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18.09.2003 Regional News

Danish Ambassador inspects projects in Volta Region

By GNA
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Ho, Sept. 18, GNA- Mr Flemming Bjork Pederson, the Danish Ambassador in Ghana on Thursday complained about the performance of institutional and household latrines under the Danish assisted water and sanitation programme in the Volta Region.

He said statistics available at the Volta Region Community Water and Sanitation (VRCWSA) indicated that only 7,851 households and 628 institutions owned these facilities since the inception of the project in 1993.

Mr Pederson made the remark when he paid a courtesy call on Mr Kwasi Owusu-Yeboa, the Regional Minister as part of a familiarisation tour of the region.

He said the apathetic attitude exhibited in the acquisition of the facilities pose a challenge to the region in the second phase of the project, next year.

The Ambassador said about 500,000 people have benefited from the provision of potable water in rural communities, which he said "was a commendable achievement."

Mr Pederson was optimistic that the experience gained under the two phases of the project, coupled with the commendable successes would facilitate the implementation of the new phase.

Mr Owusu-Yeboa, said pervasiveness of rural poverty was militating against the ownership of latrines by individuals and institutions. He pledged that his administration in collaboration with stakeholders especially district assemblies will institute a scheme to induce the people to own such facilities while educational awareness programmes would be undertaken.

Mr Owusu-Yeboa, noted that the health of rural dwellers was necessary to reduce poverty hence the need to maintain and sustain the facilities to justify the enormous investments being made. He said that the district assemblies are facing multiplicity of counterpart funding syndrome, thereby over-stretching their finances in implementing development projects.

The Regional Minster said the Regional Co-ordinating Council (VRCC) will continue to prioritise water and sanitation and hoped that the next phase would be expanded to cover most of the deprived areas in the region.

Mr Emmanuel Boateng, Regional Director of VRCWSA said the Agency has built capacities of District Water and Sanitation Teams, Water and Sanitation Board and 907 Watsan Committees in readiness of the next phase which would focus on the district assemblies.

On the Ambassadors entourage were Mr Mogeus Mechta, Counsellor and Programme Co-ordinator, Mr Kojo Eli Bibah, Programme Officer both at the Embassy and Mr Peter Sievers, Financial Advisor of VRCWSA. 18 Sept. 03

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