Everyone stood up when the two chiefs made their entry at the community centre in Egbazo. The spokesperson addressed the visitors with great respect. Phrases of courtesy flew across the room. UCSOND had called the members of the two communities, Egbazo and Ahobre kakraba in for the meeting, on the 11th of September. They were gathered to discuss what issues they wanted to get in the new Medium Term Development Plan for Jomoro district.
A new Medium Term Development Plan is now being developed at the district assemblies and will be valid for the next 4 years. The old Medium Term Development Plan is no longer up to date and need replacement since it has outlived its lifespan.
»It is therefore important that you all stand together now and fight for your right to be a part of the new development plan. We are here to help you write down all the issues and problems that you are facing and prioritize them for you,« said the facilitator of the meeting, Mr. Morkeh.
Prioritize your issues
The executives of UCSOND asked the members of the two communities if they had any issues and problems they would like to get in the new development plan. With big gesticulations a community member emphasized the importance of the establishment of a better road and a new health clinic in the area.
» We already have a place here that can easily be converted into a clinic, but things happen too slowly around here,« he said.
A lot of different suggestions and issues came up at the meeting, but the UCSOND representatives stressed the importance of prioritizing the suggestions.
» You need to pick four items that you all can agree is the most important. This will make it easier for you to get your proposals in the Medium Term Development Plan and get your suggestions implemented. You need to focus your application,« explained the meeting facilitator.
The community members agreed that, besides the need for a new clinic and a better road, some of the most important issues were the construction of an additional borehole and a portable drinking water facility. The local school needed a new library, and the whole community would benefit from an Information Communication Technology Centre (ICT).
Only thirty-five people from the two communities had shown up. One of the chiefs took the blame, for not creating enough publicity for the meeting. The District Planning Officer was also supposed to be at the meeting, but had been engaged in the last minute. Besides the limited attendance, a lot of important issues were still put on the table, and the executives from UCSOND promised the community members that they would present these issues for the assembly to act on them.