$15M Voted For Poverty Alleviation

One of the new classroom blocks at Silinga, INSET: Mr. David Sumbo

The Millennium Villages Project being undertaken in line with the country’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), by Millennium Promise Alliance (MPA) to bridge the poverty gap in three deprived districts of the northern sectors of Ghana, has registered tremendous achievements.

This has improved the lives of people from the project areas of West Mamprusi and Mamprugu/Moaduri – both in the Northern Region – and Builsa South in the Upper East Region.

The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) supported the project with an initial amount of $120,000 for feasibility studies with the main funding, being $15 million, coming from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). The project is supposed to be implemented within five years.

Thirty-five communities in the three northern regions are to benefit from the construction of modern schools and health facilities; and so far towns which have benefitted from these facilities are Silinga, Nabari, Kimkandina, Sariba, Duu and Kpasenkpe, all in the West Mamprusi district; and Kunkua in the Mamprugu/Moaduri district.

In the Builsa South district of the Upper East Region, towns such as Zuasa, Uwasi, Zamsa, Naadem, Sinsaga, Pintengsa and Yaadem have also benefitted from the programme.

Briefing journalists who toured the projects sites about progress so far made, the representative of Millennium Promise Alliance and team leader of the Millennium Villages Projects, David Jesining Sumbo, said the projects, aimed at reducing poverty to the barest minimum in the selected communities, were focusing on targeted investments in education, health services, food production, nutrition, energy, water sanitation, enterprise diversification, business development, environmental management and roads.

He said so far 16 new schools had been built in selected communities and 22 old schools completely rehabilitated. He disclosed that a 10-unit classroom block with ICT facilities and another six-unit block with similar facilities costing GH¢272,000 and GH¢210,000 respectively, had been provided.

He said each of the health facilities constructed with solar power cost GH¢252,000.

According to Mr. Jesining Sumbo, teachers’ quarters had also been constructed to help attract teachers to the area, while the programme had spent some money to train pupil teachers since most of the schools lack trained teachers.

‘We have constructed 60 km of feeder roads to villages previously inaccessible by road,’ he revealed.

He also mentioned that an amount of GH¢448,000 credit facilities had been secured to support 4,035 farmers in the catchment areas while SADA is also assisting with the provision of tractors.

‘We have constructed 43 boreholes and intend to construct 29 more while we have given scholarships to some girls who completed junior high school and wanted to continue to the senior high school level ‘.

‘Our mandate is to provide concrete and sustainable benefits to the rural poor through good governance and comprehensive MDG-based development,’ he said stressing that the overall goal is to work with 30,000 people in the targeted areas.

‘We are glad that the people have readily bought into this noble idea and are also assisting us to achieve the set goals for ourselves,’ he added.

Mr. Sumbo appealed to the Ministry of Education to post trained teachers to the towns where new schools have been built.

By Thomas Fosu Jnr

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