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22.04.2004 Regional News

SAEMA initiates Group Loan Facility

By GNA

Sekondi, April 22, GNA - The Shama-Ahanta East Metropolitan Assembly (SAEMA) has initiated a Group Loan Facility in a bid to promote wealth creation and investment in the area.

Mr Philip Kwesi Nkrumah, Metropolitan Chief Executive, announced this at the fourth meeting of the first session of the Metropolitan Assembly in Sekondi on Wednesday.

He said nine people, who benefited from the facility at the beginning of this month each obtained loans between 16 million cedis and 27 million cedis for various projects in agriculture and manufacturing.

Mr Nkrumah also said a total amount of 45 million cedis was disbursed to 22 individuals under the Assembly's Poverty Alleviation Fund in January this year, with each beneficiary receiving between 1.5 million cedis and 2 million cedis.

He also said four service providers had been selected to implement the Street Children Component of the Community Based Poverty Reduction Programme in the metropolis.

They are the Mercy Foundation International, Opportunities Industrialisation Centre, GHACOE Women's Ministry and the Centre for National Culture.

Mr Nkrumah said malaria continued to be the main cause of morbidity in the metropolis, accounting for 26 per cent of all out-patient cases at health centres, followed by acute respiratory infection cases and acute eye infection.

He said other diseases frequently reported at health centres included skin diseases and ulcers, diarrhoea, hypertension, dental caries, intestinal worms infestation, gynaecological disorders, pregnancy related complications.

Mr Nkrumah called on the Ministry of Health to map out strategies to prevent and control these diseases to avoid deaths.

He said arrangements for the take off of phase two of the Urban Environmental Sanitation Project had been completed and the necessary documents had been submitted to the World Bank for approval.

Mr Nkrumah said the waste management department of the assembly was confronted with a number of problems that affected its performance. He said these included inadequate human resource, poor and negative public attitude and perception of waste management, poor community participation in waste management services, public non-compliance with sanitation bye-laws and non-adherence to public education on waste management.

Mr Nkrumah said other constraints included inadequate vehicles and equipment, frequent breakdown of old vehicles and the lack of protective clothing for workers.

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