Upper West Region still has sad development story to tell – Abugnaba
The Upper West Region still exhibits high fertility rate among women, infant mortality, under-five mortality and migration while literacy was ebbing, child labour was now on the ascendancy, a demographer has said.
Safe sanitation, waste disposal and toilet facilities were also inadequate while fuel use was on the increase.
Mr. Mark Abugnaba, Upper West Regional Population Officer, who addressing a day’s sensitisation forum on the integration of population variables into District Assemblies Development Plans in Wa over the weekend said demographic, social and economic variables and indicators in the districts needed to be improved to enhance quality lives for the people.
The advocacy forum which was attended by Municipal and District Chief Executives in the Upper West Region sought to enhance sustainable development through appropriate planning to meet the needs of the various segments of the population now and in the future.
Mr. Abugnaba however commended the people for a positive change of behaviour towards sexual practices which had helped in the reduction of HIV/AIDS prevalence rate from 3.3 percent in 2007 to 1.6 percent in 2008.
He appealed to the Municipal and District Assemblies to support district population activities committees to enable them address the population concerns of the communities.
Mr. Mahmud Khalid, Upper West Regional Minister, explained that government’s policies and interventions would not benefit the people if development at the district levels were not linked to health, education, social and economic development of the people.
He appealed to stakeholders in those sectors to play their roles appropriately and support the non-formal education division to equip the illiterate adults with functional literacy skills and other employable skills to contribute towards national development.
The seasonal migration of the people either during school holidays or the dry seasons to the south in search of jobs with its implications on health and human resource should be of the concern to all.
Mr. Khalid therefore appealed to the District Assemblies to invest in cottage industries, such as handcrafts, dry season gardening and smock weaving among others to encourage the youth stay at home.