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18.04.2004 Regional News

Minister advises communities on development initiatives

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Kedzi, (V/R), April 18, GNA - Communities which, for political reasons refuse to use amenities provided them by government and also turn their backs on initiatives intended to improve their economic status are only cutting their noses to spite their faces.

Major Courage Quashigah, Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) made this point at the commissioning of work on the second phase of the Keta Sea Defence resettlement project under which the people of Kedzi, Vodza and Adzido would be provided with houses at a cost of 26.5 billion cedis.

The project, being financed from the HIPC Fund to provide a total of 836 houses of various sizes for the displaced communities in addition to water, electricity and sewerage system was originally not part of the 84 million dollar Sea Defence Project.

Maj. Quashigah expressed regret that some communities in the Keta District had refused to use some essential amenities provided by government and have also humiliated some foreign experts who were in the area to assess the potentials of the salt industry there. He said it is imperative that communities opposed to the government, reflect soberly over what their preferred political personalities told them, in order to decipher the tangible from the intangible in the light of their circumstances.

Maj. Quashigah said multi-party democracy is like a relay race in which all the political parties are team-mates who are required to take over from each other and increase the pace of the team towards the common goal of development.

He said it is therefore, necessary that, as in a relay race any political party, which forms the government is cheered and urged on by the citizenry towards the attainment of the common national goal. Maj. Quashigah said the government would not be deterred by politically motivated animosity but would continue to work for the improvement of the living conditions of all communities in the country.

Alhaji Mustapha Idris, Minister for Works and Housing said the government has kept faith with the people of the Keta District, not only by tackling the main Sea Defence Project successfully but have also added the resettlement component without which, the project would have been of little significance to the people.

He said the government would not allow any obstacle to impede the speedy delivery of the houses, in view of the high level of tolerance and endurance shown by the communities.

Alhaji Idris appealed to the communities to continue to co-operate with the contractors and to communicate their grievances to his Ministry through the appropriate channels.

He said this gesture of government ought to be reciprocated by the people adding, "I do good for you, you do good for me". Mr Kwamena Bartels, Minister for Private Sector Development, said immense business potentials have emerged in the Keta district following the completion of the sea defence project and urged the people to initiate moves to reap the benefits, which the Ministry would be ready to support.

Togbi Tsagli II, chief of Kedzi thanked the government for tackling the sea defence project successfully and adding that without the resettlement component, the beneficiary communities would have become refugees elsewhere.

He however, appealed to government to ensure that the full complement of houses were provided expeditiously because of the inconveniences being endured by many more of the people who now live in make-shift structures such as tents and shacks.

Togbi Tsagli also urgeded the government to demarcate an area of the reclaimed land for use by artisans to ply their trades. Among those present were Mr Dan Abodakpi and Mr Victor Gbeho Members of Parliament (MPs) for Keta and Anlo respectively.

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