Koforidua, June 30, GNA - Government has donated 50 bicycles and five computers and their accessories to the Eastern Regional Directorate of the Social Welfare Department to facilitate the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme.
The bicycles are to be distributed to field officers of the nine district offices of the social welfare for distribution to LEAP beneficiaries whiles the computers are to collate data on the programme.
Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the Eastern Regional Minister who made the donation on Tuesday, said it was an indication of government's resolve to strengthen all social interventions aimed at cushioning the poor.
He said the move, which is being replicated across the country, was also to resource government officials to work efficiently.
Mr Ofosu-Ampofo said the government believed that continuity of programmes for the benefit of the people was a surest way to development.
He appealed to the department to focus on how best to improve local economy development instead of the LEAP project under which monies are dished out to people.
Mr Ofosu-Ampofo said the need for new ways to address poverty challenges was imperative adding that people must be empowered within their local economies since beneficiaries of the LEAP could not rely on government support throughout their entire lifetime.
Mr Gyamera Ahwenee Danquah, Regional Director of the Social Welfare Department, thanked the government for the support and appealed to the regional minister to look at the improvement of other sections of the department.
He said the department had the juvenile remand unit and a vocational/technical institute for the needy and street children apart from its core functions.
Mr Danquah mentioned the remand prison where juveniles were kept during their trial as an area that needed urgent attention.
He said because of the poor infrastructure, juveniles on remand always break jail.
Mr Danquah said the situation was so grave that the department had stopped taking juvenile remands and appealed to the Regional Security Council to help rehabilitate the remand prison since it posed a security threat.