The pregnant women have appealed to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to compel the Sunyani Municipal Assembly to release funds to finish the project, which is about 85 percent complete, to provide enough space for them before, during and after labour.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during a visit to the project site in Sunyani on Tuesday, the pregnant women who were attending antenatal clinic complained bitterly over the lack of space and the dilapidated condition of the Hospital’s old maternity block.
GNA investigations revealed that works on the project started in 2016, but the construction firm abandoned it because the Assembly had failed to release the GH¢150,000.00 it owed the contractor to complete the project.
The project is demand-driven and being funded through the Assembly’s share of the District Assembly Common Fund.
Checks at the Assembly’s record reveal funding for the project was captured and budgeted for in 2017, 2018 and 2019 action plans and annual budgets of the Assembly, but efforts by the GNA to contact the city authorities were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, the Sunyani Local Accountability Network (LANet), a local branch of the Ghana Anti-corruption Coalition has given the Assembly a 90-day ultimatum to complete the project or face their wrath.
Mr. Raphael Godlove Ahenu, the Secretary of LANet, in an interview with the GNA said the Assembly had no justification to abandon the project because its execution was based on the demand of the people.
He said the Assembly’s failure to complete the project was worrying because it was impeding government’s effort to achieve the Goal Three of the Sustainable Development Goals, which aimed at ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being of all people.
Mr. Ahenu who is the Chief Executive Officer of Global Media Foundation (GLOMeF), a human rights and anti-corruption media advocacy non-governmental organisation said LANet had engaged with the Assembly at several meetings, but it had failed to complete the project.
He said, checks at the Assembly showed that it received its 2017 share of the DACF amounting to GH¢2,085,309.21 and that of the first and second quarters of 2018 totaling GH¢782, 307.37.
Mr. Ahenu lamented over what he described as “calculated attempt” by successive governments which abandoned projects initiated by their predecessors in the country, a situation which had become the bane of accelerated national development.
This and many of such scenarios are making the nation to lose billions of cedes and depriving citizens access to basic social rights and privileges.
To address this, Mr. Ahenu said the country required a long-term development plan that would push and force successive governments to continue and complete projects initiated by their predecessors to protect the national purse.
He however, commended the Assembly for re-awarding the construction of a mental health unit block at the SMH which had been abandoned for some years now.