Tamale, June 20, GNA - The ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) , has chosen the Tamale Metropolis to conduct Deliberative Poll (DP)with the aim of developing interventions that respond to the felt needs of the people in relation to rapid urbanisation.
The RAN in collaboration with the University for Development Studies (UDS), is aiming to strengthen the resilience of people and systems in Africa by leveraging the knowledge, scholarship and creativity, that exist in partner universities to build resilience of communities.
The DP to be undertaken in Tamale will be the first of its kind in West Africa, and spearheaded by the UDS, which has a sub-contract to host the USAID-funded West Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (RILab WA) as part of the RAN with Makerere University in Kenya.
DP is based on the principle that when people have accurate and comprehensive information, they reach informed decisions and make qualitative contributions to policies and programmes.
Mr Dennis Chirawurah, Co-ordinator of RAN, who briefed participants at a stakeholders’ workshop on DP in Ghana in Tamale, said the city (Tamale) was chosen for the poll because it was one of the fastest growing cities in West Africa.
He said as part of the poll, RAN would incubate, test and scale innovations that would strengthen individual and system-wide capabilities to reduce vulnerabilities.
Mr Chirawurah said the stakeholders’ forum was meant to assemble diverse expertise to deliberate over the dimensions and relevance of issues of rapid urbanisation to the people of Tamale and to build consensus on the critical ones that should be eventually presented for the DP.
Alhaji Limuna Mohammed-Muniru, Northern Regional Minister, addressing the two-day workshop, stressed the importance of the DP in Tamale, and that over the last couple of years there had been an increasing emphasis on resilience in development thinking.
He said grouping the resilience of individuals, households and communities was the best way to build a resilient nation and that it was particularly imperative as the nation was content with issues of Climate Change (CC) and its attendant immigration practices of those most affected and implication for food security.
He said Tamale was not new in resilience, since people who were displaced by disaster ran to the area in years past, to seek shelter because it (Tamale) was on a hill and that any initiative to conduct a DP was welcome news.
He observed that the DP broadened the consultation process and assist people with the right information to arrive at solutions to their problems and would also address the limitations on top of opinions, by giving participants the time and support they needed to learn about issues.
The two-day workshop discussed issues of Rapid urbanisation, waste management and implication for public health and urban livelihoods, as well as overview of DP.
Professor Gabriel Teye, Pro Vice-Chancellor of UDS, who chaired the function, lauded the selection of Tamale for the DP, since the city was grappling with problems associated with rapid urbanisation.
He expressed concern about the unauthorized mounting of speed rumps, which were becoming a social menace in the Tamale Metropolis, and appealed to the Department Urban Roads to check the practice to bring sanity onto the roads.
A nine-member DP Advisory Committee chaired by Prof. Gordana Kranjac-Berisavljevic, Director of UDS-International, was inaugurated and tasked with the responsibility of ensuring a successful DP in Tamale.