What has happened to the county and district development funds is the question on the lips of many from the depressed and depressing District of Barrobo? Have our funds gone the way that resources disappeared from other districts we heard about? Into the pockets of unscrupulous individuals at the local level of governance who are thwarting the process?
Those are the question that go unanswered in the near-desolate district we recently found ourselves visiting.
Central Government apportions funds every fiscal year in the national budget for district development purposes for the 73 districts throughout the country, but some of the districts, like Barrobo, in Maryland County, seems abandoned by government, with residents living pitiful lives.
Barrobo, which is district #3 in Maryland, lacks health and educational facilities throughout the length and breadth of the district, our reporter observed while on a tour in the area recently. There is not a single high school in the district.
Our reporter had gone with Maternal and Newborn Health Ambassador, Madam Miatta Fahnbulleh, who had gone on an advocacy campaign to ensure that pregnant women seek medical attention during pregnancy.
The citizens complained of the lack of central government’s presence in the district, which they said is contributing to its backwardness, even though there is a district development Superintendent.
The district does not even have a high school, although there is a clinic that serves almost the entire district; but pregnant women have to travel hundreds of miles to seek medical attention because they lack health facilities in their towns.
The district, which has Representative Isaac B. Roland as its Representative in the National Legislature, has a make-shift structure that served as the town hall where residents gather to interact, though there are thousands of dollars apportioned for these purposes.
A citizen of the district, Isaac Kwabo, said: “My brother we don’t have anything in this place. We don’t feel government’s attention here, our entire district is backward and we are disconnected from the rest of the county and the country.”
“There are no schools for our children to go to in most of the towns, not to even mention clinics, where our people could seek medical attention. Our children wake-up in the morning and have to go with us on the farms because there is no school around. The nearest school around this area is about four to five hours walk and the kids are too small for that. There are no teachers as well.”
A lady who told this reporter that she came from one of the towns located in the district, said after the advocacy meeting, “The big people are telling us to go to the clinic when pregnant and there is no clinics in our areas. It is a good idea, but it is not easy for some of us because we are living far off and to get to the clinic it take some of us a day or two. Government really needs to try and come to our aid.”
“We are just living here by the mercy of God; we are all on our own here. Our place has been neglected for too long and no one is coming to our aid—not even our representative Isaac Roland,” a man who claimed to be an official of the district said.
There are too many bureaucratic processes surrounding the district development funds; so ‘they’ are afraid to get involved in it before ‘they’ are sacked by their bosses. He declined to say who ‘they’ were.
Efforts to contact, Rep. Roland for comments did not materialize as his phoned would not ring when called.