Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) in the SADA ecological zone have resolved to stage a demonstration in Accra and march to the flagstaff house over the absence of budgetary allocation to SADA in the 2016 budget.
The coalition which comprises of civil society organizations in the Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Brong Ahafo and Volta regions says the failure of government to include some allocation to SADA in the 2016 budget is a smack of disregard and unwillingness of the government to meet the purpose of interventions SADA is expected to bring.
SADA is currently running its projects with support from donor partners including the World Bank. Budgetary allocation to the authority was conspicuously missing in the 2016 budget presented to parliament by the finance minister Seth Tekper.
In an interview with Azongo Albert on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show on Tuesday, spokesperson for the coalition Bismark Ayorogo Adongo said President John Dramani Mahama since assumption into office has not made any financial commitment to SADA and this is worrying considering his status as a President from the north. He added that budgetary allocation to the authority in 2013 never came into fruition as no monies were actually given to the authority. He described it as an insult when government made an allocation of an amount of Gh₵ 400,000 to SADA in 2015 after an outcry by civil society organizations and some members of parliament which was woefully inadequate as compared to allocations made by previous governments which was not below Gh₵ 25 million. The inadequate amount according to him was not even disbursed to the authority.
“Budgetary allocation to SADA is not a function of choice by any government. It is not whether government wants to allocate resources to SADA or not but government is enjoined by law to make the allocation. We are referring to article 36 of the 1992 constitution and section 18 of the SADA Act 805 which mandates government to make an allocation” he said.
Ayorogo expressed disappointment at the inability of President Mahama to facilitate and ensure proper support and functioning of the authority since he hails from the north.
He said “Even if President Mahama hates the people of northern Ghana where he comes from, but the people of Ghana through parliament came out with Act 805 which mandates government to make annual budgetary allocations to SADA. So if we have our own uncle or brother there trying to engage in lawlessness or illegality then it’s unfortunate. It is the people of Ghana who are saying allocate those resources to SADA and so you have no right to say that you will not allocate resources to SADA.”
Though he acknowledged that the authority is receiving funding support from donor partners to run its projects and activities, government has the sole responsibility of improving the lives of its people and so leaving SADA to be funded by donor partners is a shed of responsibility and breach of the law.
The planned demonstration which is scheduled for January 2016 will draw huge numbers of people including notable individuals and popular persons including musicians from the SADA ecological zone onto the streets of Accra and will end at the flagstaff house.
By: Azongo Albert | A1RADIOONLINE.com | GHANA