West Mamprusi Municipal Assembly gazettes by-laws to tackle challenges

The West Mamprusi Municipal Assembly has promulgated and gazetted by-laws to guide and regulate the conduct of its residents regarding issues that are peculiar to the area, and for which national laws do not provide clear directions. The by-laws, which are in line with the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936), proscribe acts such as open defecation, building without latrines, building without permit, abuse of children, child labour, children not in school amongst other issues. People who fall foul of the provisions of the by-laws, are to face punitive sanctions such as either fines or terms of imprisonment, or both. Mr Issahaku Arimeyaw Somo Lucky Basintale, West Mamprusi Municipal Chief Executive, speaking during the launch of the by-laws at Walewale in the North East Region, said the by-laws were to ensure sanity and discipline in the development of the area. The launch event, which also served as a platform to create awareness on the by-laws, was attended by traditional authorities, Assembly Members, o pinion leaders, development partners amongst other members of society. This is the first time the Assembly promulgated and gazetted by-laws, and it received support from development partners such as Global Communities, Catholic Relief Services, Plan International Ghana, BRAVEAURORA, and UNICEF to do it. Mr Basintale said: 'The nonexistence of the by-laws has in many ways militated the efforts of the Assembly to ensure compliance with development controls particularly issues related to sanitation and hygiene practices by communities and the population within the municipality since the laws establishing the Assemblies do not provide adequately for matters related to sanitation and hygiene among others in the municipality.' He said the by-laws promulgated and gazetted by the Assembly had adequate and punitive measures to ensure that people who fell foul of its provisions were not left off the hook. He said 'It is important for me to note that we do understand that because this is the first of its kind, we ne ed to ensure that we create awareness among the population in the municipality before the by-laws are enforced and we cannot do that without those of you we have brought here today.' He added that the Assembly would intensify education on the by-laws through the media and reach out to communities to inform and educate them, saying 'These steps we are taking are to ensure that we do not leave any room for people to find excuse on the basis of ignorance of the by-laws.' Mr Basintale expressed appreciation to the development partners for their support and said they supported the Assembly right from the conception of the idea to gazetting the document. Source: Ghana News Agency