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Gov’t Spends GH¢927m On Poverty Eradication Projects   
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Mavis Hawa Koomson
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A total of 2,623 poverty eradication and infrastructural projects are being implemented by government through the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives at the cost of GH¢927m.

The funding for the projects came from the 2018 Budget, with GH¢1.2 billion allocated to the ministry, while GH¢23m has so far been paid to the contractors who raised certificates for payment.

Some of the projects include – small dams and dug-outs (village-one dam), 1000-metric tonnes fabricated warehouses, water and sanitation for all, 10 water closet institutional toilets with mechanised boreholes, community-based mechanised solar-powered system and one ambulance per constituency.

There are 1,151 projects ongoing in the northern belt comprising the three northern regions, 781 in the middle belt made up of the Brong Ahafo, Ashanti and Eastern regions and 691 in the southern belt comprising the Western, Central, Greater Accra and Volta regions.

Ms Mavis Hawa Koomson, the Minister of Special Development Initiatives, said this when she took her turn at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra on Tuesday.

The meeting afforded the sector minister the opportunity to inform the public about the activities of the ministry and the successes chalked up over the past 20 months. Besides, it enabled journalists and media practitioners to ask her questions of public interest for clarification.

Ms Hawa Koomson, who is the Member of Parliament for Awutu Senya in the Central Region, provided the unit cost of the each of the projects as follows: the water system cost between GH¢ 90,000 and GH¢120,000 each; the water closet cost between GH¢150,000 and GH¢170,000 and the warehouse amounted to GH¢1.8m each, while the small dams cost between GH¢200,000 and GH¢250,000.

Explaining the mandate of the ministry, the minister said it was established by the Akufo-Addo government to accelerate the development of priority projects geared towards poverty eradication, access to clean water and sanitation, agricultural transformation, reduction of inequalities and local infrastructural development.

To this end, she said, the government, through the ministry, implemented the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) aimed at attaining government’s priority areas consistent with the United Nations Development Goals (SDGs), particularly goals one, two, six and 10.
She said the ministry was collaborating with the three development authorities to implement the priority projects, adding that the projects that would not be completed this year would be rolled over in the ensuing years.

“The ministry is confident that the successful implementation of IPEP projects across the country will significantly increase the availability of infrastructure for socio-economic development.
This intervention will contribute immensely towards the attainment of government goals of accelerating poverty eradication and minimizing all forms of inequalities at the constituency level, predominantly in deprived communities,” Ms Hawa Koomson stressed.

On how the beneficiary communities were selected, the sector minister said a 10-member team was selected in July last year in each region to visit the various constituencies. They talked to the traditional rulers and indigenes to ascertain their priority needs, which informed the ministry to implement those projects.

Some of the priority initiatives include the small dams and dug-outs (village-one dam),1000-metric tonnes fabricated warehouses and markets, water and sanitation for all,10 water closet institutional toilets with mechanized boreholes, community-based mechanised solar-powered system and one ambulance per constituency.

The rest are community markets, community-based health planning systems (CHPS) compounds, community- specific infrastructural needs such as drainage system, footbridges and community centres, as well as re-shaping of roads, renovation of schools and provision of desks for schools.

The minister said her doors were opened to assist interested individuals and politicians, including former President John Mahama, who interrogated the existence of those projects to visit the locations when they put in a request.

Meanwhile, she said, the locations and other relevant information about the ongoing projects would be posted on the ministry’s website next week for easy verification by the citizenry; while efforts would be made to link the projects to the Ghana Post Digital Address System.
Source: GNA

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