The speakers on top of a green shag is letting everybody know, that representatives from UCSOND are in town and that the people of the village should come to the Community Center immediately. UCSOND is visiting the community of Tikobo 2 to work out an action plan for the community and to find out what the community is in serious need of. This visit is one of the many that UCSOND is doing in the six coastal districts in order to empower different local communities.
When the meeting begins, there is no more space for people to sit. The Community Center is packed with people, eager to talk about issues the community is faced with. The members of UCSOND that are united here today, are sitting on green plastic chairs in front of the community members, while the wooden benches have been filled up with an equal number of men and women.
»What should be in the top priority of the action-plan for our community,« asks one of the representatives from UCSOND.
The debate is lively and it is hard for the inhabitants not to speak at the same time, so Josephine Ackah from the UCSOND staff, stresses that the community members only speak one at a time, so that everybody can share their opinion, and the meeting can bring together a cross-section of viewpoints.
After a time of discussion, Madame Rose, who is also a schoolteacher and a long-time member of UCSOND, facilitates the community members to list their needs. The majority agreed that the things that should be in the top 3 is 1: electricity, 2: road and 3: computers in the Junior High School to be implemented. These are all the things that the Assemblies can provide to the community with their funds.
Other things like a new market place, a better way for handling garbage disposal, a clinic divided in gender sections, are all things that the community feels very passionate about, but these are all things that they themselves can provide, explains Mr. Aluu a schoolteacher and long-time chairperson of UCSOND
» When the assemblies divide out their funds to the different communities, they do it according to the number of population, that is why it is important for you to know exactly how many inhabitants you have. Otherwise, you will not get the money you are justified to,« he says.
How to develop
When the meeting is about to close Mr. Benneh the UCSOND district coordinator for Jomoro, gives the closing remarks. He closes the meeting by making a point that it makes a difference for people to stand together in unity in order to get a stronger voice. When dealing with the authorities or big companies like Ghana Gas, their chance of getting their issues dealt with increases dramatically with the numbers of people who are speaking up.
UCSOND is a unity of different communities, church groups and different work of line. Right now, Tikobo 2 does not have a membership group within UCSOND, but the community can create different ones within farmers, hairdressers or any other group that has at least eight workers in the same line of work. As for now, Jomoro is the strongest district in UCSOND’s six coastal districts.