District assemblies have been asked to make judicious use of poverty reduction funds, instead of spending them on frivolous activities.
The Director of the Planning Formulation Unit of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Mr Kwabena Okyere, who made the call, said the assemblies were sometimes guilty of using parts of such funds on entertainment and other unnecessary activities, to the disadvantage of the poor.
Speaking at the first national workshop on planning issues under the Urban Poverty Reduction Project (UPRP) in Kumasi on Wednesday, Mr Okyere noted that many poverty reduction strategies had not achieved their objectives because of poor implementation strategies.
“We are tired of poverty reduction strategies without concrete action to effectively implement them,” he said.
About 100 participants, including assembly members, youth leaders and the self-employed, attended the two-day workshop, organised by the Social Investment Fund (SIF), which was aimed at addressing urban poverty.
Mr Okyere said a number of people were drifting from the rural areas to the urban centres, despite efforts by the government and other development partners to control the problem.
The irony of the situation was that that development added up to the problem of urban poverty, he noted.
He stressed the need for the rural poor to be empowered economically to enable them to come out of their challenges.
Mr Okyere said the country needed visionary district chief executives to see through the effective implementation of development programmes.
The Executive Director of the SIF, Mrs Ama Serwaa Dapaa, said the project had benefited a good number of people in the country, adding that more were in the pipeline to better the lot of the people.
She said emphasis was being placed on sanitation and waste management, which had been major sources of concern in the urban areas.
The executive director stated that the SIF had engaged a consultant to help the assemblies strengthen their capacities on waste management. Besides, it was moving to assist the assemblies in their revenue generation efforts.