Jumapo (E/R), June 19, GNA- The European Union (EU) has spent 23.1 million Euros in the construction of 1,819 micro-projects in Ghana under the first four phases of it assistance programme between 1990 and 2000. It had also set aside 27 million euros for the 5th programme, which started in 2000, during which it has been working in close collaboration with local communities and district assemblies to complete 1,950 micro-projects in education, primary health care and water and sanitation.
The Ambassador and Head of EU Delegation in Ghana, Mr Stefan Forewin, announced this separately at the inauguration of three micro-projects in three towns in the New Juaben Municipality at Koforidua on Friday.
The EU funded the projects at a total cost of 475 million cedis. The projects included a 70-million-cedi rehabilitated six-classroom block for the Jumapo Methodist Primary School, a 180-million-cedis library complex with books and furniture for the Oyoko community and a 225-million-cedis six-classroom block with staff common room, an office fitted with ceiling fans for the Asokore Methodist primary school. Mr Forewin said the total number of EU funded projects in Ghana would reach about 3,899 by the end of the programme this year.
He explained that under the 5th micro project currently going on in six regions namely, Upper West, Upper East, Northern, Ashanti, Central and Volta, provisions for communities outside the proposed regions could be assisted under its Individual Limited Intervention Project (ILIP), under which New Juaben benefited.
He said the approval to extend the financing agreement between the Government and EU for the 5th micro project for an additional year, up till June 2005, was on course.
Mr Forewin announced that the 6th micro project which would also cover six core regions would this time include the Eastern Region, which is expected to start in the middle of 2005 at a cost of 25 million euros.
The Minister of Interior, Mr Hackman Owusu Agyemang, commended the EU for its immense contributions to the development of the country and appealed to the beneficiaries to put the facilities into proper use and maintain them for a long time.
He said the NPP Government was committed to the provision of infrastructure aimed at improving the living standards of the people and hoped with the achievements of the government the people would retain the NPP in the December elections.
The Minister who is also the MP for New Juaben North, told the people that the EU funded projects were from the tax payers and therefore advised them to pay their taxes promptly to enable the government continue with its development programme.
He asked both the adults and pupils of Oyoko to patronize the library and hoped that with the provision of more classroom blocks, the shift systems in the country's schools would be a thing of the past. Dr Kwaku Osafo, Programme Manager of EU Micro-projects said the EU was committed to the aid of communities, which initiated their projects under the self-help programme.
He said the New Juaben Municipality had benefited from eight micro projects in areas of education, water and sanitation and health under the ILIPs and appealed to the people to send their children to school. The New Juaben Municipal Chief Executive, Nana Kwasi Adjei Boateng, also thanked the EU for its assistance to the Municipality and hoped that it would continue to assist.
He asked the communities to cultivate the culture of maintenance of the facilities for them to last long.