ATWIMA Kwanwoma, one of the new districts in the Ashanti Region is beset with a myriad of problems but the District Chief Executive Mr Tony Nyame,appears a very ambitious person,ready to lead the assembly to reverse the situation.
Taking over the administration of the district with problems, including a pending dispute over the siting of the district capital can easily kill the spirit of many a political leader but not Mr Nyame.
I had known Mr Nyame at Acherensua Senior High School where he was my senior. Modest and hardworking, I was not surprised when he told me recently that “I am aware of the many challenges facing me as a political head of the district but such a situation will allow me to prove a point”.
Yes, the situation in Atwima Kwanwoma is currently nothing to write home about, and it will demand extra work from the authorities and the
people to get things on the right footing.
I personally have part of my roots in Atwima Kwanwoma. Mr father comes from Yabi so I have affinity with the district.
The district, which was created out of the then Bosomtwe-Atwima Kwanwoma District, was born with the problem of where the capital should be sited. It was a battle between the towns of Foase and Twedie before eventually, the government chose Foase.
This however, did not go well with the chiefs and people of Twedie, who went to court to challenge the government’s decision.
It is not important to go into the legal intricacies of the dispute but suffice it to say that the situation has not helped the development of the district as it has led to a serious division between the two communities.
According to Mr Nyame,“The capital is in dispute and this has affected us in some ways but thank God, the people of the two communities are ready to support the assembly in many of our initiatives”.
The district has no assembly building to house decentralised departments and the DCE explained that “Had it not been the dispute, we would have put up an assembly block. If we build the office at Foase, Twedie will say we are sabotaging them”.
About three years ago, the erstwhile New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration created the district.
With virtually nothing to start with, the assembly has gone through terrible moments and today the situation is not any better.
The DCE, for instance, does not live at Foase, the district capital because there is no official accommodation there. He has to shuttle between his hometown, Hemang and Foase daily.
As a result of the difficulty in securing accommodation at Foase, almost all officers and staff of the decentralised departments live outside.
With the assembly having no permanent offices, it has been forced to rent some buildings, which is eating into its coffers. Even with that, some of the departments share one office.
In these days of increasing crime rate, it is regrettable that the entire district has only two police posts at Twedie and Hwidiem.
Even Foase, where the capital is now located has no police station and Mr Nyame believes it’s time to do something about the situation.
Atwima Kwanwoma has one public Senior High School (SHS) — Afia Kobi Girls’, a situation which threatened the development of education in the district.
However, the assembly is currently making efforts to convert the Atwima Community Senior High/Technical School to a public mixed school to help address lapses in the system.
The district has 56 communities, most of them with public basic schools but most school buildings are not in good state.
It would have been the wish of the assembly to get a permanent district office for the Ghana Education Service (GES) to enable it to operate without much difficulties but as a result of financial challenges, the offices are currently located in an abandoned cocoa shed which the assembly has rehabilitated for temporary use.
For a district part of which is peri-urban, it is regrettable that only two short stretches of tarred roads are available.
The wish of the assembly is for the district to see improved road network to facilitate the movement of people and the haulage of farm produce to and from Kumasi.
Good drinking water is essential for healthy living. It is in this light that the government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are moving to the rural areas to improve their existing water situations.
The present water coverage at Atwima Kwanwoma, according to the DCE, could not be said to be up to expectation.
The DCE, however, thanked some NGOs that have come in to help address the shortfalls to an appreciable level. The NGOs have sunk boreholes that supply quality water for domestic use.
In spite of the challenges, Mr Nyame said the assembly was determined to make the best out of the circumstances so that life would be much better for the people.
He talked about revenue generation, which has not been good over the period and gave the assurance that the assembly had planned to develop the markets in the district to improve local revenue generation.
The DCE, however, appealed to the government for vehicles and improved roads so that the revenue staff could move to the communities to carry out their duties without much difficulty.
The assembly is also gearing up efforts to house some of the decentralised departments. Presently, one structure is ready for use by the Finance and Planning Departments.
Mr Nyame said the assembly also intended to create a district novel school to help bridge the disparity between the schools in the district and the urban centres.
He appealed to the citizens of the district to support the assembly in its development efforts, saying the era where they looked up to the government for the provision of all development projects was over.
Besides, NGOs should also come in to render a helping hand since they have become permanent development partners.