Group advocates good governance at grassroots

The Good Governance Grassroot (3G) project team, an advocacy group, has embarked on a mission to empower the “voiceless and undeserved” communities on how to go about good governance in local communities.

At a two day programme held at Tarkwa Bay, Lagos, over the weekend, the group engaged members of the community in discussions on the promotion of good governance at grass root levels.

The 3G project team is a youth outreach initiative of the United States Consulate that champions the cause of good governance at local level in Lagos.

The “Capacity Building Training for Community Leaders” involved six local communities in the Atlas Cove Area, Tarkwa Bay island.

The team developed a toolkit to guild Tarkwa Bay communities and to empower them with skills in resource mobilising and strategies for effective civil engagement.

The team, through its research, found that Tarkwa Bay communities lack the knowledge, skills and resources required to bring about sustainable development in their communities.

Emilian Amaku, a community leader, said they lacked so many amenities particularly potable water.

“We don’t have bore holes that produce good water for consumption, what we have here isn’t good enough for the health,” she said.

“Secondly, Tarkwa Bay is a riverine area, the bridge we use is very risky, sometimes ago when the politicians came around for their campaign we told them about the bridge and they promised us they would do something about it but at the end, nothing was done, we didn’t hear from them again and there’s was no means of reaching them either.”

Mrs. Amaku also said due to the abundance of coconut in the community, the women produce coconut oil in large quantities but there are no buyers or investors.

“Also, we need skill acquisition center because our youths don’t have anything doing, they just roam about after their secondary school education,” she said.

“Tarkwa Bay has tourist attraction at the beach, a very beautiful beach but there is nothing there to attract people to visit the beach, people are afraid of crossing the water to get to this place, the ferry provided by the government doesn’t run on weekends which is when people will love to visit the beach, so we beseech the government to help us develop the beach so that people over the world can patronize us.”

The seminar which took place at the Tarkwa Bay Town Hall also aimed at building the capacities of the community people to help them address thedevelopment issues facing them.

Fransica Chiedu, a policy and public affairs advisor, said the 3G project team had been working with Tarkwa Bay communities in the last one year to build their capacities on how to go about good governance at grass root level .

“Myself and the rest of the team had a focus group discussion with the communities and found that they had so many problems and skills they are lacking,” said Ms. Chiedu.

“With that, we developed a toolkit based on the engagement we had with them to see where they were lacking and that’s where we formulated the topics for the capacity building training.”

Abayomi Akinbo, a transparency advocate, said the communities in Tarkwa Bay were chosen because of the public’s lack of awareness of the area.

“We did our research and found that a lot of people know about Tarkwa Bay beach but they don’t know about the community itself which is one of the issue they have,” Mr. Akinbo said.

“When we got to the community, we discover they have so many problems and because we are not economically empowering or trying to invest in this communities, we see that we can build their capacity and help them by showing them the way for them to solve some of their issues.

“We are here to bring the youth together both the men and women to help gain attention and reach out to the government and other stake holders.”

In a bid to help Tarkwa Bay communities achieve good governance, the 3G project team said it’s acting as a mediator between the government and members of the communities, and that so far, Tarkwa Bay communities have been benefiting from the scheme.

Mrs. Amaku admitted the initiative had helped the community.

“Initially we were like blind people but since this program was initiated last year into this community, we have been enlightened on the ways to reach out to the government and that we are not excluded from benefiting from the government,” she said.

“The 3G project team promised to bring investors to buy our products and they have kept to their promises, this is the opportunity we have been looking and we appreciate the effort of this organization.”

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