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23.01.2011 General News

Expedite action on UPRP projects - SIF urged

By GNA
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January 23, 2011 Apam (C/R), Jan. 23, GNA - The recipients of Urban Poverty Reduction Projects, being implemented by the Social Investment Fund (SIF), have expressed concern about the slow pace at which the projects were being executed.

They urged SIF to ensure that whatever was delaying the projects should be addressed without delay, to enable it to meet the purpose for which it was meant for, that is to reduce poverty.

Apam, Agona Swedru and Kasoa were the beneficiaries of the project in the Central Region.

People from these communities, the Ghana News agency spoke to, said they were surprised that the World Bank funded projects had not been completed, since the past two years.

The contractors working on the projects, who pleaded anonymity, said they were also worried about the delay, since it was making them to incur extra debt.

According to the contractors it took them more than three months for their certificates on the work done to be honoured.

At Apam, none of the 31 projects, mainly school blocks and residential quarters had been completed, two years after they were awarded on contract.

The Rev Fr Jude Eduafo Ampah, Local Manager of Catholic Schools in the Apam Parish, said a six-unit classroom block awarded to Multi-Vision, a construction company, was still at the foundation level, 26 months on after the award.

The Catholic Priest said the school was facing acute accommodation problems, which the six-unit block was expected to address.

He said recently the church was compelled to use its resources to put up a three-unit block to reduce the pressure on the classroom accommodation.

Rev Fr Ampah said the projects had become the property of the Apam people, "therefore if there was a problem, which was delaying the execution; the SIF had to explain it to the people, but keeping them in the dark for over two years was tantamount to taking the people for a ride, which was not fair.

When Mr Theophilus Aidoo-Mensah, District Chief Executive for Gomoa West was contacted, he also expressed disappointment about how the projects were being handled.

The DCE said the Assembly had paid GH¢416,000 out of GH¢671,714.57, as counterpart funding, for the 31 projects but the execution was below satisfaction.

He said the contract for rehabilitation of a cold store at Apam had not been completed for over two years now and the machines ordered for the cold store were sitting at the Catholic Hospital at the mercy of the weather.

GNA

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