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27.04.2007 General News

Ghana used as a pilot project in slum upgrading

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The United Nations Habitat (Ghana) has declared its intention to use Ghana for a pilot project in the upgrading of slums to improve the lives of the people.

Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment announced on Thursday when addressing the "Federation for the Urban Poor."

He said to begin with Tulaku in Ashaiman and Sodom/Gomorrah in Accra would benefit from the pilot programme.

The Minister was joined by the Tema Mantse, Nii Adjei Kraku the II on the tour of the slumps at Tulaku.

The Tema Mantse said the Tema Traditional Council (TDC) was prepared to allocate a 30-acre plot of land for the pilot project in Tulaku.

The Minister expressed government's readiness to supplement the efforts of associations who initiate programmes to improve their lot and encouraged them to continue with the self-help programmes to win government's support.

According to him, the move by the UN Habitat was in line with government's policy of raising living standards of people living below the poverty line by providing them with the basic social necessities such as affordable houses, water and food.

Mr Asamoah-Boateng expressed his optimism of the reality of the project to ensure well-planned communities, because other developed countries went through similar experiences.

He however, impressed on the residents to observe environmental cleanliness for quality health and avoid unnecessary land litigations, which only retards progress.

The Minister praised Nii Kraku for the gesture and lauded the pro-activeness of some chiefs whose contributions promote developments in the communities.

Mr David Quaye Annang, Tema Municipal Chief Executive said the assembly would provide infrastructural facilities for the proposed project.

Madam Janet Adu, National Coordinator of Micro Credit on Small Business said the Federation, which has six branches in the country mobilizes funds through various activities to improve their lot.

She said the Ashaiman branch, formed two and half years has so far raised a total of ¢400 million for the procuring of land to put up affordable houses and appealed for government's assistance.

Mr Kwadwo Ohene Sarfoh, Country Project Consultant of Slum Upgrading Facility urged members of the Federation to increase their membership to enable them to win support from government and the public.

He said when completed the name Tulaku, which means a Kraal is likely to be changed for an appropriate one.

Source: GNA

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