SEND-Ghana sensitises Communities in UER on Corruption

Nakolo(UE), SEND-Ghana, a subsidiary of SEND Foundation of West Africa, a Non-Governmental Organization has sensitised the people of Nakolo community in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region, on the manifestations of corruption and the need to report such acts to the appropriate quarters for redress.

At a community durbar, Mr Joseph Makido Azam, an Officer of SEND-Ghana in charge of the Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) of the Northern and Upper East regions, said the project was aimed at increasing corruption reporting, providing citizens with a deeper understanding as to how corruption works in practice and informing them about the existing mechanisms for reporting cases of corruption.

It was also to sensitise them on the importance of reporting corruption and to provide on the spot basic advice and assistance to victims and witnesses of corruption.

He explained that the project dubbed Accountable Democratic Institutions and Systems Strengthening (ADISS) was being implemented by the Ghana Integrity Initiative Consortium made up of SEND-Ghana, Ghana Integrity Initiatives and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition with funding from the USAID.

Mr Azam said the project which started in 2014 and is expected to end next year, 2018 had made significant impact by building the capacity of many citizens on the manifestation of corruption across the country.

He said the project had also exposed many citizens to the anti-corruption agencies in the country and their various roles and enlightened them about the Whistle Blowers Acts that empower them to report corruption without being victimised.

He said many complainants about corruption had been reported to the Advocacy and Legal Centre (ALAC) established by the project in Tamale, the Northern Region and the project had also engaged some institutions who were allegedly engaged in corruption on the need to desist from the practice.

We can say that the issue of corruption is reducing as corrupt officials are now becoming aware of the fact that they are more likely to be exposed and more citizens are being sensitised not to pay bribes. We hope that the project will reduce corruption by the time it ends in 2018, the ALAC Officer said.

The project is also being implemented in Kassena-Nankana Municipal, Bolgatanga Municipal and Bawku Municipal.

Mr Umar Sulemana Bagabase, the District Director of the National Commission for Civic Education for the area, told the citizens that corruption was no more a perception but a reality that was practised on daily basis in the forms of bribery, extortions, facilitation payment, nepotism, cronyism, fraud and conflict of interest among others.

Mr Issahaku Abdul Gafaru, the District Director of the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative of Justices(CHRAJ), said Ghana would have recorded significant forms of development had it not been for corruption and reiterated the need for people to support fight the phenomenon to pave way for accelerated development.

The durbar also afforded the community members to indicate by answering a questionnaire whether they had ever paid a bribe and to which institutions under the I paid a bribe component of the project.

Source: Ghana News Agency