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08.10.2003 Regional News

Minister urges Northerners to support the Self-Help Electrification

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Programme Wayamba (N/R), Oct 8, GNA- The chiefs and people of some beneficiary communities in the Northern Region have appealed to the government to assist them with low tension and service poles for them to benefit from the Self-Help Electrification Programme in the region.

The appeal was made during a tour by Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, the Minister of Energy to some areas in the region on Tuesday.

Some of the communities he visited included Dungu, Wayamba, Sugashie and Vittin, which have been provided with transformers and high-tension poles while the Wantugu Health Centre and Chirifoyili Roman Catholic Junior Secondary School were provided with solar energy systems to facilitate the storage of vaccines.

The Midwife In-charge of the Wantugu Health Centre, Madam Rose Haruna, said with the provision of the solar energy system essential vaccines that used to go bad because of lack of storage facilities have now been solved.

Dr Nduom found out on his tour that most of the communities have not been able to provide low tension and service poles for the programme. This prompted the Minister to go on two local radio stations, "Radio Savanna" and "Diamond FM" to explain the concept of the Self-Help Electrification Programme to the people.

The Minister said some people are blaming the government for the delay in the execution of the programme in the northern regions and appealed to the District Assemblies, the District Chief Executives and Members of Parliament to educate the people and assist them with the necessary materials to ensure the smooth completion of the programme.

He said the government has provided funds from the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative to support the programme and urged members of the beneficiary communities to complement government's efforts. He said it is the Ministry's intention to provide all communities in the Northern Region with electricity before the Programme ends in March 2004.

Dr Nduom said by the end of March 2004 communities that have failed to provide the necessary materials would not benefit from the programme again.

He said very soon all Ministries and other government buildings would be metered with pre-paid system to ensure the judicial use of power.

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