the high poverty numbers. Meanwhile, Dr. Arhin and his team also identified potentials of phosphate which he said can be used by companies in the fertilizer industry.