Yilo and Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Assemblies and the Upper Manya Krobo District Assembly have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed promoting transparency and participation in the local governance system.

Ghana Federation of the Disabled, International Disability Day, Tamale, Ghana    March through the main streets of Tamale to the Police Park     Theme of the day "Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Action on Development - The Challenge  Memenato IbrahimThe three assemblies signed a Memorandum of Understanding with associations of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), committing themselves to fully integrate the PWDs into the assemblies? operations and in the local governance process.

They also signed a pact with traditional leaders in the area to guarantee better representation and their involvement in the assembly?s decision making process.

The agreement which forms part of a project sponsored by STAR-Ghana and being implemented by the Youth and Women Empowerment (YOWE), a local-based NGO, is aimed at shoring up the number of appointed PWDs to the assemblies by 20 per cent.

It is also to bridge the gap between the traditional councils and the assemblies and promoting a more effective collaboration between the two bodies.

With the signing of the agreement, the assemblies are expected to fully implement suggestions set forth by the traditional authorities and the other groups, including market women, traders association and the PWDs.

One of the action points set by the PWDs is pressing on the assemblies to be more transparent in the management of the two per cent common fund by giving the PWDs a representation on the fund?s management committee.

The assemblies are also to make it mandatory to construct walk ways to facilitate accessibility of PWDs and the aged to public facilities, including places of convenience as well as collaborate with the Ghana Private Road Transport Union to educate drivers on the need to offer PWDs differentiated service.

On the part of the market women, they are demanding, among others, that their leadership is consulted during fee fixing and the review of market tolls.

Chief Executive of the Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Assembly, Mr Frederick Kwame Acolatse, noted that, ?The assembly is responsible for promoting the welfare of all, particularly those found vulnerable like the PWDs, and that is why we are readily embracing this initiative geared towards making life better for the people?.

He lauded YOWE and STAR-Ghana for what he described as a ?wonderful initiative? and pledged the support of the assemblies to implement the agreements reached in the Memorandum of Understanding.

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