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17.02.2007 General News

Rural Housing Scheme For Farmers Begins

By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman

THE first phase of the rural housing schemes for cocoa farmers has commenced, Professor George Gyan-Baffour, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning announced this in Parliament yesterday.

That, he said, followed the release of one billion cedis seed money by the government out of the five billion cedis announced in the 2005 budget statement for the project initiated by the Department of Rural Housing.

He said the sod for the commencement of the project was cut on November 8, 2006.

Prof Gyan Baffour said the first phase, involving the construction of 10 three-bedroom houses with rain water harvesting systems was being constructed at Aowin Suaman District, Wassa Akropong and Yawmatwa in the Bia District all in the Western Region.

Prof. Gyan Baffour’s disclosure was in response to a question by Isaac Asiamah (NRP-Atwima Mponua) regarding the state of the housing scheme proposed in the 2005 budget.

He said the government had put aside ¢10 billion from the Cocoa Export Duty for the scheme which would be extended to other areas.

Prof Gyan-Baffour said government was slowly rolling out the scheme while gauging the reactions of the beneficiaries with the view to improving it to meet their needs and aspirations.

He also answered a question as to the Produce Buying Company (PBC) plans to rehabilitate its properties scattered throughout the country posed to the Ministry by Yaw Baah (NPP-Kumawu).

He said sheds owned by PBC were few and were being rehabilitated routinely and in phases annually adding that 50 had been earmarked for rehabilitation this year.

Besides, he said, by COCOBOD’s regulations, all sheds occupied by PBC are white washed annually.

Prof Gyan-Baffour said as part of its corporate social responsibility, the company had ceded some of the sheds to the communities for use as schools, community clinics, worship centres by churches and also rented some to other local Buying companies.

Others who contributed to the statement were Josephine Addoh (NPP Kwadaso) and Isaac Asiamah (NPP-Atwima Mponua).

In a related development the Parliamentary Press Corp has expressed shock about the death of Mr. Enin and expressed its condolences to the bereaved family.

A press release issued and signed by Mr. Edwin Arthur, the Dean of the Press Corp., said 'it will be suicidal for the nation to sit unconcerned and allow j bournalists, who occupy the fourth Estate of the realm to be slaughtered and sacrificed on the altar of the media.'