Residents of Epowano, a fishing and farming community in Shama District of the Western Region, have resolved to exercise their franchise this year in the Western Region in December .
The community even though geographically located in the Western Region had been voting in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem Municipality of the Central Region for the past 16 years.
They complained that Western Region had abandoned them.
Epowano is a coastal community located along the border between the Shama District of the Western Region and the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem Municipality of the Central Region.
The community is without an engineered access road.
As a result, one has to use a link road through Kafodzidzi, a community in the KEEA municipality, to the village.
In 2004, the residents resolved to separate themselves from the Shama District and have since been voting in the Central Region.
The residents have to trek along the beach for about 4 kilometers to Anlo beach in the Shama District to register and vote whereas a trip to the nearest community, Kafodzidzi in the Central Region, is just about 2 kilometers.
Another factor which they say prompted their decision was the lack of development in the community.
The lack of a properly engineered access road, a health facility and a toilet facility are their main challenges.
Joseph Arthur, who is the Secretary of the Epowano community, said they have been deprived of the needed development over the years by politicians and the Shama District Assembly.
This, therefore, informed their decision to shift the poles by falling on the Central Region.
“We were not receiving anything from the Western Region, we are only remembered during campaigns and voting. Whatever developmental project you are witnessing here was through our own efforts,” he lamented.
He says the community finally resolved to re-join the Shama District after a philanthropist as well as the Shama District Assembly started paying some attention towards addressing some of their challenges.
“There has been several persuasions for us to rejoin the Shama District and we have resolved to vote in the district during the upcoming elections. We thank God for the life of the Guantoahene of Shama Traditional Area, Nana Kwamina Dekye I, who has constructed a school structure for us and the Shama District has also started some projects here.”
Meanwhile, the Shama District Office of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has introduced the social auditing concept to the community.
The social auditing concept is a means of sensitizing members of the community on the importance of owning their development through communal labor and contributions.
The Shama District Director of NCCE, Harriet Addeywood, explaining the importance of the concept, said they want to imbibe into the citizens the spirit of initiating and owning their development rather than depending on government.
By William Benjamin Peters|3news.com|Western Region|Ghana