Ekumfi, the District of the late President J.E.A Mills, has been ranked the worst developed in the Central Region according to the 2014 District League Table, produced by the United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF ) and Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) –Ghana.
The District scored 26 percent and ranked 20th in the Region and 215th out of the total Districts of 216 at the national level which was far below the national standard for development.
These findings were made known during the Regional launch of the District League Table under the theme: “Strengthening Social Accountability for National Development” in Cape Coast in the Central Region on Friday.
The Districts were assessed in six key sectors which included BECE pass rates in core subjects, skilled delivery at birth, rural water coverage, open defecation free (ODF) certification, Police personnel coverage and the fulfillment of district administration minimum conditions, of which Ekumfi District scored very low marks.
Ekumfi District scored zero percent for governance, 17 percent for skilled delivery, 28 percent for police coverage, 51 percent rural water coverage and 60 percent 2012 BECE pass rate.
Assin South, Gomoa East, Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira and Gomoa West Districts were all among the worst performing districts and made the list for the top five bottom districts in the Region.
The districts that were doing better included Upper Denkyira East, Awutu Senya East, Asikuma Odoben-Brakwa and Awutu Senya which scored 71 percent to top the rankings in the Region and placed 8th at the national level.
The Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly was ranked 12th in the Region and 166that the national level with the Region being placed 8th out of the ten Regions in the country.
The statistics also indicated that Awutu Senya,the first ranked District was forty-five percent developed than Ekumfi which meant that the dwellers of Awutu Senya district were four times better off than that of those in Ekumfi District.
Delivering his welcome address, Ambassador Francis Tsegah, Senior Research Fellow at Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, said the District League Table (DLT) aimed at supporting the government to better understand and monitor development across the country and also to support citizens have access to information and knowledge on rights on development in their Districts.
He said that the intention was not to ‘name and shame’ those Districts that were facing challenges or to punish poor performing ones but rather the DLT would help highlight inequities in local development where more support was needed.
He called on the government, civil society organizations, community based organizations in the Regional and District capitals and other stakeholders to endeavor to use the rankings when formulating their developmental agenda.
Mr. Mohammed Awal, a Research Officer at CDD noted that majority of the districts that scored low marks were all newly created districts of which Ekumfi was not an exception.
He therefore advised successive Governments to do proper assessments to know the kind of resources that would be needed to help the district get the development that it required before creating those Districts
Mr. Awal said inadequate institutional infrastructure, poverty, bad leadership and the inability to generate funds internally as major contributing factors to the districts' low rankings and added that District Assemblies needed to be much more empowered to be able to increase their responsiveness to the citizens.
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